State law requires districts to establish school-based or school-linked mental health promotion and intervention programs.
Pennsylvania Unconsolidated Statutes 1949 Act 13. Section 1302-E. Threat assessment teams
(b) Team requirements.— The following shall apply to teams established under subsection (a):
- (1) Each team shall:
- (i) Include individuals with expertise in:
- (A) School health.
- (B) Counseling, school psychology, or social work.
- (C) Special education.
- (D) School administration.
- (ii) Include:
- (A) The school safety and security coordinator appointed under section 1309-B or a designee.
- (B) Other school staff or community resources who may serve as regular team members or be consulted during the threat assessment process, as appropriate, and as determined necessary by the team, including:
- (I) School security personnel.
- (II) Law enforcement agency representation.
- (III) Behavioral health professionals.
- (IV) The individual identified by the school entity to receive reports from the Safe2Say Program.
- (V) An individual who serves on the student assistance program.
- (VI) Juvenile probation professionals.
- (iii) Have a designated leader.
- (iv) Be responsible, at a minimum, for the following:
- (A) Making age-appropriate informational materials available to students regarding recognition of threatening or at-risk behavior that may present a threat to the student, other students, school employees, school facilities, the community or others and how to report their concerns, including through the Safe2Say Program.
- (B) Making informational materials available to school employees regarding recognition of threatening or at-risk behavior that may present a threat to the student, other students, school employees, school facilities, the community or others and how to report their concerns, including through the Safe2Say Program.
- (C) Ensuring that school employees are aware of the staff members who are appointed to the team and how to report threatening or at-risk behavior, including through the Safe2Say program.
- (D) Assisting in assessing and responding to reports received through the Safe2Say Program. Where a school entity has only one team, that team may also serve as the school entity’s team for assessing and responding to reports received through the Safe2Say Program.
- (E) Assessing and responding to reports of students exhibiting self-harm or suicide risk factors or warning signs as provided for under section 1526.
- (F) Assessing, responding and making appropriate determinations and referrals under subsection (c) based on the information available to the team. The team, when appropriate, may coordinate with the student assistance program.
- (G) Providing required information to the chief school administrator or designee to make the report provided for under subsection (a)(2)(v).
Pennsylvania Unconsolidated Statutes 1949 Act 13. Section 1303-B. School safety and security assessment criteria
(a) Duty to establish. — No later than September 30, 2018, the committee shall establish criteria to be used when conducting school safety and security assessments that include the following: (3) A student assistance and behavioral health support assessment. The student assistance and behavioral health support assessment shall consist of an analysis of the school entity’s climate, including:
- (i) The availability of student assistance programs and behavioral health professionals to provide assistance to the school entity.
- (ii) A review of recommendations by behavioral and physical health professionals and consideration of their recommendations.
Pennsylvania Unconsolidated Statutes 1949 Act 13. Section 1306-B. School safety and security grant program
(a) Establishment. — The School Safety and Security Grant Program is established to make school entities within this Commonwealth safer places. (b) Functions generally. — The committee shall perform all functions related to the direct approval, disbursement and administration of grants under the program. (c) Diversity.— The committee shall ensure that grant funding under the program is geographically dispersed throughout this Commonwealth. (d) Supplement and not supplant. — Grant money allocated through the program shall be used to supplement and not supplant existing school entity spending on school safety and security. Nothing shall preclude a school entity from making an application in a subsequent year for the same purpose and amount awarded in a prior year. (e) Effect of revenue received. — Grant money received by a school entity under this section may not be included when calculating the amount to be paid to a charter school under section 1725-A. (f) Minimum allocation. — Each school district that makes a meritorious application as prescribed by the committee under subsection (j) shall receive a minimum grant allocation as follows:
- (1) A school district with an average daily membership greater than 3,900 shall receive a minimum grant allocation of $45,000.
- (2) A school district with an average daily membership greater than 2,100 but less than or equal to 3,900 shall receive a minimum grant allocation of $40,000.
- (3) A school district with an average daily membership greater than 1,200 but less than or equal to 2,100 shall receive a minimum grant allocation of $35,000.
- (4) A school district with an average daily membership of less than or equal to 1,200 shall receive a minimum grant allocation of $30,000. (g) Limitations.
- (1) Each school entity may make application annually and no school entity may receive an annual grant allocation that exceeds the minimum allocation in subsection (f) plus $450,000, except a school district of the first class, which may not receive an annual grant allocation that exceeds 7% of the funds available under the grant program, and a school district of the first class A, which may not receive a grant allocation that exceeds 3% of the funds available under the grant program.
- (2) Grant allocations awarded to a cyber charter school shall be limited to the safety and security needs of students at facilities where tutoring, testing, supplemental programs and services or instruction for students with disabilities occur. (g.1) Whole or partial awards. — The committee, in its discretion, may award in whole or in part a request made by a school entity in its grant application based upon the merit of a specific item requested. (g.2) Sustainability planning. — Sustainability planning is not a necessary component of an application under this section. (g.3) Confidentiality. — Information submitted by school entities as part of the grant application, the disclosure of which would be reasonably likely to result in a substantial and demonstrable risk of physical harm or the personal security of students or staff shall remain confidential and shall not be subject to the act of February 14, 2008 (P.L.6, No.3), known as the Right-to-Know Law. The committee may release aggregate data at its discretion. (h) School Safety and Security Fund.
- (1) The School Safety and Security Fund is established as a special nonlapsing fund in the State Treasury.
- (2) All money deposited in the fund and the interest it accrues are appropriated to the commission on a continuing basis to award grants under this article.
- (3) No administrative action shall prevent the deposit of money into the fund in the fiscal year in which the money is received.
- (4) The fund may only be used for the grant program authorized under this article and no money in the fund may be transferred or diverted to any other purpose by administrative action.
- (5) Money available to the fund shall include appropriations and transfers from the General Fund, special funds, Federal funds and other sources of revenue made available to it.
- (6) Grants under this section shall be awarded no later than March 1, 2020, and each March 1 thereafter.
- (7) Not more than 12.5% of the fund may be allocated annually for grants under subsection (j)(22). (i) Community violence prevention programs.
- (1) Municipalities, institutions of higher education, community-based organizations and other entities approved by the committee are the only eligible applicants under subsection (j)(22).
- (2) (Reserved). (j) Specific purposes. — The committee shall provide grants to school entities for programs that address safety and security, including:
- (1) Safety and security assessments that meet the committee’s criteria.
- (2) Conflict resolution or dispute management, including restorative justice strategies.
- (3) School-wide positive behavior support that includes primary or universal, secondary and tertiary supports and interventions in school entities.
- (4) School-based diversion programs.
- (5) Peer helper programs.
- (6) Risk assessment, safety-related, violence prevention curricula, including dating violence curricula and restorative justice strategies.
- (7) Classroom management.
- (8) Student codes of conduct.
- (9) Training to undertake a districtwide assessment of risk factors that increase the likelihood of problem behaviors among students.
- (10) Development and implementation of research-based violence prevention programs that address risk factors to reduce incidents of problem behaviors among students, including, but not limited to, bullying.
- (11) Thorough, districtwide school safety, violence prevention, emergency preparedness and all-hazards plans, including revisions or updates to such plans and conducting emergency preparedness drills and related activities with local emergency responders.
- (12) Security planning and purchase of security-related technology, which may include metal detectors, protective lighting, specialty trained canines, surveillance equipment, special emergency communications equipment, automated external defibrillators, electronic locksets, deadbolts, trauma kits and theft control devices and training in the use of security-related technology. Security planning and purchase of security-related technology shall be based on safety needs identified by the school entity’s board of school directors.
- (13) Institution of student, staff and visitor identification systems, including criminal background check software.
- (14) Provision of specialized staff and student training programs, including training for Student Assistance Program team members in the referral of students at risk of violent behavior to appropriate community-based services and behavioral health services and training related to prevention and early intervention.
- (15) Counseling services for students.
- (16) A system for the management of student discipline, including misconduct and criminal offenses.
- (17) Staff training programs in the use of positive behavior supports, de-escalation techniques and appropriate responses to student behavior that may require immediate intervention.
- (18) Costs associated with the training and compensation of school resource officers and school police officers.
- (19) Costs associated with the training and compensation of certified guidance counselors, licensed professional counselors, licensed social workers, licensed clinical social workers and school psychologists.
- (20) Administration of evidence-based screenings for adverse childhood experiences that are proven to be determinants of physical, social and behavioral health and provide trauma-informed counseling services as necessary to students based upon the screening results.
- (21) Trauma-informed approaches to education, including:
- (i) Increasing student and school employee access to quality trauma support services and behavioral health care, including the following:
- (A) Hiring or contracting with certified guidance counselors, licensed professional counselors, licensed social workers, licensed clinical social workers, school psychologists and other professional health personnel to provide services to students and school employees.
- (B) Developing collaborative efforts between the school entity and behavioral health professionals to identify students in need of trauma support and to provide prevention, screening, referral and treatment services to students potentially in need of services.
- (ii) Programs providing:
- (A) Trauma-informed approaches to education in the curriculum, including training of school employees, school directors and behavioral health professionals to develop safe, stable and nurturing learning environments that prevent and mitigate the effects of trauma.
- (B) Services for children and their families, as appropriate, who have experienced or are at risk of experiencing trauma, including those who are low-income, homeless, involved in the child welfare system or involved in the juvenile justice system.
- (22) Programs designed to reduce community violence, including:
- (i) Increase access to quality trauma-informed support services and behavioral health care by linking the community with local trauma support and behavioral health systems.
- (ii) Provide health services and intervention strategies by coordinating the services provided by eligible applicants and coordinated care organizations, public health entities, nonprofit youth service providers and community-based organizations.
- (iii) Provide mentoring and other intervention models to children and their families who have experienced trauma or are at risk of experiencing trauma, including those who are low-income, homeless, in foster care, involved in the criminal justice system, unemployed, experiencing a mental illness or substance abuse disorder or not enrolled in or at risk of dropping out of an educational institution.
- (iv) Foster and promote communication between the school entity, community and law enforcement.
- (v) Any other program or model designed to reduce community violence and approved by the committee.
- (23) The implementation of Article XIII-E. (j.1) Prioritization of grants.
- (1) The committee may in its discretion utilize the information obtained from the most recent survey instrument completed by a school entity under section 1305-B and trends in applications from the prior year to prioritize the allocation of grants from among the specific purposes enumerated in subsection (j).
- (2) If the commission chooses to prioritize the allocation of grants, it shall provide guidance in the funding announcement detailing the specific purposes enumerated under subsection (j) which it intends to prioritize when making grant awards. (j.2) Training. — The committee shall conduct informational training for applicants outlining the grant priorities and completion of applications. (k) Coordination of grant distribution. — The department shall coordinate the distribution of grants under Article XIII-A with the committee to ensure the most effective use of resources. (l) Audits.
- (1) The commission may randomly audit and monitor grant recipients to ensure the appropriate use of grant funds and compliance with the provisions of subsection (d).
- (2) The Auditor General shall not perform audits related to school safety and security assessments, survey instruments and grant applications.
Pennsylvania Unconsolidated Statutes 1949 Act 14. Article XIII-A. Safe Schools. Section 1302-A. Office for Safe Schools.
(c) In addition to the powers and duties set forth under subsection (b), the office is authorized to make targeted grants to school entities, and to intermediate units on behalf of nonpublic schools, to fund programs which address school violence, including:
- (12) Provision of specialized staff and student training programs, including training for Student Assistance Program team members in elementary, middle and high schools in the referral of students at risk of violent behavior to appropriate community-based services, including mental health services.
Staff and Student Wellness Guide: Creating Equitable School Systems: A Roadmap for Education Leaders — 2020-2021
This roadmap helps outline possibilities schools could use to build better mental health supports for both students and staff
The Pennsylvania Code § 12.16. Definitions.
Student services -- Services designed by a school entity to support the instructional program and to help students attain their educational and career goals. (i) Services may include school guidance counseling, health services (under Article XIV of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P. S. §§ 14-1401. -- 14-1423) and 28 Pa. Code Chapter 23 (relating to school health)), psychological services, social work and home and school visitor services. (ii) School entities may supplement, but may not supplant, these services through school-based, school-linked, or coordinated services provided by locally available social and human services agencies.
The Pennsylvania Code § 12.41. Student services.
(a) Each school entity shall prepare a written plan for the implementation of a comprehensive and integrated K-12 program of the student services based on the needs of its students. The plan shall be prepared and revised in accordance with the time frames and procedures described in § 4.13(c) (relating to strategic plans). Services offered by community agencies in public schools shall be coordinated by and under the general direction of the school entity. The plan must include policies and procedures for emergency care and administration of medication and treatment under The Controlled Substance, Drug, Device and Cosmetic Act (35 P.S. §§ 780-101 -- 780-144) and guidelines issued by the Department of Health. The Department of Health guidelines are available from the Division of School Health, Department of Health, P.O. Box 90, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17108. A school district that operates a prekindergarten program shall address its prekindergarten program in the plan developed under § 4.13(c). A school entity shall make its student services plan available for public inspection and comment for a minimum of 28 days prior to approval of the plan by the school entity's governing board. (b) Though the variety of student services offered will differ from school to school depending upon its size and the needs of its students, the following categories of services shall be provided by each school entity in planning its student services:
- (1) Developmental services for students that address their developmental needs throughout their enrollment in school. Developmental services include guidance counseling, psychological services, health services, home and school visitor services and social work services that support students in addressing their academic, behavioral, health, personal and social development issues. ... (b) Though the variety of student services offered will differ from school to school depending upon its size and the needs of its students, the following categories of services shall be provided by each school entity in planning its student services:
- (2) Diagnostic, intervention and referral services for students who are experiencing problems attaining educational achievement appropriate to their learning potential.
- (i) Student services staff use diagnostic services to identify barriers that limit a student's success in school. Intervention services actively engage student services staff in activities planned to reduce or eliminate specific barriers to student success.
- (ii) Student services staff may arrange for referrals to other school-based or school-linked professionals or may refer parents and guardians to appropriate community-based services for assistance.
- (3) Consultation and coordination services for students who are experiencing chronic problems that require multiple services by teams or specialists.
- (i) Consultation services are used by student services staff, in partnership with parents or guardians, to obtain assistance to address barriers and issues that are outside the scope of the student services professional.
- (ii) Consultation and coordination services may be used to assist in the diagnosis, intervention or referral of students who face barriers to success.
- (iii) Coordination services connect school resources with other available resources to assist students in meeting their educational objectives. (c) Student services must:
- (1) Be an integral part of the instructional program at all levels of the school system.
- (2) Provide information to students and parents or guardians about educational opportunities of the school's instructional program and how to access these opportunities.
- (3) Provide career information and assessments so that students and parents or guardians might become aware of the world of work and of a variety of career options available to individual students.
- (4) Provide basic health services outlined in Article XIV of the Public School Code of 1949 (24 P.S. §§ 14-1401 -- 14-1423) for students and information to parents or guardians about the health needs of their children. (d) When student assessments using individual surveys are administered, parents or guardians shall be informed of the nature and scope of the surveys and of their relationship to the educational program of their child, consistent with section 445 of the General Education Provisions Act (20 U.S.C.A. § 1232h) regarding protection of pupil rights. Parents or guardians, or the student if the student is 18 years of age or older, shall have the right to refuse to participate in the survey by means of procedures established by the school entity. (e) Persons delivering student services shall be specifically licensed or certified as required by Statuteor regulation. (f) The Department will provide guidelines and technical assistance to local education agencies in planning student services.