The Center for Safe Schools and Center for Schools and Communities recognized the Mt. Lebanon School District as a Safe Schools Champion for innovation and excellence in developing and promoting efforts to keep kids safe, inspire learning and support families. The District was recognized for outstanding work in developing, supporting and promoting safe learning environments that benefit children, youth and families across Pennsylvania. Mt. Lebanon Superintendent Dr. Tim Steinhauer was presented the award during the 2019 Safe Schools Conference on October 3, 2019, which brought together state leaders, school administrators, student support and assistance personnel, educators, school nurses and resource officers, law enforcement and other community partners. The other winners were Hazelden Publishing and Susan P. Limber, Ph.D.
“Safe Schools Champions lead through example,” said Shileste Overton Morris, Center for Schools and Communities director. “Their outstanding commitment and hard work were recognized by the peers, leaders and community members who nominated them. We are thrilled to shine the light on their inspiring accomplishments.”
According to the Center for Safe Schools, “The Mt. Lebanon School District has supported a district-wide approach to bullying prevention and positive school climate. They have incorporated evidence-based practices based on the individual needs of each building, but coordinated their efforts across the district. They integrated programs like Responsive Classroom, Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, mindfulness and other activities that foster a supportive, preventive and responsive whole school system, and make student needs a priority.”
“They routinely examine their progress using data and feedback to address needed change; and to sustain their efforts, they pooled funding resources from the Highmark Foundation, state and local foundations and private donations,” said Randall Fox, Center for Safe Schools director. “Their persistence and creativity in helping the kids at Mt. Lebanon School District stay safe is inspiring.”
According to the National Centers on Safe Supportive Learning Environments, “An extensive amount of research has linked a positive school environment to higher test scores, graduation rates and attendance rates. For example, effective and highly qualified teachers with high expectations for students and good teaching conditions have been linked to strong academic performance in multiple studies. Peer support for achievement-oriented behaviors, such as studying or participating in class, is also strongly tied to positive school climate and academic achievement.”
The annual Safe Schools Conference features state and national experts presenting the latest research and trends in school safety and violence prevention, bullying prevention, school climate and student assistance; and effective program models and promising practices. The 2019 event is sponsored by the Highmark Foundation.
About the Center for Safe Schools
For more than two decades, the Center for Safe Schools at Center for Schools and Communities has been committed to serving as a statewide clearinghouse for schools, law enforcement, parents and others on school safety and youth violence prevention. Through expert staff, as well as access to a network of state and national researchers and practitioners, the Center provides state-of-the-art professional development and technical assistance to schools across Pennsylvania.