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The National Center for School Safety: Expanding a comprehensive TTA approach to build capacity and sustainability for school violence prevention nationwide

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, $7,999,981)

Youth violence, victimization, suicide, and bullying are pervasive in the United States. Safe schools are fundamental to preventing violence and promoting academic achievement, mental health, and prosocial behavior. Ensuring safety for all students and the school community requires a comprehensive, multisectoral, and equitable approach incorporating evidence-based (EB) practices tailored to local needs. Yet, schools often lack capacity and knowledge of EB strategies to effectively implement school safety initiatives. Comprehensive training and technical assistance (TTA), based on strong evidence and continuous evaluation, can help schools address these barriers and support effective school safety programming. Attending to equity within school contexts is also at the forefront, and is critical to prevent disproportionate effects of school safety practices. The National Center for School Safety (NCSS) will continue to increase capacity of current and future STOP School Violence Program grantees to adapt, implement, evaluate, and sustain EB and equitable school safety programs and serve as a resource for school safety best practices to the field nationwide. To meet this goal, the NCSS will: 1) Expand their multidisciplinary team of subject matter experts to guide the development and implementation of EB resources and services; 2) Provide tailored and specialized TA to ensure equitable access and implementation of comprehensive school safety programming; 3) Establish peer networking and advanced learning opportunities of school safety practitioners nationwide; 4) Conduct an annual needs assessment and implementation and outcome evaluation of TTA to ensure quality and continuous improvement of services; and 5) Facilitate information sharing and serve as a resource for school safety best practices for the school and criminal justice community. The NCSS will work in partnership with an expansive multidisciplinary network of public health, education, law enforcement, mental health, and equity practitioners and researchers with expertise in twelve focal areas of school safety. The TTA plan is tailored to meet grantees’ needs and includes: proactive TA with evaluation and communications support, specialized support on risk assessments, reporting systems, and threat assessment; comprehensive toolkits, videos, webinars, guides; in-person trainings, communities of practice, peer-to-peer site visits, and sequential learning paths; and annual grantee conferences, specialized TTA provider meetings, and expert convenings to discuss trends, emerging issues, and share lessons learned with grantees, BJA, and the field. These activities will be informed by annual needs assessments with special consideration of subgroups, BJA input, and rigorous evaluation to ensure services and resources are meeting the needs of grantees and communities served.

Date Created: September 20, 2023