Safe & Supportive Schools

Office of Safe and Supportive Schools (OSSS) addresses;

  • the health and well-being of students
  • school safety, security, and emergency management and preparedness.

OSSS administers, coordinates, and recommends policy as well as administers grant programs and technical assistance centers addressing the overall safe and health school community.

Safe and supportive schools are critical to the well-being of the whole school community as well as the academic success of students. The Department of Education provides schools, school districts, and state education agencies with resources aimed at creating and nurturing positive school climates; preventing school violence; and protecting the whole school community through school safety, security, and emergency management and preparedness planning. The program offices, grant programs, and technical assistance centers all respond to the recommendations put forth by the Federal Commission on School Safety and serve practitioners as they work to continually protect their school community students, staff, and families.

  • Secretary’s School Safety Grants Announcement Currently, the Department is competing grant programs addressing violence prevention, school climate and mental health services.
  • OSSS Programs (OSSS) is organized into two (2) groups: The Safe and Supportive Schools Group and the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Group. Together, the groups support grantees across the nation and administer numerous programs including the:
    • Project Prevent Grant Program, which enhances schools’ and school districts’ ability to identify, assess, and serve students exposed to pervasive violence;
    • School Climate Transformation Grant Program, which helps schools and school districts develop, enhance, or expand their systems of support related school climate programs; and
    • Student Support and Academic Enrichment Program (Title IV, Part A), which addresses well-rounded educational opportunities in both the traditional, in-person setting and virtual setting alike, as well as safe and healthy student programming.
  • Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) Technical Assistance (TA) Center, The REMSTA Center is the nation’s higher ed and K-12 school safety, security, and emergency management and preparedness hub for information and services (e.g., guidance, training, tools, resources). The REMS TA Center serves K-12 schools and institutions of higher education (IHEs), public and private, as well as their local, state, and Federal partners with shared school safety responsibilities.  They develop and maintain comprehensive, all-hazard, and high-quality campus and school Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs).  These plans focus on continually protecting the whole school community before, during, and after possible emergencies. In addition to its free virtual trainings, the REMS TA Center offers numerous interactive tools such as its EOP Assist software, which helps generate customized plans and its SITE ASSESS app which facilitate the walk-through and safety inspection of campus and buildings.
  • National Center on Safe and Supportive Learning Environments (NCSSLE), provides training and technical assistance to schools, school districts, and educational agencies to support efforts aimed at creating and nurturing safe and supportive learning environments. The national center addresses a wide variety of topics that impact school climate, ranging from bullying and violence prevention to tools for measuring and identifying needs for school climate. For example, NCSSLE produced and disseminates ED’s School Climate Survey and the School Climate Improvement Resource Package.

Contact Information

  • Paul Kesner, Director
    Safe & Supportive Schools
    U.S. Department of Education, OESE
    400 Maryland Ave., SW
    Washington D.C. 20202