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Safe and Supportive Schools

Students are more likely to thrive academically – as well as socially and emotionally – in schools they experience as safe and supportive. A synthesis of the research suggests that four elements are essential to creating and maintaining safe and supportive places of learning:

  1. A supportive learning community, including challenging curriculum respectful relationships, and student participation and leadership;
  2. Systematic approaches to supporting safety and positive behavior, including schoolwide approaches, orderly classrooms and a continuum of supports for students in need;
  3. Involvement of family, students, school staff and the community; and
  4. Standards and measures to support continuous improvement based on data.

The Alliance calls on educators and policymakers to recognize the vital connection between academic success and safe and supportive school communities.

Alliance Publications on Safe and Supportive Schools

The Alliance publication Every Child Learning: Safe and Supportive Schools offers concrete recommendations for creating safe and supportive learning environments in classrooms, schools, and school districts. See the executive summary.

Stories and Commentary about Safe and Supportive Schools

The Learning First Alliance website offers accounts of what is working in public schools and districts across the country. Click here for stories and commentary about schools and districts that are creating safe and supportive environments for their students.

LFA Member Organization Resources on School Safety

School Crisis Guide: National Education Association Health Information Network
Schools and districts can use this step-by-step Crisis Guide to prepare for, respond appropriately to, and help students and teachers recover after a crisis. Created by educators for educators, this guide aims to keep schools safe and help students return to learning after a crisis.

Helping Kids During Crisis: American School Counselor Association
ASCA has gathered resources on how to help children in times of crisis.

School Safety and Security: National School Boards Association
NSBA has compiled articles and resources on school safety and crisis management. In addition, American School Board Journal has opened its Safe From Harm section to the public.

Fit, Healthy, and Ready to Learn: A School Health Policy Guide
Chapter I: Policies to Promote Safety and Prevent Violence of this NASBE resource provides model policies and guidance on developing multifaceted, coordinated policies to promote
safe schools that protect students and help prepare them for a lifetime of safe living.

Preventing Gun Violence in Public Schools: National Association of Secondary School Principals
NASSP offers this resource on how to prepare for and act immediately in the event of a school shooting.

School Shooting Crisis Resources: National School Public Relations Association
NSPRA offers communications resources that schools and districts can use to respond to, and plan for, an emergency.

Discipline and School Safety: The American Federation of Teachers
The AFT describes seven essential elements to ensure school safety and shares resources to help schools implement these elements.  

Helping Children Cope with Traumatic Events: Share My Lesson (an AFT/TES Connect Project)
Resources to help students cope with fear and trauma, as well as to prepare administrators and educators to deal with any crisis that might arise.

Child Safety: National Parent Teacher Association
The National PTA has put together background information on school safety issues such as bullying, internet safety, and school violence.

Safe School Resources: National Association of Elementary School Principals
NAESP offers a collection of resources to help schools and parents deal with crisis.

Creating and Updating School Emergency Management Plans

The Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center offers a number of resources to help schools prepare for emergencies of all kinds.

LFA Member Organization Resources on Bullying

If you are interested specifically in resources on bullying, please visit our collection dedicated to the issue.