Institutions responsible for educating students will want to have a written policy regarding how they will provide for a safe and secure environment for their students, staff, parents, and community.  In developing this policy, the institutions will want to make sure they are in alignment with existing policy best practices; this document will provide numerous relevant references.  The policy should also align with guidance typical for the school's location; this document provides links to Federal and State-level guidance.  References are also provided for private and international school guidance.

Policies may benefit from advice provided by both professional and non-governmental organizations and legal counsel.  The listing of references and resources that follow have been collected and summarized to aid the drafting of a well-considered policy or in updating policy.  Historical reference and statistics on the topic of safety and security can be found amongst this listing.

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State Education Agency

State Education Agency:  is the state-level government organization within each US state or territory responsible for education, including providing information, resources, and technical assistance on educational matters to schools and residents.

Resource Link:

The link provides state education agencies as identified by the Council of Chief State School Officers https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_education_agency

U.S. Secret Services National Threat Assessment Center

U.S. Secret Services National Threat Assessment Center: is a section of the United States Secret Service, a federal law enforcement agency with headquarters in Washington, D.C., and more than 150 offices throughout the United States and abroad. Established in 1865 solely to suppress the counterfeiting of U.S. currency, today the Secret Service is mandated by Congress to carry out the integrated missions of protection and investigations.

On March 1, 2003, the Secret Service was transferred from the Department of the Treasury to the Department of Homeland Security.  Recognized for its central role in the protection of the nation’s leaders and the financial and critical infrastructure of the United States, the Secret Service contributes to the Department of Homeland Security’s common mission of protecting the American people from harm.

Resource Links:

This center also published in February 2018, a Making School Safer quick reference guide that can be found at:

Transportation Security Administration

Transportation Security Administration: within the surface transportation systems, TSA’s primary security focus is in oversight, cooperation, and regulation. TSA works collaboratively with surface transportation operators, local, state and federal security partners to ensure appropriate security postures are employed. Along with industry partners, TSA safeguards all four general modes of land-based transportation: mass transit, freight rail, highway motor carrier and pipeline; and supports in maritime security efforts.

Resource Link:

Highway and Motor Coach Security training courses and material include a focus on school buses. The link can be found here: https://www.tsa.gov/for-industry/surface-transportation#quickset-surface_transportation__1

School Safety Info.Org

School Safety Info.Org: is dedicated to school safety news, information and technology, and related print and electronic publications on school safety. This website is provided by the Justice Technology Information Center (JTIC), a program of the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, and U.S. Department of Justice.

Resource Link:

Find resources from organizations and nonprofits that offer school safety services arranged in key areas: Prepare, Respond and Recover here: https://www.schoolsafetyinfo.org/resources/resources-index.html

Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center

Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center: was established in October 2004 and administered by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students, the REMS TA Center provides a hub of information, resources, training, and services in the field of school. The REMS TA Center does not endorse products, services, or service providers.

Resource Links:

This center provides a Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans: At a Glance. The content of the guide is organized into five main sections, broken out into easy-to-read parts.

  • The principles of school emergency management planning.
  • A process for developing, implementing, and continually refining a school EOP with community partners (e.g., first responders and emergency management personnel) at the school building level.
  • A discussion of the form, function, and content of school EOPs.
  • Additional information on the critical operational functions and courses of action developed to carry them out that schools should address in developing a comprehensive, high-quality school EOP.
  • Additional information on the courses of action unique to particular threats and hazards.

The link is here: https://rems.ed.gov/K12GuideForDevelHQSchool.aspx


This center also sponsors a Community of Practice. A virtual space for schools, school districts, institutions of higher education, and their community partners to collaborate, share, and learn from the experiences of others in the field.

The link is here: https://rems.ed.gov/COP/Default.aspx



This center offers The Tool Box a virtual library of tools developed by school emergency managers containing resources pertinent to the needs of schools, school districts, state education agencies, and institutions of higher education and their community partners, as they engage in the process of school and higher ed emergency management planning. These resources include sample drills, tabletops or other exercises; job descriptions; memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with community partners; organizational charts; planning guidelines or sample policies; and components of school or emergency operations plans, tools, and templates.

The link is here: https://rems.ed.gov/ToolBox.aspx


Other resources are also available.

Their home page is at: https://rems.ed.gov/default.aspx

The Office of Justice Programs

The Office of Justice Programs: provides innovative leadership to federal, state, local, and tribal justice systems, by disseminating state-of-the art knowledge and practices across America, and providing grants for the implementation of crime fighting strategies. 

Resource Links:

Produced a document received February 2018 titled: School Safety Policies and Programs Administered by the U.S. Federal Government: 1990–2016 that can be found here: https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/251517.pdf


More about OJP can be found at: https://ojp.gov/about/about.htm

National School Board Association

National School Board Association: advocates for equity and excellence in public education through school board leadership. They believe education is a civil right necessary to the dignity and freedom of the American people, and all children should have equal access to an education that maximizes his or her individual potential.

Resource Links:

This association provides resources to its members. Their Services tab, School Board Leadership Services sub-tab, has a School Safety and Security link: https://www.nsba.org/services/school-board-leadership-services/school-safety-and-security


NSBA – also provides resources for School Attorneys regarding school safety and security: https://www.nsba.org/services/school-board-leadership-services/school-safety-and-security

National Conference of State Legislatures

National Conference of State Legislatures: This is bipartisan group in existence since 1974. NCSLs goals are to aid state legislatures in improving quality and effectiveness, promoting policy innovation and communication, and maintaining strong, cohesive voices within the federal system.

Resource Link:

NCSL has a weekly updated resource page that tracks school safety legislature as it’s being enacted at a state level: http://www.ncsl.org/research/education/school-safety.aspx