Meet the CSS Team
Center for Safe Schools History
In 1995, Act 26, the Safe Schools Act, created an Office of Safe Schools within the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Under the direction of the Department of Education, Center for Safe Schools (CSS) was created to perform many of the duties defined by Act 26. These duties included data collection, assisting schools in meeting the requirements of Act 26 and providing resources to educators on a variety of programs and issues.
Center for Safe Schools was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and National Crime Prevention Council as one of first 20 Statewide School Safety Centers in the nation. Under Governor Tom Ridge, the Children’s Cabinet partnered with Dan Olweus and Center for Safe Schools to bring the evidence-based program, Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP) to the commonwealth. Pennsylvania brought the first cadre of trainers to the United States to implement the program statewide. In December 1999, 39 professionals were brought to the Masonic Homes in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania to become certified OBPP trainers.
Since December 1999, CSS has coordinated the Pennsylvania Bullying Prevention Network with ongoing professional development and a referral process for those in need of bullying prevention training. Currently, there are over 80 members across the commonwealth. CSS organized and hosted the 2018 and 2019 Bullying Prevention Day rally held in the Capitol rotunda in Harrisburg. Through a longtime partnership with Highmark Foundation, CSS launched Connect. Care. Champion: A Middle School Bullying Toolkit website in 2019.
CSS has a long history of partnership with key state agencies concerned about school safety including the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, Pennsylvania State Police and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. Highmark Foundation has chosen CSS to facilitate technical assistance for its grantees in relation to Positive School Climate (Bullying Prevention.)
Through Center for Safe Schools’ expert staff, as well as access to a network of state and national researchers and practitioners, CSS will continue to provide exceptional professional learning, technical assistance and resources to schools and their community partners throughout Pennsylvania and beyond.