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Michigan Leaders Prioritize School Safety

Michigan School Leaders Continue on the Path to Whole-Child Safety & Wellness

Michigan Task Force Recommends Prioritizing Prevention to Keep Students & Educators Safe

Michigan’s bipartisan School Safety Task Force recently released their recommendations for enhancing student safety and wellness in Michigan schools. The report emphasizes the importance of preventive measures while also including recommendations for mitigation and response. In their report, the Task Force emphasized the importance of equipping students, educators and families with the resources and training needed to both recognize concerning behaviors and take steps to connect students with help so they can stay off the pathway to violence.  

Recommendations included in the Michigan School Safety Task Force report include:

  • Integrating social-emotional learning into curriculum & student life
  • Creating behavioral threat assessment teams in every district and county
  • Utilizing Multi-Tiered Sytems of Support (MTSS) to equip teachers as they deliver academic and behavioral assistance to students
  • Funding and training school resource officers
  • Providing trauma training to school personnel
  • Enhancing training and accessibility for the anonymous tipline Okay2Say
  • Conducting site mapping and risk assessments
  • Installing silent panic alarm buttons

Connect with one of our safety experts today to learn how we can support your work to enhance schoolwide safety preparedness.

“Every child has a fundamental right to a safe and respectful learning environment.”

– School Safety Task Force report

Early Behavior Intervention Funding Now Available in Section 97j

Enacted in December 2023, Section 97j provides funding to districts and local education agencies to purchase and implement solutions that provide a common way of identifying and collecting early behaviors that could require intervention to prevent abuse, self-harm, or violence in schools. Solutions purchased with these funds must be used to guide behavioral threat assessment and threat assessment teams.

Applications for Section 97j funds are now open and will remain so until 11:59 pm on January 21, 2024.

Navigate360, A Partner Trusted by Schools Across Michigan

School districts can leverage Section 97j funds to acquire Navigate360’s Behavioral Threat Assessment Training and Case Manager, powerful tools proven to aid school threat assessment teams in effectively managing cases of concern and mitigating potential escalations.

These resources provide comprehensive training on behavioral threat assessment protocols, equipping education professionals with the skills and knowledge needed to identify and address early signs of potential harm or violence among students. Case Manager, a crucial tool for threat assessment teams, streamlines the process by offering a systematic approach to tracking and managing cases, ensuring a proactive and coordinated response.

By investing in these solutions, districts can enhance their ability to create safer school environments and prevent the escalation of concerning behaviors through informed and strategic intervention.

Safety & Well-Being Funding in Gant 31AA

Grant 31AA provides non-competitive formula-based financial support to districts for specific initiatives related to mental health and school safety. To access the funding, districts must submit an application illustrating their intended use of funds, focusing on bolstering student mental health and enhancing safety measures within schools.

This grant emphasizes investing in hiring or contracting mental health support staff such as school psychologists, counselors, and nurses, purchasing mental health screening tools, facilitating access to behavioral health clinicians, and implementing any other mental health service or product necessary to improve or maintain the
mental health of students and staff.

Funds from the grant can also be allocated towards school safety initiatives, including training for staff and students on threat assessment and response, safety infrastructure such as cameras, door blocks, and firearm detection software, as well as implementing a Student Safety Management System managed by the Department of Michigan State Police to consolidate safety-related items and resources.

The funds aim to support initiatives that directly contribute to improving and maintaining the well-being of students and staff while fortifying campus security and preparedness measures. Compliance with intended use and justification of expenditure will be key components in the allocation and monitoring of these funds.

Statewide Budget Sets School Safety as a Top Priority

Michigan’s bipartisan state budget marks a record-breaking investment in school safety funding and student mental health support. The budget sets whole-child safety as a top priority for Michigan, allocating $66 million for safety and security and $361 million for mental health support. Schools will receive grants to support a variety of efforts, including risk assessment, critical incident response training, mental health screening tools, and hiring support staff.

“Governor Whitmer’s education budget proposes major new investments in students, staff and schools. The budget will improve our children’s educational experiences across the state.”

– State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice

This budget provides $8,700 in base funding per student and sets the stage for Michigan schools to create a comprehensive safety ecosystem for all students. With its passage, schools will have the resources they need to implement enhanced safety measures and mental health resources for the 2023 school year.

In the budget, funding is provided for a variety of areas that educators and school leaders have identified as concerns. These include special education, teacher retention and increased access to preschool. Two vital areas of focus are safety and security grants and student mental health support. With this investment in both the physical and the emotional safety of students, Michigan takes an important step toward truly safe schools.

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What Michigan’s New Budget Means for Your Safety & Security Spending this School Year

How Can New Safety and Security Funds Be Utilized?

In a long-term investment in school safety and security, the budget allocates nearly $100 million for schools statewide to assess and improve their physical security measures. These funds will assist schools in their efforts to make campuses safer, equip teachers and staff with necessary training and more effectively integrate first responders in the security planning process.

Specifically, safety grants can be spent on the following:

  • Coordination with law enforcement
  • Training on threat assessment, threat response, crisis communication and responsible gun ownership
  • Safety infrastructure
  • Professional development for school resource officers
  • Any school safety service or product
Safety and Security Funds

How Can Increased Mental Health Funding Be Spent?

Mental Health Spending Options

With an understanding that student safety extends beyond physical security, the new budget includes more than $300 million for a broad range of student mental health supports. This money will allow school districts to build out the infrastructure necessary to both identify and address mental health concerns in their schools. From hiring additional staff to implementing social-emotional learning curriculum and enacting suicide prevention measures, schools will have the resources they need to care for the whole child.

District leaders can spend these mental health grants on the following:

  • Hiring support staff
  • Implementing mental health and suicide screening tools
  • Providing school personnel with consultations with behavioral health clinicians
  • Any mental health service or product

How Navigate360 Can Help You Create a Holistic Ecosystem of Safety & Security

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.

Navigate360 Help

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: Detect is the most innovative way to take a proactively get ahead of harmful student intentions. 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.

Mental Health & Awareness Solutions

Michigan Cares: Thanks to the state-funded Michigan Cares program, schools can now implement social-emotional learning (SEL) and mental health curricula designed to improve student engagement rates, mitigate learning loss and provide direct support for student mental health and wellness. We’re proud to provide the following solutions in collaboration with our partner, Michigan Virtual.

  • Suite360 for Students: Help your students reach their full potential and thrive with the most comprehensive, evidence-based social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum available. Suite360 for Students includes scaffolded lessons for grades K-12, engaging content that students understand, and diverse topics that help to produce well-rounded students.
  • Mental Health & Prevention: Navigate360 provides mental health awareness tools to address tough mental health and safety-related topics. With professionally developed resources for students, staff and families, everyone can care for their own mental health and respond appropriately when they or someone they care about is in need.

Suicide Awareness & Prevention: Aligned with the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS), Navigate360’s comprehensive suicide prevention training prepares mental health staff on how to address and help a student in crisis. Through our expert-authored curriculum, staff will also gain knowledge of strategies for reducing the stigma of suicide and improving the effectiveness of prevention programs.

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.

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 your safety grants and state funding and build a holistic ecosystem of whole-child safety this year.

Contact Navigate360

Navigate360 is Here to Help

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. Speak with one of our safety specialists today to learn more about how we can help you implement preventative solutions to keep your students & staff safe.