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Throughout the months of January, February, and March, the Safe and Sound team collectively traveled to 20 U.S. cities, plus a stop in Canada, reaching over 5,000 people.

Safe and Sound Schools kicked off 2019 with New Year, New Sound at Kellogg’s in New York City! With a new twist on New Year’s resolutions, Safe and Sound Schools invited teens to sound off on school safety. Teens gathered for an evening of music and fun, and shared their New Year’s school safety resolutions. Michele was joined by celebrity guest and actor Jeremy Ray Taylor. Jeremy discussed school culture, “sparking” kindness, and encouraged everyone in attendance to join the growing Safe and Sound national movement. He echoed that sentiment in a PSA for Safe and Sound Schools. Also in attendance, were members of the band Chasing DaVinici – Jeddi, Jessi, Josephine and Josiah. The band debuted an original song, “Good Days,” dedicated to Safe and Sound Schools. The evening was certainly one for the books!

With New Year, New Sound setting the tone for 2019, the Safe and Sound team hit the ground running in the months that followed. While our in-house team continued preparations and planning for the inaugural National Summit on School Safety, Safe and Sound Schools’ team of speakers traveled from coast to coast, presenting in states like Pennsylvania, Colorado, Ohio, Indiana, California, Florida, and Arizona. For a full list, scroll to the bottom of this blog.

In March, hundreds of school safety professionals convened in Houston, Texas, to attend the inaugural National Summit on School Safety, a two-day conference co-hosted by Safe and Sound Schools and Region 4 Education Service Center. The conference focused on comprehensive school safety, providing attendees with opportunities to learn about the six key areas of comprehensive school safety. With more than 30 presenters and panelists in attendance, attendees were able to listen to keynotes, attend workshops, and participate in a series of group roundtable discussions. For a full recap, click here.

Although New Year, New Sound and the National Summit on School Safety were certainly the biggest highlights of the first quarter, here other highlights that helped make our first quarter one to remember:

  • With the generous support of our partner, Door Security and Safety Foundation, Safe and Sound Schools produced a short education video about door safety.
  • Safe and Sound Schools welcomed Bark as an organization partner.
  • Azia Celestino joined Safe and Sound Schools’ media relations team. Azia was key in helping the organization plan New Year, New Sound and the National Summit on School Safety. We are fortunate to have a media savvy go-getter on our team!
  • Miss Green Wave Teen 2019, Cameron Fox, joined Charlie Hobin as a Safe and Sound Schools teen ambassador.
  • After months of preparations, the Safe and Sound Parent Council program training officially took flight!
  • Safe and Sound Schools launched new research for 2019, surveying students, educators, and public safety officials in efforts to gain new perspectives on the state of school safety in the country today. Results will be shared later this month!

Now for a full list of first quarter travels…

January

  • Jan. 4, NY – Michele Gay, with the help of Kellogg’s, hosts New Year, New Sound in New York City.
  • Jan. 7-8, PA  – Melissa Reeves holds threat assessment workshops in Lancaster.
  • Jan. 9-10, MA – Frank DeAngelis presents for Masconomet High School.
  • Jan. 13-14, CA – Frank DeAngelis attends a conference in Menlo Park.
  • Jan. 23, MN – Frank DeAngelis presents Leadership Lesson from Columbine and Beyond Minnesota Juvenile Officers Association in Duluth.
  • Jan. 29, MS – Frank DeAngelis presents for the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents in Jackson.

February

  • Feb. 15, CO – Frank DeAngelis presents for the Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab in Denver.
  • Feb. 19-20, CA – Frank DeAngelis attends the CAHF Really Ready 5 Conference in Anaheim.
  • Feb. 27, CO – Alissa presents in Denver with the support of Allegion.
  • Feb. 27, NY – Frank DeAngelis presents for the Corning-Painted Post Area School District in Painted Post.

March

  • Mar. 1, FL – Michele Gay presents School Safety: A Parent’s Perspective for the National School Systems Contractors Association in Tampa.
  • Mar. 6, OH – Scott Poland presents on youth suicide and threat assessment for South-Western City School District in Grove City.
  • Mar. 8, Canada – Frank DeAngelis presents Leadership Lesson from Columbine and Beyond for the  Saskatchewan Association of Police Affiliated Victim Services (SAPAVS) in Saskatoon.
  • Mar. 11, MA – Alissa Parker and Frank DeAngelis present for the Burlington Police Department.
  • Mar. 13, AR – Michele Gay presents School Safety: A Parent’s Perspective for the Arkansas Mental Health in Education (ARMEA) Annual Conference in Little Rock.
  • Mar. 18, KY – Michele Gay and Melissa Reeves hold workshops for Muhlenberg County Schools in Powderly.
  • Mar. 21, NY – Frank DeAngelis presents Leadership Lesson from Columbine and Beyond the University of Buffalo/Utica National Insurance Group in Buffalo.
  • Mar. 22, PA – Michele Gay presents Beyond Tragedy: Response and Recovery in a School Based Crisis for Friends of Safe Schools USA-Pennsylvania in Washington.
  • Mar. 29-30, TX – Safe and Sound and team travel to Houston to host the inaugural National Summit on School Safety.

Don’t forget to follow us on social media for day-to-day updates on all things Safe and Sound.

 

In late March, hundreds of school safety professionals convened in Houston, Texas, to attend the inaugural National Summit on School Safety, a two-day conference co-hosted by Safe and Sound Schools and Region 4 Education Service Center. The conference focused on comprehensive school safety, providing attendees with opportunities to learn about topics ranging from threat assessment and emergency planning to mental health and school safety funding. With more than 30 presenters and panelists in attendance, attendees were able to listen to keynotes, attend workshops, and participate in a series of intimate roundtable discussions.

Read on for a detailed summary of the event. As you can imagine, with two jam-packed days, there’s a lot to cover.

After introductory remarks by Dr. Pam Wells and Chief Alan Bragg, Michele Gay and Alissa Parker led the first keynote of the conference. This was the first time in five years Michele and Alissa shared the stage. They shared memories of their daughters, Joey and Emily, before walking the audience through the tragic events at Sandy Hook. Their primary message for attendees: rethink school safety – together.

The day proceeded with an agenda full of workshops focusing on the six key components of comprehensive school safety: (1) physical environment (2) operations and emergency management (3) mental and behavioral health (4) health and wellness (5) culture, climate, and community (6) school law, policy and finance. Attendees were able to participate in three workshop sessions throughout the day before ending the day with small roundtable discussion sessions. Presenters included:

  • Dr. CJ Huff – Former Superintendent of Joplin Schools and child advocate
  • Susan Payne – Founder of Safe2Tell and 28-year law enforcement veteran
  • Lisa Hamp – Survivor of the Virginia Tech shooting and school safety advocate
  • Bernie James – Professor of Law Specializing in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, and Education Law
  • John-Michael Keyes – Founder and Executive Director of The “I Love U Guys” Foundation
  • Scarlett Lewis – Founder of Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement and social emotional learning advocate
  • Paul Timm – VP of Facility Engineering Associates, Physical Security Professional, Author

For the full list of workshop presenters, click here.

Safe and Sound Schools and Region 4 welcomed another full house on day two of the conference, starting the morning with the Beyond Columbine panel, featuring:

  • Jim Accomando, President of the National Parent Teacher Association
  • Dr. Melissa Reeves, Past President of the National Association of School Psychologists
  • Dr. CJ Huff, Former Superintendent of the Joplin, Missouri Schools
  • Mo Canady, Executive Director of the National Association of School Resource Officers
  • John-Michael Keyes, Father of Emily Keyes, Executive Director of the I Love U Guys Foundation
  • Natalie Hammond, Surviving Sandy Hook Teacher
  • Patrick Ireland, Surviving Columbine Student
  • Charlie Hobin, Student Leader, Bend, Oregon

Mo Canady focused the importance of school resource officers and building relationships while Natalie Hammond and Patrick Ireland shared the importance of support systems during recovery. John-Michael Keyes and Dr. Melissa Reeves echoed Natalie and Patrick’s thoughts and discussed trauma. Dr. Melissa emphasized that trauma is a life-long journey and advocated for life-long support post-tragedy. CJ Huff shared the importance of self-care after a tragedy while Jim Accomando urged parents to have a seat at the table. Charlie Hobin concluded the panel session with a message for students: get involved and spread kindness.

“My failure as a leader during the disaster was I did not take care of myself. Now I understand the need to be a role model of SELF CARE.” – Dr. CJ Huff

After another series of roundtable discussion sessions, the day continued with a second panel focused on tools and technology, featuring:

  • Anthony LaValle, Industry Expert & Founder, ReportIt
  • Titania Jordan, Industry Expert & Chief Parent Officer, Bark Technologies
  • Bruce Canal, Industry Expert & Director Industry Associations, Axis Communications
  • Rania Mankarious, Chief Executive Officer, Crime Stoppers of Houston
  • Dr. Catherine Finger, Industry Expert & Business Development Manager, NaviGate Prepared
  • Erin Wilson, Industry Expert and Door Security & Safety Foundation Ambassador

Panelists discussed available tools and technology for safer schools with panel moderator Paul Timm encouraging people not to give up on technology as part of a comprehensive safety plan. Panelists also emphasized the need for community like-mindedness, supporting school culture, building partnerships and remembering that although helpful, technology is not your only line of defense.

“It’s not always a technological solution…there’s security management, behavioral, leaning on your relationships, your friends… it’s important that you realize you have a world of knowledge.” – Bruce Canal, Industry Expert & Director Industry Associations, Axis Communications

Former Columbine Principal Frank DeAngelis and Columbine survivor Patrick Ireland closed the summit with an inspiring, tear-jerking, and powerful keynote that brought the audience to a standing ovation. Frank DeAngelis walked the audience through the Columbine tragedy and illustrated the powerful and lasting relationships he built with his students throughout his career. As Patrick Ireland shared his experience and journey toward recovery, he left the audience with four key takeaways:

(1) People at generally good in nature. (2) With perseverance we can all achieve greatness. (3) We have a choice of being a victor or victim. (4) There is tremendous power in forgiveness.

This summit was made possible with the generous support of our partners and the collective effort between the Region 4 and Safe and Sound Schools team. Thank you to everyone that joined us in Houston!

VIEW SUMMIT PHOTOS

 

Don’t Miss the National Summit on School Safety

Safe and Sound Schools is thrilled to host our first National Summit on School Safety in partnership with the Region 4 Education Service Center, in Houston, Texas. If you haven’t already done so, save the date for March 28-30, 2019!

This event will bring together educators, administrators, safety professionals, mental and behavioral health professionals, solutions providers, and community members and leaders to learn essential tools and tactics to keep schools safe.

We will welcome national and regional experts to provide a number of resources, materials, and education to improve school safety in our communities. For a list of confirmed speakers, click here. We are working on adding more experts to our lineup and will periodically share blogs, email, and social media updates so make sure to check back in.

In the meantime we encourage you to take advantage of early bird pricing, now through December 31, 2018. Register with our partner Region 4 Education Service Center.

Sponsor the National Summit on School Safety

If you or your organization would like to join us as a sponsor of this event, sponsorship opportunities are available at a variety of levels. Check out the sponsorship opportunities here or email us at info@safeandsoundschools.org if you have questions.

We’d like to give a special shoutout to summit sponsor, Secure Schools Alliance. Thank you for supporting our mission and the inaugural National Summit on School Safety.


About Safe and Sound Schools

Safe and Sound Schools is a non-profit organization started by parents who lost their children in the tragedy at Sandy Hook. Safe and Sound Schools delivers crisis prevention, response, and recovery programs, tools, and resources, backed by national experts, to educate all members of the school community, from students and parents, to teachers and administrators, to law enforcement and local leaders.

About Regions 4 Education Service Center

Region 4 Education Service Center (Region 4) is one of 20 regional education service centers established by the Texas Legislature in 1967 to assist school districts and charter schools in improving efficiencies and student performance. Region 4 serves a seven-county area comprised of 48 public school districts and 37 open-enrollment charter schools, representing more than 1.2 million students, 97,000 educators, and 1,500 campuses.

Safe and Sound Schools, in partnership with Region 4 Education Service Center, is proud to announce the inaugural National Summit on School Safety.

Join us March 28-30, 2019, in Houston, Texas, for an intensive and interactive, two-day conference focused on comprehensive school safety. The National Summit on School Safety is ideal for educators, administrators, safety and security professionals, mental and behavioral health practitioners, solution providers, community members, and leaders.

The National Summit on School Safety is designed to provide a hands-on learning experience and will feature national and regional experts such as:

  • CJ Huff, Former Superintendent of Joplin Schools and Special Advisor for Education and Community Leadership to Safe and Sound Schools
  • John Michael Keyes, Founder and Executive Director of I Love U Guys Foundation
  • Frank DeAngelis, Former Columbine Principal and Special Advisor for Education Leadership to Safe and Sound Schools
  • Michele Gay, Co-founder and Executive Director of Safe and Sound Schools
  • Alissa Parker, Co-founder and Director of Safe and Sound Schools

With deep-dive breakout sessions, workshops, leadership round tables, inspirational keynotes, and dedicated networking, attendees will add to their school safety toolbox to better meet their community’s school safety needs. Conference sessions will cover the six key components of our Framework for Comprehensive School Safety Planning and Development:

  • Physical Environment
  • Operations and Emergency Management
  • Mental and Behavioral Health
  • Health and Wellness
  • Culture, Climate, and Community
  • School Law, Policy and Finance

Stay tuned for updates on more speakers, sponsors, and the summit agenda. To keep up with all things Safe and Sound, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. And to keep up with Region 4 Education Service Center, like them on Facebook and follow them Twitter.

Sponsorship

Sponsorship opportunities are available at a variety of levels. To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, contact Rania Mankarious at raniamankarious@me.com.

Dates

  • Thursday, March 28, 2019 – 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm: Meet & Greet
  • Friday, March 29, 2019 – 7:30 am – 4:30 pm: Keynote Speakers & Breakout Session
  • Saturday, March 30, 2019 – 7:30 am – 2:30 pm: Leadership Forum & Closing

Location

Join us at the Region 4 Education Service Center: 7145 W Tidwell Rd, Houston, TX 77092

Registration

Early bird tickets are available through December 31, 2018. Register with our partner, Region 4 Education Service Center.


See you there!