Safe Schools


Wisconsin Success Stories
Safe and Supportive Schools (S3) Grant

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools awarded $38.8 million in four-year Safe and Supportive School (S3) grants to eleven states. Wisconsin was awarded $14 million to help high schools in the S3 grant. The major objectives of the grant were to improve conditions for learning in the areas of school safety, school environment, and school engagement, and also increase capacity for making data driven decisions. Nineteen school districts participated, a combined total of 52 high schools, with each district receiving support from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) in the form of funding, professional development, and technical assistance. This document represents the “Success Stories” from the Safe and Supportive Schools (S3) project in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin School Violence Prevention Research Project

The Wisconsin School Violence Prevention Research Project, which runs from January 2015 through December 2017, is a research study funded by the National Institutes of Justice focused on addressing school violence among students in grades six through eight. The study hypothesis is that the combination of Tier 1 (universal) PBIS with a comprehensive bullying prevention program will have a significant effect on variables related to school violence relative to PBIS, alone. The study design approach is a matched case-control study with half of participating schools in an experimental group (PBIS + Comprehensive Bullying Prevention Program) and the other half in a control group (PBIS, alone). As part of the study, all schools receive technical assistance on their PBIS and bullying prevention programs (with control school TA beginning after active data collection has ended). This study is also partnered with an inter-agency bullying prevention workgroup, as part of the Safe Schools/Healthy Students project, which will use lessons learned to develop practices and tools that can be shared with all Wisconsin districts to improve the safety and climate of their schools.

View the Blackboard Collaborate recording and available conversions

  1. Bullying Prevention Program Assessment Tool
  2. Wisconsin School Violence Prevention Research Project – Data Collection Guidance
  3. Resources: Comprehensive Bullying Prevention Program

The Principal Investigator on the study is Dr. John Bowser, Evaluation Consultant with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, (608) 266-2829,

Keeping Wisconsin Schools Safe: A Safe Schools Initiative

On July 16-18, 2013, stakeholders from select Wisconsin state agencies and organizations gathered for a safe schools summit, sponsored by the Johnson Family Foundation, at the Wingspread Conference facility in Racine. The stakeholders developed a “framework” and related strategies that can be used by local leaders in keeping schools and students safe:

Throughout the summit, participants were exposed to presentations that provided important insights into the safety needs of schools and students. The links below connect to the presentations and materials that provided background information which contributed to the final framework and recommendations for action:

Crisis Communications Kit

The Wisconsin School Public Relations Association (WSPRA) is proud to provide to Wisconsin school districts its award-winning Crisis Communications Tool Kit. As WSPRA’s contribution to the Safe Schools Initiative, this critical emergency resource is now available free of charge.

A link to the download is available on the WSPRA website.

Wisconsin Safe and Healthy Schools Training & Technical Assistance Center

The Wisconsin Safe and Healthy Schools Training & Technical Assistance Center or WISH Center is a collaboration between the CESA Statewide Network and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction as a state-wide delivery mechanism for alcohol, tobacco, other drug, violence, and bullying prevention training. The goal of the Safe & Healthy Schools Center is to provide professional learning opportunities for adults in person, online, and follow-up technical assistance. We will continue to build the capacity of Wisconsin schools to plan, implement, and evaluate the programs that most effectively prevent alcohol and other drug abuse and violent behaviors among youth in order to reduce barriers to learning.

The WISH Center Director is Tracy Herlitzke, CESA 4 in West Salem, (608)786-4838,

The four regional staff and contact information:

The Wisconsin School Safety Coordinators Association (WSSCA)

WSSCA was formed in 1968 and continues to operate under a mission to improve security, safety and health in Wisconsin Schools. The membership includes school administrators, teachers, school safety/security coordinators, school resource officers, and private businesses that hold either school district, corporate, or student memberships. The association provides training modules in a certificated program of study on school safety issues and practices. The association membership also provides on-site school safety assessments on a cost recovery basis of approximately $1,000. For more information on WSSCA resources or to contact the executive director, please follow the link to the association’s website

Violence Prevention Program Assessment Tool

This assessment tool is designed to assist elementary, middle, and high schools identify gaps and strengths in their violence prevention program. The indicators within the assessment are recognized as best practices in the area of school violence prevention and contain six components: School Environment, Curriculum and Instruction, Student Programs, Pupil Services, Adult Programs, and Family and Community.

Effective Strategies to Address Gangs

For questions about this information, contact Steven Fernan (608) 266-3889