What’s New

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Day One Workshop topics include:

  • Public Health, Behavioral Health, Emergency Management, and Law Enforcement Updates
  • School Safety Liability Concerns
  • Emergency Response Plan Exercise Guidance
  • Tabletop Exercise

Day Two Workshop topics include:

  • Components of an effective lockdown
  • How to realistically drill and assess your lockdown plan
  • Using technology to protect lives and decrease attack time
  • Appropriately communicating the crisis to students, staff, parents, law enforcement, fire, and the media

Who Should Attend:
District and School Administrators, Emergency Preparedness Team Members, School Psychologists and Counselors, School Nurses, Enforcement Responders, Fire Department Personnel, Emergency Managers, Risk Management Personnel, and Communication Center Supervisors

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We Moved

We Moved


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December 4 – Preconference

7:00 am – 8:00 am    Sign-in and Breakfast
8:00 am – 5:00 pm    Preconference Workshops

US Department of Education, Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance Center presents:
Developing High Quality School Emergency Operations Plans K-12 101 Training

This half-day course provides an overview of recommended planning processes and key considerations for creating, revising, or enhancing school emergency operations plans (EOPs).

Target Audience: School staff that serve on an EOP planning team, and other interested community stakeholders, including first responders and law enforcement

US Department of Homeland Security/FEMA presents:
Understanding and Planning for School Bomb Incidents

This half-day course identifies the factors involved in school bomb threats; critical response actions based on scenario types; the primary components of an improvised explosive device; and critical components of a school bomb related response plan.

Target Audience: Employees of districts, schools, daycares, hospitals, public health, emergency management, law enforcement, fire, and EMS services.
Arizona Department of Education, School Safety and Prevention, reserve the right to deny attendance in the above courses if participant eligibility cannot be verified through information provided.

December 5 – Conference

7:30 – 8:30 am    Sign-in, Breakfast, and Visit Partner Lounge

8:30 – 8:45 am    Welcome

8:45 – 9:15 am    ACTIC and ADHS – What’s on the Radar?
Paul Stebbins, Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center
Dr. Candace Williams, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Arizona Department of Health Services

9:15 – 10:00 am
Keynote Presentation: School Crisis – The Trauma That Does Not Bleed
Grady Bray, Ph.D – Senior Vice President, DMI – Disaster Management International

Dr. Bray is a disaster psychologist with an international reputation as a lecturer, author, disaster survivor and emergency response authority. He has appeared as a subject matter expert on such diverse programs as the TODAY show, The Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, FEMA’s Recovery Channel and was featured in a NBC Dateline segment which focused on surviving high rise fires. He has also appeared in numerous training videos and DVDs.

He has provided disaster, crisis and emergency services training, response, and consultation to governments, businesses, educational organizations and energy based companies. He has extensive experience in disaster family assistance, having helped create family programs for both the public and private sectors. He is an adjunct and frequent presenter for FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute. He has been a responder and leader for numerous domestic and international disasters including the Oklahoma City bombing, multiple air disasters, the WTC attacks of September 11, earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes.

As senior vice president for DMI, Dr. Bray is responsible for the family assistance program, training programs, exercise development, and consultation. He developed the School Crisis Rapid Intervention Program (SCRIP) and applies his extensive experience in crisis school response for the creation of realistic emergency response plans for schools at all educational levels.

10:10 – 11:25 am   Breakout Sessions

Developing Effective Emergency Response Plans:  Lessons Learned in Arizona Schools
Virginia Juettner, Shari Sterling, and Ginni Shuss

Threat Assessment and Management
Debi Neat

Emergency Preparedness:  Tabletop Exercises
John Shikany and Tim Mahaney

9th Grade Transition Using Link Crew
Keith Allen, Tenli Poggemeyer, and Paradise Valley High School Students

A Collaborative Approach to Keeping Youth Out of the Juvenile Justice System
Dr. Gail Jacobs

School Discipline Disproportionality by the Numbers:  A Look at Arizona Schools
Dr. Denise Whitford

11:25 am – 12:25 pm   Lunch

12:25 – 1:10 pm
Keynote Presentation:  Conducting an Effective Lockdown
Jesus M. Villahermosa, Jr. – Crisis Reality Training

Mr. Villahermosa has provided consulting services on school-related and workplace violence since 1988. He recently retired as deputy sheriff with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department after 33 years of service. In this capacity, Mr. Villahermosa was a Sergeant in the Patrol Division after serving as the Supervisor of the Court Security Division of the County/City Building, where he coordinated and supervised security for high profile criminal and civil cases. Mr. Villahermosa also served for a year as the Director of Campus Safety at Pacific Lutheran University where he worked all security aspects related to staff and student safety. He was the first certified Master Defensive Tactics Instructor for law enforcement personnel in the state of Washington and is a certified Active Shooter Instructor for law enforcement personnel.

Mr. Villahermosa has been the keynote speaker at numerous national conferences. He has taught over 550,000 professionals and students across the United States and in Canada about issues regarding gangs, youth violence, workplace violence, rape and assault prevention, and school safety issues such as Active Shooter response planning, lockdown training, and school bus safety. He is also a guest instructor for FEMA’s Emergency Management Institute. As a presenter, Mr. Villahermosa’s thought provoking ideas are given with humorous note and interactive style and will surely inspire those in attendance in believing that they can help to make our schools a safer place to learn, teach, and work.

1:20 – 2:35 pm   Breakout Sessions

Breaking Up a Fight
Jesus M. Villahermosa, Jr.

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
Dr. Daniel Gulchak

Legal Landscape of the School Community
Stephen Dieu

Creating Schools of Hope:  Reducing Risk With Protective Factor Research and Social Norming Strategies
Phil Woodal

Student Assistance Programs:  Building Supports for Social-Emotional Needs
Gina Durbin and Sara Agostinho

Developing an Effective School Incident Command System
John Nunes

2:45 – 4:00 pm   Breakout Sessions

The “101” on Bullying, Cyberbullying, and School Climate
Dr. Jenny Walker

Parent-Student Reunification:   What’s In Your Plan?
Jim Lee and James Dorer

Uh – oh! What were you thinking?!?!?
Debi Neat

MOUs and IGA to Facilitate Preparedness
Pete Weaver and Kaylee Sorensen

Leadership + Positive Climate = SAFETY
Dr. Kris Bosworth and Dr. Maria Menconi

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2013 Safe and Supportive Schools Conference Resources:

December 4, 2013

John Huppenthal,
Superintendent of Public Instruction

One Year After Sandy Hook: What Have We Learned?
Kenneth S. Trump,
National School Safety and Security Services

Putting It All Together: The Continuum of School Safety
Dr. Kris Bosworth,
University of Arizona
Resource:  Putting It All Together: The Continuum of School Safety


Two Sides of the Pyramid: Linking RTI and PBIS
John Balles, Ph.D., Clinical Services Coordinator, Scottsdale Unified School District

This presentation described how academics and behavior mutually influence each other and how a three-tiered model for Response to Intervention (RTI) including Universal Screening, Progress Monitoring, and Intervention Planning, provides the best outcomes for students. It also looked at the implementation of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and how PBIS and RTI work together to contribute to prevention and early identification of academic or behavior difficulties. Interventions were also discussed.
Resource:  Two Sides of the Pyramid: Linking RTI and PBIS (PDF)

Threat Management Essentials
Gina Durbin
, Director, Education and Community Services, Cave Creek Unified District
Debi Neat, Safe and Drug Free Schools Trainer, Phoenix Union High School District

Participants in this workshop came away with:
    • a brief overview of the rational of threat management as a major component of creating a safe, supportive school
    • a reminder of transient versus substantive threats and the decision to move forward with a full threat assessment or not
    • a review of what should be included in an effective threat management plan

School Safety and the Law
Andrew Swann
, Special Policy Advisory for Law Enforcement, Arizona Attorney General’s Office

Participants learned the most significant constitutional issues and statutes impacting school safety, including search and seizure, interviewing of students by law enforcement, sharing of protected student information, and mandatory reporting.
Resource: School Safety and the Law (PDF)

Incident Command System – Practical Application
John Shikany,
Director of Safety and Security, Washington Elementary School District

Participants learned how to manage incidents of all sizes using the Incident Command System (ICS) and how to increase and decrease the size of response by participating in tabletop exercises.
Resource:  Incident Command System – Practical Application (PDF)

Managing Media and Parent Communication
Kenneth Trump, MPA,
President, National School Safety and Security Services

How to stay ahead in a world on digital steroids, tips for communicating proactively with parents on school safety, and “must have” aspects of your school crisis communications plans.

Bullying, Cyberbullying, and School Climate 101: What Educators and School Personnel Need to Know
Jenny Walker, Ph.D.
, President, Cyberbullying Consulting, Ltd.

Participants attending this session will understand what bullying and cyberbullying are and the potential emotional, psychological, and behavioral consequences; know the latest findings on prevalence rates; be informed about research-based best practices for prevention, intervention, and response strategies; have an overview of legal considerations and standards; and learn how to work with others to help create a safe school climate. Participants will be provided with a “Top 10” of helpful websites and resources on bullying, cyberbullying, and school climate.
Resource:  Bullying, Cyberbullying, and School Climate 101 (PDF)

Achieving Mental Health Outcomes for Students
John Balles, Ph.D.
, Clinical Services Coordinator, Scottsdale Unified School District
Debi Neat, Safe and Drug Free Schools Trainer, Phoenix Union High School District

Student behavior and mental health are community-wide challenges. Several Arizona districts have developed working relationships with community behavioral health providers that result in improved communication and coordination. Participants in this workshop will learn about the successful strategies, referral protocols, and models for coordination of care that ultimately lead to improved outcomes for students.
Resource:  Achieving Mental Health Outcomes for Students (PDF)

Keep Kids in School: Making the Case for Positive Approaches to School Discipline
Greta Colombi
, Deputy Director, National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments

A growing body of evidence demonstrates an alarming relationship between widespread school suspensions and expulsions and involvement in the justice system. Today’s schools, courts, law enforcement and communities require new thinking about how to positively approach discipline when children violate boundaries and policies in school. This session will provide the knowledge schools, districts, and law enforcement need to better understand the issues surrounding traditional school discipline practices and what can realistically be done to change them.
Resource:  Keep Kids in School (PDF)

Resources for Meeting the Minimum Requirements for School Emergency Response Plans
Jean Ajamie
, Director, School Safety and Prevention, ADE
Linda Mason, Emergency Preparedness Advisor

Arizona Revised Statutes 15-341 requires that district schools have emergency response plans that meet state minimum requirements. This session will review the minimum requirements, which were revised earlier this year, and present the plethora of free training and other tools available to assist educators on developing high-quality plans.
Resource: Meeting the Minimum Requirements for School Emergency Response Plans (PDF)

Connecting With Our Youth – Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports
Sara Agostinho
, District Prevention Coordinator, Tolleson Union High School District

This workshop reviewed how the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework impacts school campuses. This presentation reviewed the basics of PBIS and its connection to school climate. The high schools highlighted in this workshop are recipients of the Safe and Supportive Schools grant. Their stories will be shared as a means of providing examples of how PBIS sets the stage for a school climate that prioritizes learning by establishing positive learning environments. Participants will leave this workshop with an understanding of the model’s real-world impact, along with best practices that have been utilized by school staff members.
Resource: Connecting With Our Youth – Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PDF)

Current Drug Trends and Identification
Debi LaVergne
, Safe and Supportive Schools Coach, University of Arizona

New drug use trends burst on the scene rapidly. The more informed we are, the more we can affect positive change in our youth. This workshop will provide an overview of the signs and symptoms displayed by students who may be abusing substances. Information on current trends, to include illegal substances, new designer drugs, synthetics, over the counter and prescription drugs will be presented. In addition, new methods of ingestion and concealment will be covered.
Resource: Current Drug Trends and Identification (PDF)

Essential Trauma Informed Practices in Schools
Shannon Cronn, N.C.S.P.
, Safe Schools Specialist, Scottsdale Unified School District
Barb Iversen, M.C., Program Specialist, School Safety and Prevention, ADE

Research suggests that approximately one in four children in the U.S. will experience at least one traumatic event by the age of 16. A child’s reactions to trauma can impact behavior and learning. Participants attending this session will be able to:
• Define trauma
• Explain how trauma may impact child/teen behavior and learning
• Identify characteristics of trauma-informed practices in a school setting
Resource: Essential Trauma Informed Practices in Schools (PDF)

Effective Use of Technology for School Safety – Panel Discussion
Paul Stebbins
, Detective, Homeland Defense Bureau, Phoenix Police Department
Eric Toms, Senior K-12 Consultant, PlascoTrac
Russell Appleton, Supervisor Management and Program Analyst, Department of Homeland Security

This workshop introduced three types of technology that can be useful in enhancing school safety:
• Software to facilitate communication of critical infrastructure with law enforcement
• Systems for student, staff and visitor accountability, and behavior tracking for implementation of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
• Emerging systems for contacting internal security and/or 911 emergency services

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