While the physical measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are crucial to the success of reopenings, schools must also be emotionally safe and nurturing environments in order to support the physical dimension of campus safety, researchers say.
To address the need for training, the Johns Hopkins Center for Safe and Healthy Schools has created the Safe and Healthy Schools Certification Program to empower educators to create and support safe and healthy learning environments and address challenges ranging from mental health to violence prevention.
“Every student deserves to be safe in school,” says Christopher C. Morphew, dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Education. “Beyond exposing educators to the most relevant research and proven best practices, we want them to be able to apply the ideas behind Safe and Healthy Schools to their own schools, in their own settings.”
Traditionally, school safety and emergency preparedness training has taken a reactive and siloed approach, addressing singular issues with short-term fixes. However, as events have shown, the elements affecting school safety and wellness are far from simple. Bringing together Johns Hopkins experts in medicine, psychology, education, policy, family science, and human development, the program takes on a holistic approach to school health and safety.
Educators and school leaders that complete the program curriculum will gain comprehensive strategies for sustaining safe and healthy learning environments, including
- How to reduce student conflict and apply trauma-informed practices
- How to remediate the mental health stressors affecting classroom performance of both students and teachers
- How to choose the most effective technology to support safe and healthy schools
- How to approach the disproportionality in school discipline outcomes for marginalized and underrepresented populations.