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Preventing School Violence in Chester Upland School District (PSV-CUSD)

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $999,495)

Chester Upland School District (CUSD) proposes to implement the Category 2 Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) STOP School Violence project titled Preventing School Violence in Chester Upland School District. In partnership with The Lincoln Center for Family and Youth (TLC), CUSD will serve as the fiscal agent. Addressed are three BJA STOP funding areas: Train school personnel and educate students, specialized training for school resource officers, and hiring of school support personnel.

Service Area. CUSD is located within the Philadelphia metropolitan Area. CUSD serves high-poverty students in Delaware County and mainly who live in the city of Chester. Chester has a violent crime rate of 17.67, quadrupling that of PA (3.83) and the U.S. (4). All seven of CUSD K-12 schools will participate, including 2,724 students, with 85% being African American. Nearly a third of CUSD students surveyed in 2021 do not feel safe at school, with 12% attacking someone at school with the idea of seriously hurting them.

Purpose. The project will address two gaps: (1) Pervasive school and community violence and (2) School personnel and students need support, education, and training on preventing student violence and improving school climate. The goal is to prevent school violence. The objective is to train and support school personnel and educate students on preventing school violence, including strategies to improve school climate

Primary Activities and Expected Outcomes:

(A) Train school staff: All school staff will participate in universal trainings to prevent school violence, including learning essential restorative practices elements.

(B) Train select school staff: Select staff will receive advance training in restorative practices to serve as school violence prevention and school climate leaders and resources; some staff will receive training certification for International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP) SaferSanerSchools.

(C) Educate students and their parent/caregivers: Trainings include strategies for promoting a positive school climate, antibullying, and available school- and community-based mental health services.

(D) Provide training for SROs: SROs will receive specialized training in subjects like ethics, understanding individual student needs, mentoring, the teen brain, violence and victimization, school law, and developing relationships with diverse students.

(E) Evaluate school personnel trainings: Assess effectiveness of increasing school personnel content knowledge on school violence prevention and school climate.

(F) Evaluate student and parent/caregiver trainings: Assess effectiveness of preventing school violence.

Intended Beneficiaries. CUSD students, parents/caregivers, and staff will be the beneficiaries. The proposed projectdoes not include subrecipients.

Date Created: September 28, 2023