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Massachusetts Prioritizes Holistic Student Safety & Wellness

State Leaders Act to Ensure Standards & Funding for Whole-Child Safety

Over the past six months, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and that state’s legislature have made significant steps to support whole-child safety in schools. From approving an additional $40 million to invest in school safety initiatives to amending an act addressing barriers to care for mental health to ensuring that suspension and expulsion rates decrease, state leadership is making clear that the safety, wellness and success of Massachusetts students is top priority.

“Our goal over this period of time has not been to just provide more security, infrastructure and technology support, but also to assure that schools and communities have the tools and resources that are necessary to spot signs of trouble before there is trouble.”

– Governor Charlie Baker

Increased Funding Aims to Make Schools Safer & More Secure

In 2018, Baker’s administration awarded $15 million in grants statewide for security-related infrastructure and mental health support, but he cited the May 2022 tragedy in Uvalde as the catalyst to financing additional initiatives to protect Massachusetts’ students and teachers. In his speech announcing the increased funding, Baker affirmed the importance of ensuring that as the new school year begins, schools have the resources needed to take preventive measures as well as respond and recover in the event of a violent critical incident.

These funds will be used for both statewide and school-specific security enhancements including the following:

  • A “Say Something” public awareness campaign to encourage people in all parts of the community to speak up when they see signs of potential danger
  • Creation of a comprehensive school safety website
  • Funding for districts to pilot an anonymous tipline
  • Support for ongoing emergency response training for school officials
  • Grants for childcare providers to improve safety measures and planning
  • Matching grants for security and communication upgrades in K-12 schools and public higher education

These funds will assist schools in their efforts to make campuses safer, provide teachers and staff with necessary training and equip the community at large to participate in keeping one another safe.

Free Guide

What Massachusetts’ Increased Safety & Security Funding Means for Your School

Amended Student Discipline Law Aims to Re-Engage Students

As part of an act addressing barriers to care for mental health, St. 2022, c. 177, § 29, the Massachusetts legislature amended M.G.L. c. 71, §37H ¾(b) to require schools to take additional steps to re-engage students before using suspension and expulsion as disciplinary measures. These steps could include:

  • Mediation
  • Conflict resolution
  • Restorative justice
  • Collaborative problem solving

Previously, the law required that decision makers consider ways to re-engage students in the learning process after disruptive behavior, but it did not establish any standards for employing these alternative approaches. With this amendment, which went into effect November 8, educators and administrators must attempt restorative solutions before using expulsion or suspension, except in cases where a student’s presence poses a specific concern or threat of harm.

The amendment also requires districts to implement school- or districtwide re-engagement models such as positive behavioral interventions and support models or trauma-sensitive learning models.

Navigate360 Can Help You Maximize Increased Funding with Solutions that Work Better Together

As the only school safety partner focused on holistic wellbeing, we offer a robust suite of solutions to help you care for the whole child.

Safety & Security Solutions

Safety & Security Suite: Operating as a single visitor, volunteer, panic button and emergency management solution set, our Safety & Security Suite integrates Emergency Management Suite and Visitor & Volunteer Management to ensure real-time, whole-campus oversight and accountability and improve communication pathways. The suite provides a variety of features, including silent panic alarms, robust safety checks, guidance to ensure Department of Education (DOE) compliance and comprehensive site mapping.

Solutions that Work Better Together

Risk Assessment: As the only Expert Service Consultants internationally recognized by A.M. Best’s Client Recommended Expert Service Providers for Risk Assessments, Navigate360’s team of board-certified Physical Security Professionals (PSPs) are exceptionally qualified to perform your risk assessment, which can give you peace of mind to stay focused on your school’s critical safety and security missions.

ALICE Training®: The ALICE program is a proactive, options-based active shooter response training program that empowers students and staff to survive in the face of violence. This trauma-informed, age- and ability-appropriate training program provides your schools with both eLearning and in-person instruction options and teaches proven techniques for safety drills and emergency response.

Detect: Combining both web filtering and digital scanning, Detect is the most comprehensive, all-encompassing digital safety solution available. This software helps identify and address a student’s intent to harm themselves or others by scanning digital content in real time and notifying school administrators of harm language found in school-owned email and public social media. It also utilizes a web indexing database of 3 billion URLs to protect students from potentially harmful content.

P3 Anonymous Tip Reporting: P3 serves as a forum for collaboration and accountability between school administrators, peace officers and mental health professionals to ensure every student’s needs are met. Our technology also powers well-known national and state-level tip lines such as Sandy Hook Promise’s Say Something program and Safe2Tell Colorado. As the leading anonymous reporting tool, our software empowers students, teachers and individuals to proactively share information about safety, bullying, self-harm and violence.

Behavioral Threat Assessment Training: Aligned with the Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines (CSTAG) or the National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) threat assessment model, this is a two-part behavioral threat assessment training program that combines online and in-person (available live or virtual) learning to build the confidence needed to identify and properly intervene when a child is showing signs of a mental health crisis.

Behavioral Threat & Suicide Case Management: This single solution will provide your school’s mental health professionals and behavioral threat assessment team members with evidence-based case management software that allows for continuum of care documentation and analytics reporting to proactively improve outcomes for students of concern.

Suite360 Behavior Intervention Solutions

With expert-curated lessons specific to students’ infractions, Navigate360’s Behavior Intervention Program offers schools an alternative to punitive measures such as suspension by turning challenging and disruptive behaviors into learning opportunities.

  • Lessons cover topics such as absenteeism & tardiness, academic integrity, bullying & cyberbullying, fighting & anger management, and racial equality & sensitivity
  • Lessons help students understand what they did wrong and how their actions impact themselves and others
  • Lessons are assigned based on a student’s infraction and grade level
  • Lessons are based on age, cognitive level and ability, ensuring all students’ needs are met
  • Enables more meaningful conversations with students and a safe way for them to express themselves
  • Reduces recidivism
  • Keeps students in the classroom where they belong with digital intervention learning
  • Can be incorporated into a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) framework
  • Open-ended questions, pledges and reflection statements enable a more meaningful conversation
  • Detailed reports allow for monitoring
  • Provides administrators and educators with access to documentation of lesson completion and answers for future intervention needs

“For kids to truly learn from their mistakes, they need to identify exactly what behavior was problematic, why it was problematic, the alternatives to that problematic choice, and the benefits of the alternatives and then plan how to avoid this in the future. That is what our intervention program does.”

– Navigate360 Suite360 Curriculum Team

Escambia County School District Case Study

Learn more about how our Behavior Intervention program can help your school

Navigate360 Offers Holistic Solutions that Support Students, Schools & Communities

Navigate360

We know it takes more than a single solution to take care of the whole child and the schools and community that surround them, which is why we believe in solutions that work better together. From prevention all the way through response and recovery, we can provide end-to-end solutions that keep your students, teachers and staff safe.

Building a comprehensive safety plan can be a daunting task, but we are here to help. Speak with one of our safety specialists today to learn how you can maximize this additional funding to build a holistic ecosystem of whole-child safety this year.

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