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Governance and Policy ResourcesResearch, guidance and services for effective school board governance

The governing board is elected to govern the community's schools and thus plays a critical role in ensuring that the community's schools are safe for students and staff. The following resources can assist governance teams – immediately and over the long term – as they establish the organizational structures necessary to enhance school safety. Many are taken from CSBA's recently updated guidebook, "Safe Schools: Strategies for Governing Boards to Ensure Student Success."

Action steps

See sample questions to facilitate the board’s discussion on school safety. Adopt a resolution demonstrating your commitment to school safety.

Sample board policies and administrative regulations

Many of CSBA's sample board policies and administrative regulations related to ensuring safe schools include can be found on pages 133-139 of "Safe Schools". See the list here, which includes links to several complimentary sample policies.

Comprehensive School Safety Plans

Tips on building a comprehensive school safety plan and a sample policy are outlined here. See also the U.S. Department of Education's 2013 "Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans" with new recommendations to "run, hide, and fight" a campus intruder instead of sheltering in place.


Safeguard your district's public reputation with these tips and best practices for communicating with the public during a crisis.  

CSBA statements about incidents at Sandy Hook Elementary.

"In Case of Emergency: Schools That Prepare for the Worst Can Avoid a World of Hurt," California Schools magazine, Spring 2010

Campus Security

There are a number of measures that districts can take to improve security of school sites.

Response to crisis on school campus

Learn how to respond to a crisis on campus here. 

Best Practices

Read about these award-winning programs:

CSBA Policy Resources

Agencies and other resources

National Center for Education Statistics: Indicators of School Crime and Safety 2013
This report presents data on crime at school from the perspectives of students, teachers, principals, and the general population.

Physical and Sexual Abuse Prevention Resource Center
This site from Keenan & Associates includes an online Mandatory Reporting and Awareness Training Program to help California school districts maintain a safe learning environment.

Safe Schools: A Best Practices Guide
This guide for school board members and other educators comes from the Council of Educational Facility Planners International.

School Climate Matters: How to Create Safer and Bully-Free Schools (7/2012)
This CSBA webinar, which may be viewed on demand, focuses on the link between a safe and positive school environment and improved student attendance, engagement and achievement in school.

American Association of School Administrators
The Association of California School Administrator’s national partner provides resources to education leaders in the aftermath of the event, including links to psychology and counseling services.

California Department of Education/Emergency Management Agency
Provides school violence preparedness resources, heightened school security procedures during threats and tips for helping children cope after traumatic events.

Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice
Encourages collaboration at the federal, state and local levels to foster the development and adjustment of children with or at risk of developing serious emotional disturbance.  The center’s website includes links to school violence prevention and intervention resources.

Education Commission of the States
A variety of resources on schools safety topics and related policies. 
Indicators on school safety for local counties, cities and school districts, by grade level, gender and race/ethnicity including perceptions of school safety, carrying a gun at school, carrying a knife or other weapon at school, parent ratings of child’s safety at school, child’s safety in the neighborhood, and bullying/harassment. 

National Association of School Psychologists
A number of tips and resources for teachers, parents and other adults, including the handout, "A National Tragedy: Helping Children Cope."

National Association of State Boards of Education
Policies to Promote Safety and Prevent Violence is the most recent publication in NASBE’s Fit, Healthy and Ready to Learn series of school health policy guides.

National Education Association 
An easy-to-use crisis guide with essential, to-the-point advice for schools and districts.

National Parent Teacher Association 
Resources to assist in preventing violence in schools and helping improve the quality of education children receive.

National School Boards Association 

US Department of Education