Skip to main content

Submit a Resource:

School Safety

Call for Action to Prevent Gun Violence in the United States of America

Interdisciplinary Group on Preventing School and Community Violence – February 28, 2018

In the News

7 ways to help prevent school shootings | CNN

Op-Ed by Ron Avi Astor

Some argue for stricter gun control policies, others call for more social and emotional learning, but it’s important not to let the debate get in the way of action. Here are seven interrelated ideas that can move our country forward toward actual solutions that reduce school shootings.

Here’s how to prevent the next school shooting, experts say | NPR

After Parkland, there have been many calls to make schools a “harder target” — for example, by arming teachers. But there’s a decent amount of research out there on what actually makes schools safer, and most of it doesn’t point to more guns.

How Our Nation’s Schools Could Help Students in an Era of Political Incivility and Bullying | Huffington Post

By Ron Avi Astor

Schools are teaching research supported bullying prevention strategies and using positive behavioral approaches to deal with bullying behaviors. And for good reason-research and common-sense show that everyone loses in a retribution mindset. To paraphrase M.K. Ghandi, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth leaves the whole world blind and toothless.

Reducing the threat of gun violence and promoting school safety through connectedness, community, and support | UCLA Center X

By Ron Avi Astor

Great teachers and principals make kids feel welcomed. And they do this at the right times. Transitions are really central–when children first come to school, or when they switch a school, or go from grade to grade. The schools that do this the best don’t actually have any programs, and they’re not even using any evidence, but they’ve created a civic sense of opportunity and duty. And that filters down to the kids.


Prevention of Bullying in Schools, Colleges, and Universities: Research Report and Recommendations | AERA

The report results from the work of a blue-ribbon AERA task force mandated to prepare and present practical short-term and long-term recommendations to address bullying of children and youth.

Monitoring and Mapping Student Victimization in Schools

By Ron Avi Astor, Rami Benbenishty and Heather Ann Meyer

International data suggests that the most successful violence prevention programs are adapted to fit a specific school site and involve all of the constituents in a school setting. In contrast to many of the popular skills-based programs that are commonly implemented in schools across the United States, the authors explore the utility of combining monitoring and mapping techniques to prevent specific forms of school violence and aggression in specific spaces and times in school. Examples of the successful implementation of monitoring and mapping techniques in schools are provided.

Mapping and Monitoring Bullying and Violence

By Ron Astor and Rami Benbenishty

Purchase using discount code: ASFLYQ6

Mapping and Monitoring Bullying and Violence is a guidebook for district and school education leaders and professionals to reduce incidents of violence and bullying and enhance students’ well-being. Written in a step-by-step format, the text is designed to assist in collecting and making better use of data on non-academic issues in schools, such as reports of victimization, weapon and drug possession, theft of personal property, suicide ideation, and other areas. The authors advocate an ongoing monitoring approach that involves collecting information from multiple audiences about what is taking place in and around schools. One part of this process is mapping, which gives school leaders, students, and staff members a visual record of areas of the campus considered safe, alongside those that students view to be places where they might encounter bullying, harm, or trouble. Other common parts of such systems are surveys among students, educators, and parents. The authors include practical examples of how to design such a system, gather current information, analyze and display the data, share it with different audiences, and use it to find solutions. Ultimately, this timely guidebook is a must-have for social workers, psychologists, counselors, nurses, and others working to improve safety in schools.

Welcoming Practices
Creating Schools that Support Students and Families in Transition

By Ron Avi Astor, Linda Jacobson, Stephanie L. Wrabel, Rami Benbenishty, and Diana Pineda

Purchase using discount code: ASFLYQ6

Students change schools for a variety of reasons, and some students change more often than others — a reality that can leave them feeling emotionally disconnected and often academically at risk. Welcoming Practices summarizes the research on school transition and makes a case for why schools need to do a better job of welcoming new children and families and following up with them over time.

Arriving at a moment in history in which schools are increasing attention on students’ social and emotional development, this book captures the innovative practices that some institutions are using to connect with new students and provides practical strategies that all schools can use to make both students and parents feel a part of the school and community. The book discusses how to use technology to improve families’ experiences in their new schools, provides strategies appropriate at the school and district levels, and gives schools suggestions for practices that are best suited for younger students as well as for those at middle and high school levels.


Measuring Bullying and Victimization | Illinois Bully Scale

The Illinois Bully Scale is a research-validated tool that can be used to measure bullying and victimization through directly surveying students. The survey is appropriate for students beginning in third grade.

Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers | NASP

High profile acts of violence, particularly in schools, can confuse and frighten children who may feel in danger or worry that their friends or loved-ones are at risk. They will look to adults for information and guidance on how to react. Parents and school personnel can help children feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security and talking with them about their fears.

School Operations Center for Safer Schools | NC DPI Presentation


Specialized Instructional Support Services | NC Public Schools

Specialized Instructional Support Personnel (SISP), also known as student support services, or pupil services, include prevention, intervention, transition and follow-up services for students and families. SISP provide direct services for all children and youth, especially those who are experiencing problems that create barriers to learning.

Projects and Organizations


Child Health & Wellbeing


NC Healthful Living Essential Standards


The Teacher’s Guide for Supporting Students from Military Families

By Ron Avi Astor

While it is true that children from military families live unique and interesting lives, it is also true that they face many challenges and special circumstances that civilian children and families don’t experience. These can include gaps in school attendance and learning due to frequent moves, being separated from a parent who has been deployed, and a sense of isolation in the midst of a civilian community. This comprehensive and evidence-informed guide introduces pre- and inservice teachers to this population and provides essential tools to help minimize the impact of military life on student learning.

Child & Family Blog

The latest research on child development, early childhood development and social emotional learning by the top researchers from universities around the world.

Projects & Organizations

Search Institute

The Search Institute bridges research and practice to help young people be and become their best selves.

Child Trends

Child Trends is the nation’s leading nonprofit research organization focused exclusively on improving the lives and prospects of children, youth, and their families. For 39 years, decision makers have relied on our rigorous research, unbiased analyses, and clear communications to improve public policies and interventions that serve children and families.

Healthy Lifestyles

Healthy Girls Save the World

The mission of Healthy Girls Save The World is to provide transformational experiences and education on proper nutrition, the benefits of physical activity, and overall healthy lifestyles so that girls will be knowledgeable and enabled to make healthy choices in their lives.


For over a decade, the Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care, or NAP SACC program, has worked with early care and education programs to set preschool children on a lifelong path to healthy eating and activity.

Nutrition and Child Hunger

Carolina Campus Community Garden

The Carolina Campus Community Garden (CCCG) is a program of the North Carolina Botanical Garden and aims to grow vegetables and fruit so that all UNC employees have access to fresh, sustainably grown produce through the shared efforts of staff, students, faculty, and local residents and to serve as a learning community for developing gardening skills, healthy living, social responsibility, and interdisciplinary academic pursuits.

Friendship Gardens

Friendship Gardens is growing communities where everyone can be healthier in mind and body. Through urban farms, gardens, and markets, we help those in need access daily nutritious meals, connect to the natural world, and learn to grow their own food.

Backpack Program | Feeding America

For more than 15 years, the Feeding America BackPack Program has been helping children get the nutritious and easy-to-prepare food they need to get enough to eat on the weekends. Today, bags of food are assembled at more than 160 local food banks and then distributed to more than 450,000 children at the end of the week. With your help, we can provide more food to more children in need.

No Kid Hungry NC

No Kid Hungry North Carolina was formed in 2011 in partnership with state leaders and the national No Kid Hungry campaign, which is a program of the nonprofit organization Share Our Strength. We collectively connect kids in need with nutritious food and teach their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals. The campaign also engages the public to make ending child hunger a national priority.

Volunteer for Cooking Matters for Kids | No Kid Hungry NC

The No Kid Hungry NC/UNC SNAP-Ed Child Nutrition Project is looking for volunteers to assist with providing Cooking Matters for Kids classes in Orange County, NC. Cooking Matters for Kids is a cooking based nutrition education program that empowers kids in 3rd-5th grade to make healthy choices and prepare simple, low-cost meals and snacks. Click here for more information about the program.

The Exchange | AAFES

The Exchange provides school lunch to K-12 students on Army and Air Force Installations in 9 countries overseas. We follow the same USDA guidelines as schools throughout the United States. Check out the Nutrition page for an explanation of the new USDA guidelines. We provide Free and Reduced-Price meals for students who qualify under Federal Guidelines.

Homework Diners | United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County

Homework Diners are a dynamic, comprehensive strategy that surround students and their families with a continuum of coordinated supports including: tutoring, opportunities to build parent-teacher relationships, a free and nutritious meal, connections to community resources and workforce readiness.

School Climate


Quick Guide on Making School Climate Improvements | American Institutes for Research & the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments (NCSSLE)

This Quick Guide provides district and school leaders, teachers, school staff, and other members of the school community with information about how to initiate, implement, and sustain school climate improvements. You can use the Quick Guide in combination with the other tools and resources available within the School Climate Improvement Resource Package (Resource Package), including self-assessments to identify which resources would be most helpful to you as well as pointers on how to approach school climate improvements.

Projects and Organizations

National School Climate Center

The National School Climate Center promotes safe, supportive learning environments that nurture social and emotional, civic, and academic growth for all students.

Social and Emotional Learning

Casel – the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning

Our mission is to help make evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) an integral part of education from preschool through high school. CASEL and our broad network of collaborators are working together to turn momentum for SEL into a national movement.

National Commission on Social, Emotional and Academic Development | The Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development is uniting leaders to re-envision what constitutes success in our schools. With the help of teachers, parents, and students in communities across the country, the Commission will explore how schools can fully integrate social, emotional, and academic development to support the whole student.

Child & Family Blog

The latest research on child development, early childhood development and social emotional learning by the top researchers from universities around the world.


WikiSpace for School Counseling | NC DPI

On this Wikispace, you will find  professional development information, materials and collaborative resources to help implement a data-driven comprehensive school counseling program.


Informational Resources

Public School Forum

North Carolina Resilience and Learning Project

The NC Resilience and Learning Project works with high poverty schools across the state where trauma is prevalent in their student population. Our model is a whole school, whole child framework to create trauma-sensitive schools that will improve academic, behavioral, and social-emotional outcomes for students.

Committee on Trauma & Learning

Study Group XVI’s Committee on Trauma & Learning examined the incidence of traumatic childhood experiences, learned about the potential effects of those experiences on developing children’s brains, reviewed research connecting the dots between neuroscience and student learning and behavior, and considered what the links between traumatic events, brain responses, and the resulting effects on students mean for schools.4 Our recommendations draw on the available research to develop strategies to help educators engage more productively with traumatized students.

In the News

School staff should be trained in trauma | Charlotte Observer

The Centers for Disease Control began a study in the mid-’90s which continues to this day called the Adverse Childhood Experiences study. The study’s lead investigator concluded that childhood trauma, stemming from experiences such as abuse, neglect, loss of a loved one and food insecurity, represents the nation’s #1 public health problem. Trauma victims who do not cope with their experiences in healthy ways increase their risk of depression, drug and alcohol addiction, domestic violence, chronic disease, mental illness and suicide.

Projects and Organizations


ACEs Connection is a social network that supports communities to accelerate the global ACEs science movement, recognizes the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) in shaping adult behavior and health, and promotes trauma-informed and resilience-building practices and policies in all communities and institutions — from schools to prisons to hospitals and churches — to help heal and develop resilience instead of traumatizing already traumatized people.

UNC Hospital’s Beacon Program – Trauma Informed Care

When screening for abuse, it is important to remember that regardless of the patient’s presentation or other factors that may be at play, the person in front of you may have a long history of trauma or could be experiencing their first traumatic event. How we respond and react to a patient can make all the difference and set them on a path of empowerment or a path of silence. How the patient believes you perceive them can ultimately effect their adherence to medical treatment and could have the potential to help or harm them.

Mobilizing for Action

Building Buy-in

The National Implementation Research Network

The mission of the National Implementation Research Network (NIRN) is to contribute to the best practices and science of implementation, organization change, and system reinvention to improve outcomes across the spectrum of human services. The link above includes online modules, lesson plans, and short courses designed to help individuals and teams focus on and develop specific implementation tools and practices.



UNICEF has an exceptional history of advocating to protect and promote children’s and women’s rights. The Advocacy Toolkit stems from this, systematizing and coordinating both internal and external advocacy expertise, as well developing a few innovative approaches. The Advocacy Toolkit is applicable for all levels of the organization as a resource for building a structured approach for sustained advocacy. The tools are particularly relevant for UNICEF country offices and national committees, but its content will also be valuable to anyone who wants to expand their understanding of the human rights-based approach to advocacy and how this approach is applied.

Collective Impact

The Collective Impact Forum

The Collective Impact Forum exists to support the efforts of those who are practicing collective impact in the field. While the rewards of collective impact can be great, the work is often demanding. Those who practice it must keep themselves and their teams motivated and moving forward. This toolkit includes a number of tools for establishing the infrastructure of a Collective Impact Backbone. This toolkit includes a list of sample backbone activities, a working group meeting planning and execution checklist, a sample request for proposals for a backbone organizations, and sample backbone position descriptions. The tools have been generalized to be applicable across contexts; however, because no two collective impact efforts are the same, these resources should be considered a starting place to be tailored to the unique circumstances of each initiative.

Building Partnerships

Building Partnerships in Support of Where, When, & How Learning Happens | The Aspen Institute

Created by the National Commission’s Youth Development Work Group, the brief provides a framework for broadening our understanding of where, when, and how students learn, both in and out of school and during the summer. It highlights examples from across the country of local partnerships that support youth. Building Partnerships also recommends ways for educators, policymakers, and funders to partner with youth development organizations, capitalizing on formal and informal learning settings that support young people’s success.

Event Photos

Click here to access a slideshow of images from the event.
Click above to access a slideshow of images from the event.


Event Videos