1. Act 71 Suicide Awareness/Prevention: The previous Model Policy along with the Administrative Regulations available for schools to use have been update with minor revisions. Links to these two updated documents will be sent out to all districts, as well as to Commonwealth Approved SAP Trainers by late February.
2. DDAP’s State Targeted Response to the Opioid Crisis Grant: Funding through this grant has gone to county drug and alcohol offices. They were permitted to use the funds for SAP training (to include paying for substitute teachers for school staff who attend the training) and purchasing program curriculum, workbooks and other program materials for certain evidence-based prevention programs. DDAP has applied for a second year of funding under this grant and expects to know the outcome of that application in April or May.
3. Truancy Prevention: PDE’s Legal team is currently developing the Basic Education Circular and is scheduled for completion in March.
4. Opioid Bill 1190:
The Bill was not passed; however, some of the statutory language from Section 1547 (PS 15-1547 formerly Act 211) of the School Code, was amended by Act 55 of 2017 (HB 178). PDE is charged with developing, in collaboration with DOH and DDAP, a model curriculum for use in grades 6-12 as well as in-service training programs for LEAs to be used beginning in the 2018-19 school year.
5. Course Development: A PILS course, "Equity in Schools" is currently being developed by PATTAN, Harrisburg.
6. Safe Schools Office/PDE:
a.) The PA Career Ready Skills were created to support schools with non-academic skills all students need to be successful in school, jobs and adult life. The committee working with this initiative will release a document to introduce the skills as well as a toolkit for schools.
b.) 2017-18 PDE School Climate Surveys Participation
The non-School Climate Leadership Initiative group:
Total surveys – 77
Participants - 12,194
LEAs Participating - 18
The School Climate Leadership group:
Total surveys – 273
Participants - 35,747
LEAs Participating – 59
c.) PA Bullying Prevention Consultation Line (866-716-0424): The Pennsylvania Bullying Prevention Consultation Line is a toll-free number available to school staff, students and parents across the Commonwealth. The consultation line offers discussion of effective strategies and resources available to deal with school-based bullying. Approximately 4-5 calls come into the line on a weekly basis. In addition, parents and guardians call or email the PA Department of Education directly seeking support for unresolved bullying situations. During the 2016-2017 school year, over 250 calls came into the PA BP Consultation Line.
For more information contact: Joe Loccisano, PDE Safe Schools Office: firstname.lastname@example.org