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Anchorage School Board Acceptance of Grant Award: Bureau of Justice Assistance STOP School Violence Grant

By Dr. Kersten Johnson, Senior Director, Secondary Education, Diane Lemon, Counseling Coordinator, Secondary Education, and Laurie Evans-Dinneen, Development Officer, Grants and Development

The Anchorage School District (ASD) Secondary Education received a competitive grant from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance, STOP School Violence Threat Assessment and Technology Reporting Program. This competition supports and assists state, local, territorial, and tribal jurisdictions in improving efforts to reduce violent crime through the creation of school threat assessment teams and the use of technology for anonymously reporting suspicious activity as it relates to violence in schools. This is a three-year grant totaling $223,092.

 

Project Safety Assessment and Intervention Network (SAIN) will develop and implement a District-wide school threat assessment team strategy that will be rolled out over three years to provide school readiness for threat assessment before it happens. In a three-year rollout (Year One, eight secondary, 12 middle, and 10 alternative schools; Year Two, 60 elementary schools; Year Three, 10 charter schools), staff will establish and implement a Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) in each school. In addition to the principal for secondary schools, CITs will consist of up to six members (e.g., nurse, counselor, school psychologist, APD School Resource Officer, and teachers). In elementary and charter schools, the principal leads the team with up to five additional members (e.g., nurse, counselor, school psychologist, and 1-2 teachers).

 

For ASD, CITs work includes:

  • Forming a plan to develop and conduct individual and school threat assessments (SAIN)
  • Training SAIN crisis intervention teams in evidenced-based strategies
    • ASD’s Threat Assessment Protocol
    • Crisis Prevention Institute’s Nonviolent Crisis Intervention
    • Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR).
  • Sustaining the ongoing work using a train the trainer model
  • Establishing consistency of service across District.
  • Identifying students at risk for or in crisis
    • Develop an intervention plan
    • Assist in organizing and mobilizing resources to help the student return, as much as possible, to a pre-crisis level of functioning
    • Monitor progress through follow up with the student

 

Demonstrating the effectiveness of the SAIN in ASD schools, performance measure and BJA specific data will be collected through an external evaluator. The evaluator will track the District’s progress in meeting the project goal of reducing security risks and safety threats. A major partner is the Anchorage Police Department’s School Resource Officers Program. CITs in each ASD school will coordinate with law enforcement, school officials, and other disciplines within the District (Health Services, School Counseling and Guidance, Special Education, Special Schools, and Step-Up program, a violent offenders/aggression replacement program). Community collaborators include Office of Children’s Services, Volunteers of America (therapeutic drug and alcohol counseling), and Providence Hospital’s Discovery Heights program (acute care/suicidal).

 

The budget supports added duty teachers to attend NCI trainings and staff, as NCI trainers, to conduct NCI trainings; substitute teachers for teachers to attend TAP and NCI trainings; contractual services for external evaluator and QPR training; required project staff travel to grantee meeting; and office supplies for trainings. ASD in-kind support includes .05 FTE Project Director and .25 FTE Project Coordinator.

 

Previous information on the grant can be found here.