January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month
The school community plays a critical role in combating human trafficking. Because of the regular interaction between educators and students, schools are uniquely positioned to support students facing trafficking by identifying and reporting suspected cases and connecting affected students to services. Help raise awareness of this critical school safety issue by taking part in National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, and by learning what human trafficking is and how to identify it.
HHS Awards Nearly $245 Million to Support Youth Mental Health and Help the Health Care Workforce Meet Families' Mental Health Needs
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced $245 million in funding from the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act to support youth mental health and fund other mental health supports. Investments will go towards critical programs for youth and their mental health, including school-based programs and services that meet children and families where they are. Read more about the announcement and the specific grant programs here.
Protect Your Schools' Sensitive Data: Take Action During Data Privacy Week
Data Privacy Week, held January 22-28, 2023, spreads awareness about online privacy and educates individuals and organizations on how to manage personal information and keep it secure. For schools – which are responsible for maintaining and securing sensitive personal student and staff data – this week serves as a reminder to take proactive steps to protect online information systems and data. Reference SchoolSafety.gov's Cybersecurity Action Steps One-Pager for simple actions all schools can take to reduce their cyber risks and help keep sensitive data safe.
Infectious Diseases Resources for K-12 Schools Available on SchoolSafety.gov
The United States continues to experience a surge in respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19 and seasonal influenza. To help protect the safety of students and staff and maintain a healthy learning environment, schools can take a variety of everyday preventive actions to reduce the spread of infectious diseases. Find a collection of Federally-available resources, guidance, and tools to help on SchoolSafety.gov.
Upcoming Events and Opportunities
Grants and Funding Opportunities
Energy Improvements at Public K-12 School Facilities - Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) - Renew America's Schools (Application Deadline: January 26, 2023)
Mental Health Service Professional Demonstration Grant Program (Application Deadline: January 27, 2023)
Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (Application Deadline: March 21, 2023)
School Emergency Response to Violence (Project SERV) (Application Deadline: Ongoing)
Visit the SchoolSafety.gov Grants Finder Tool for additional school safety-related funding opportunities.
Events, Webinars, and Conferences
Introduction to Recognizing & Reporting Human Trafficking (January 17) – Join the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Blue Campaign for a webinar on recognizing and responding to potential cases of human trafficking. The event will include an overview of what human trafficking is, the indicators, how to report a suspected human trafficking situation, and available resources to raise awareness in your communities.
Building Stronger Connections Webinar Series – The U.S. Department of Education is holding a "Building Stronger Connections" webinar series in support of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act Stronger Connections Grant Program. Remaining sessions in the four-part series include:
- Selecting High-Quality Evidenced-based Strategies for Safe, Healthy, and Supportive Schools Part II (January 18) – This session will focus on the importance of selecting evidenced-based strategies and supports to ensure safe, healthy, and supportive schools. It will focus on the importance of strong implementation of multitiered systems of support and selecting trauma-informed and restorative strategies. It will also highlight how community violence affects school climate and student health and the importance of addressing trauma from community violence.
- Professional Development and Training for All School Staff on Strategies for Safe, Healthy, and Supportive Schools (January 26) – This session will highlight the importance of preparing educators to meet the diverse needs of students. The panel will discuss strategies to consider, including training all educators in emergency planning, restorative practices, inclusive and inviting classrooms, and asset-based alternatives to exclusionary discipline.
Becoming a Trauma-Informed School Webinar Series (January 23 & 30, February 6, 13, & 20) – This training series from the Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network provides education on the fundamentals of trauma and how it emerges within our public schools. It will provide tools and perspectives on the complexities of becoming a trauma-informed school environment and will explore the logistical components of implementing best-practices on a systems-level for trauma-informed supports and protocols.
Engaging Families in Preventing and Addressing Human Trafficking (January 25) – This event, part of the U.S. Department of Education's Human Trafficking Webinar Series, will focus on the roles of families in human trafficking, including participation, prevention, and intervention. It will cover a variety of approaches for school personnel to work with families to build protective factors in their children to lessen the risk of victimization and support students who have been trafficked.
Mass Attacks in Public Spaces: 2016 - 2020 (January 25) – The U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center will present its latest study, Mass Attacks in Public Spaces: 2016 – 2020, during this free virtual event. The report examines 173 mass attacks perpetrated from 2016 through 2020 in public and semi-public spaces, including schools, highlighting commonalities in attackers' planning and behaviors and the importance of proactive and preventative approaches to mitigate the risk of mass violence in our communities.
Communication 101 for School Mental Health: Connecting to School Administrators (January 25) – This webinar applies a school leadership lens to universal components of school mental health. It will review core dimensions of school mental health and will connect participants to relevant resources and equip them with mental health communication messaging and tools relevant to school leadership.
Human Trafficking Youth Forum (January 31) – Join the DHS Blue Campaign for a virtual forum on human trafficking and youth in recognition of National Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Caretakers and adults who work with youth are invited to hear from experts to learn how to talk to youth about online safety, gain knowledge of human trafficking trends and how they affect the youth population, and increase awareness of available government resources for youth victims and individuals working with youth.
Learning Without Violence: A School Violence Prevention Virtual Summit (February 15) – This half-day virtual summit, presented by the University of Michigan Injury Prevention Center in partnership with the National Center for School Safety and the University of Michigan Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention, is designed for researchers, post-doctoral fellows, and students to disseminate research, facilitate new collaborations, and explore school violence prevention strategies.
Visit the SchoolSafety.gov Events Page for additional school safety-related webinars, conferences, and more.
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New School Safety Resources
Mental Health Resources
Supporting Child and Student Social, Emotional, Behavioral, and Mental Health Needs
This guide provides focused information and resources to enhance the promotion of mental health and social and emotional well-being among students. It highlights seven key challenges to providing school- or program-based mental health support across early childhood, K–12 schools, and higher education settings, and presents seven corresponding recommendations.
School Mental Health Initiative
This webpage outlines the Mental Health Technology Transfer Center Network's school mental health activities that aim to accelerate the implementation of effective mental health services in schools.
Infectious Diseases and Public Health Resources
Clean Hands and Spaces Web-Based Training
This training provides guidance and resources for schools to create and follow a hand hygiene and cleaning plan, as well as messaging and resources school leaders can share with caregivers to equip them in teaching children hand hygiene early.
How To Clean and Disinfect Schools To Help Slow the Spread of Flu
This webpage outlines tips to help reduce the spread of flu through proper clearing and disinfecting.
Additional School Safety Resources
Creating Safe Schools for LGBTQ+ Youth
This brief provides key learning objectives that schools and school districts can incorporate in their professional development offerings to help teachers and other school staff build core competencies for supporting LGBTQ+ youth in schools.
Helping Youth Navigate Dangers in the Digital Age
This webinar provides information on how to help youth mitigate what they see on the internet and build resiliency against extremist hate groups, as well as various tools and resources to help youth identify misinformation. It also covers how to empower caregivers to identify and report potential hate groups and hate crimes.
Visit SchoolSafety.gov for additional resources to support school safety and security efforts.
Director, Center for Safe Schools
National School Boards Association