How the Program Works
The Be Safe and Sound in School program aims to improve the safety and security of our nation’s schools by mobilizing parents, school administrators, elected officials, policymakers, and students to take action on the issue of school safety and security. B3S
- Educates individuals on the elements of school safety
- Engages school administrators, parents, students, law enforcement, and other community members in making school safer
- Facilitates the development of strategic plans
Be Safe and Sound in School requires full commitment from school administrators, teachers, staff, community and business members, parents, and students. It is critical that all stakeholders be engaged in the identification of problem areas, assessment of school needs, and the development and implementation of solutions.
The Be Safe and Sound in School model is a comprehensive approach to school safety that addresses school safety problems by evaluating physical conditions such as lights, locks, alarms, and cameras, as well as cultural and social variables such as bullying, violence, and vandalism that may promote an unsafe environment. The steps in the program model are
- Form an action team
- Identify safety and security problems
- Hold a school safety and security forum
- Develop an action plan
- Publicize your initiative
- Advocate for your cause
- Evaluate success and revise the plan
During the years 2001-2003, two schools were selected as pilot sites to test the principles and processes of the Be Safe and Sound model: an elementary school in South Philadelphia and a rural high school in Central Kentucky.
NCPC worked with the head principal at each school to form a comprehensive safety and security campaign. Safety and security assessments were completed, including an environmental assessment and school climate surveys of students, parents, and staff. Assessment findings served as the basis of discussion at school safety and security forums. School principals and parents developed comprehensive safety and security action plans based on the results of the forum. In August and September 2003, the pilot schools were designated the first "Safe & Sound" schools to mark their commitment to the safety and security of their students, staff, and faculty.
Read about the Kentucky pilot school in the Safe at School article (Page 12) in the October 2003 issue of Kentucky Teacher (PDF).
During the 2005-2006 school year, NCPC, in collaboration with the Allstate Foundation, went on to select ten schools in Pennsylvania to receive funding to support their efforts to address school safety and security. Spurred by the Be Safe and Sound program, the ten sites came up with creative and innovative ways to address school safety, including
- Engaging students, by asking graphics and computer students to develop photo ID cards that could be used to identify both students and visitors (Central High School – Erie, PA)
- Implementation of character development materials that highlight the importance of respect, trustworthiness, and responsibility(GECAC Charter School – Erie, PA)
- Development of emergency plans to address scenarios such as bomb threats or violence in the building; these were also supplemented by mock-emergency drills (Lehman Intermediate school – Dingman’s Ferry, PA)
- Enhancement of a closed circuit television system to permit more complete observation of the campus (Forbes Road Career/Technical Center – Pittsburgh, PA)