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Video: How Prepared Are Schools?

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2020
1 page
In this 4-minute video, Dr. Suyapa Silva, Program Director for School-Based Research at RTI International, discusses her NIJ-funded research, which examined whether federal guidelines for school emergencies have been reaching schools; the levels of emergency preparedness at the state, district, and school levels; and what can be learned from well-prepared schools.
She indicates that various methods were used in conducting her study. At the state level, a review was conducted of the state departments of education websites to determine what guidance the states were offering schools. At the district level, the study conducted a national survey of school districts. At the school level, well-prepared schools were examined to determine more about best practices and challenges. She reports that the main findings from the study were that 1) federal guidelines for school security have not reached school districts and their policies; 2) the level of emergency preparedness varied by state and each state's characteristics, with larger states with larger school districts tending to have more guidelines available for schools; and 3) at the school level, there was a tension between providing safety/security and promoting a learning environment. Generally, Dr. Silva reports there is anxiety and pressure among school administrators about providing security for their schools.

Date Published: June 1, 2020