Threat Assessment Team

  • What are the responsibilities of the Threat Assessment Team?

    The threat assessment team must provide materials for students, school employees, and parents/guardians. The team will assess and respond to reports of threats from varying resources; make appropriate determinations, referrals, and notifications. Provide information necessary for annual reporting.


    How to report a concern

    In the event of an immediate threat or life-threatening emergency situation, you are encouraged to contact 9-1-1.

    • Safe2Say Something (S2SS)

    • Contact your school counselor, principal, or teacher immediately (if during school hours)

    How can students help?

    There is much students can do to help create safe schools. Talk to your teachers, parent/guardian, and counselors to find out how you can get involved and do your part to make your school safe. Here are some ideas that students have tried:

    • Listen to your friends if they share troubling feelings or thoughts. Encourage them to get help from a trusted adult, such as a school psychologist, counselor, teacher, social worker, community leader, or another professional. If you are very concerned, seek help for them. Share your concerns with your parents/guardians.

    • Know your school’s code of conduct and model responsible behavior. Refrain from teasing, bullying, and intimidating peers. Avoid being part of the crowd if a fight should break out and instead seek help from an adult.

    • Be a role model by taking personal responsibility to react to anger without physically or verbally harming others.

    • Help develop and participate in activities that promote student understanding of differences and respect for the rights of all.

    • Participate in violence prevention programs, such as peer mediation and conflict resolution. Employ your skills in other settings such as home, neighborhood, and community.

    • Create, join, or support student organizations that combat violence, teach tolerance and understanding and promote a positive self-image.

    • Work with your school to create a safe process for reporting threats, intimidation, weapon possession, drug possession or sales, graffiti, and vandalism. 

    • Seek help from your parent/guardian or a trusted adult, such as a school psychologist, counselor, teacher, social worker, leader from a faith community, or another professional, if you are experiencing intense feelings of anger, fear, anxiety, or depression.

    What to do in the event of a school emergency?

    Below are some quick tips to help families if there is an emergency at a school.

    Stay calm and alert

    In the event of a school emergency, please remain calm and know that school staff, District personnel and First Responders are working to keep your child safe. Please keep your phone close for important directions and updates. 


    Please do not come to the school

    We understand your desire to go to the school and the need to see your child, especially in a situation that feels scary. However, arriving at the scene before it is secure can interfere with the emergency response and puts you in danger. By rushing to the school, parents can unintentionally create traffic jams that may block emergency responders from getting to the school or leaving if necessary to transport injured students or staff to emergency medical facilities. Families should not pick up their student unless given the direction to do so from the District.


    Please do not call the school

    We ask that families do not call the school. This allows phone lines to stay open for communication with emergency personnel and school officials. It also helps school staff to remain focused on the safety of their students. The school and District will ensure information is shared via our Blackboard Communication system. If a student is injured, the families of those children will be notified directly. 


    If your child texts or calls you, please keep your child calm

    We know that during a school emergency, many of our students will try to call or text their parent/guardian. If this occurs, we ask that you stay calm and reassuring. Encourage your student to follow the directions of school staff. We know this is difficult, but experts recommend to prevent confusion or added safety risks, ask them to turn off their cell phones. 


    Make sure your contact information and all emergency contact information are accurate and updated

    The District will call families when there is an emergency situation at a school. Please make sure your emergency contact information is always up to date in PowerSchool. In the event of a serious emergency, all emergency contacts will be called. Please make sure the emergency contacts you have listed for your child are up to date, and they understand the District's procedures. Also, make sure that they know they are listed as an emergency contact.


    Be prepared with photo ID

    In the event of an evacuation, the District will follow a standard reunification plan to ensure all students are safely returned to their families. During a reunification, families and/or individuals listed as an authorized person to pick up your child should bring a valid form of identification (ID). Please note that only approved adults with valid photo identification will be allowed to pick up students from the evacuation location.


    How does the school assess a threat?

    The Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines (CSTAG) are utilized in Pennsbury School District. CSTAG is an evidence-based model for schools to use in conducting threat assessments in K-12 schools. This model was developed by Dr. Dewey Cornell and colleagues at the University of Virginia in 2001 and has been extensively examined through field tests and controlled studies that demonstrate its utility and an approach to violence prevention that emphasizes early attention to problems such as bullying, teasing, and other forms of student conflict before they escalate into violent behavior. Under CSTAG, school staff members are encouraged to adopt a flexible, problem-solving approach, as distinguished from a more punitive, zero-tolerance approach to student misbehavior.


    Mental Health Supports

    Lenape Valley Mobile Crisis 1-877-435-7709

    United Way Supports Dial: 211

    Suicide Prevention & Crisis Support Dial: 988 or 1-800-273-8255

    Safe2Say Reporting Tipline 1-844-723-2729