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Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS)

Children need – and deserve – a safe and healthy school environment in which to learn and develop.

The Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS) initiative is a grant program that helps school districts develop comprehensive plans to strengthen healthy child development and reduce violent behavior and substance abuse. The backbone of the program is its emphasis on partnerships with mental health providers, law enforcement officials, and juvenile justice agencies.

The grants are funded by the U.S. Departments of Education, Justice, and Health and Human Services as a response to the tragic school shootings in the late 1990s.

Upon receiving the grant, school districts implement projects that address five elements:

  • Safe school environments and violence prevention activities;
  • Alcohol, tobacco, and other drug prevention activities;
  • Student behavioral, social, and emotional supports;
  • Mental health services; and
  • Early childhood social and emotional learning programs.

The Recovery School District in New Orleans has received a Safe Schools/Healthy Students grant and has partnered with the Picard Center to evaluate its overall SS/HS program.

The school district identified three elementary schools and three high schools for intervention. Some of the preventions and interventions currently being implemented include: Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, Too Good for Drugs Curriculum, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), and a Nurse-Family Partnership model for pregnant teens. The Picard Center is providing implementation and outcome evaluation on this grant.

View the “Show Me How” video, which depicts the challenges youth face in communities and the solutions provided by Safe Schools/Healthy Students.