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School Safety Checklist
The following Needs Assessment Measure will help you determine what your school is currently doing to create a safer and more enriching learning environment. The Needs Assessment is arranged according to the three levels of prevention which are explained under Interventions. Evaluate the current status and priority of each prevention measure for your school. When you are done, look over your results to identify areas that need improvement in your school. Go to Seven Steps to a Safer School for ways to implement positive change.

School-wide Universal Interventions
1.  School exterior grounds have been assessed for security concerns by law enforcement personnel or other trained individuals.
2.  All areas of the building and grounds are supervised. There are no obvious “dead zones” where problems can occur. This includes parking lots, loading docks, and interior stairwells.
3.  The interior of the school building is well-lit and clean.  It reflects pride in school identity and the accomplishments of its student body.
4.  There are effective access control policies and procedures for keeping intruders out of the school.      
5.  There are effective policies and procedures for keeping weapons out of the building.      
6.  A rigidly enforced key control policy is in effect, and sensitive locks are replaced every three to four years.
7.  There are effective policies and procedures for keeping gang-related “identifiers” (i.e. clothing)  and behaviors out of the building.
8.   Staff members feel safe at all times during the school day.
9.  The school has a well-formulated Mission Statement that is posted and shared with all parties.
10. The school has a collaboratively written Code of Conduct that has been kept up to  date. It is educational more than punitive, and it defines desirable, as well as undesirable behaviors.
11. Administration and teachers have established an inviting learning environment that encourages school bonding and ownership from all groups of students.
12. Academic standards are high, and pride in achievement is emphasized and publicly expressed through multiple outlets.
13.  Cultural, ethnic and other minority groups are valued; diversity is respected and honored.      
14.  Parents are welcomed into the building are provided with opportunities and information to be full partners in their child's education.      
15. All teachers have received training in classroom behavior management, and 95% of disciplinary consequences are administered at the classroom level.      
16. All students receive evidence-based classroom instruction across multiple grade levels in anger management, social problem-solving, and/or conflict resolution.
17. The school has a comprehensive anti-bullying program in place, and it is systematically evaluated for its effectiveness.
18. The school has implemented a student peer mediation training program.      
19. The school has implemented a peer warning system that allows for confidential student communication to identified adults.
20. The school has a broadly represented Crisis Intervention Team that has been trained in crisis response and management.
21. There are staff members professionally trained in emergency first aid and CPR, and their identities and hourly locations are posted.
22. Administration and school personnel have undertaken initiatives to foster community-based supports and partnerships.
Selected Interventions
23. All teachers have received training on methods to differentiate academic instruction to meet diverse student needs.
24. The school has undertaken a special initiative to improve students’ reading achievement and monitor its effectiveness.
25. Effective procedures are in place for systematic early and valid identification of students at risk for behavioral, emotional, and academic difficulties.
26. Support services staff has training in evidence-based interventions for students with behavioral, emotional, and academic problems.
27. Support services staff is provided adequate time and relief from other duties to implement interventions for identified students at risk.
28. Existing interventions for at-risk students have undergone recent program evaluations to assess their effectiveness.
29. Administrators treat office referrals as teaching opportunities to augment disciplinary procedures.
30. Out-of-school suspension is exceedingly rare and used only for clear issues  of student safety and when home supervision can be assured.
31. In-school suspension is used sparingly, only for the most serious offences, and it contains an academic support component.
32. School personnel have assessed the drop-out problem and implemented evidence-based dropout prevention programs.
33. The school has implemented a mentoring program for at-risk students.
34. Ongoing needs assessment and program planning are driven by authentic data from disciplinary referrals and academic progress monitoring. Interventions are linked to the data.
Targeted Interventions
35. Students with chronic and persistent behavior problems are routinely provided with assessment-driven behavior intervention plans.
36. Students with chronic anger management and aggression problems are provided with evidence-based skills training by support services staff.
37. All school personnel have been taught and have practiced ways to defuse and redirect students who show evidence of aggressive and violent behaviors.
38. There are staff members professionally trained in student restraint and safe transport, and their identities are known by everyone.
39. Effective partnerships or wraparound arrangements with families, community mental health, law enforcement and social service agencies are maintained to support the highest risk students.
40. School personnel have been trained to identify and help students who live with neglect and violence.
This web site has been produced by The Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention and Treatment to provide research-based school violence prevention procedures for educators. The web site has been made possible with the generous support of the Robert and Renee Belfer Foundation and other supporters.
The Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention and Treatment to provide research-based school violence prevention procedures for educators
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