We help law enforcement and educators create
a positive school climate
Preventing Problems by Promoting Positive Practices (P5) is a new set of practices based on science and key concepts in education and law enforcement for School Security Officers, Teachers, School Psychologists, Social Workers, and School Counselors. P5 is a perfect match for school personnel committed to:
This project was supported by Cooperative Agreement Number 2015CKWXK015 awarded by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions contained herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice. References to specific agencies, companies, products, or services should not be considered an endorsement by the author(s) or the U.S. Department of Justice. Rather, the references are illustrations to supplement discussion of the issues.
PREVENTING PROBLEMS BY PROMOTING POSITIVE PRACTICES
The P5 curriculum was developed to provide best practices and strategies to individuals interested in developing a positive school climate. When a SRO/SSO and school personnel administrator work collaboratively through the P5 curriculum, a holistic action plan can be developed to improve school environment, address safety and discipline, enhance positive relationships with youth, facilitate youth engagement in solving school climate problems, and ultimately prevent minor and violent crimes.
The P5 curriculum is comprised of 5 training modules, with action planning interwoven into each module. We compare our P5 training to a lighthouse. A small lighthouse can provide guidance and safety to ships in danger, but a larger and taller lighthouse will provide greater safety. Similarly, with Module I & action planning, participants are provided with the training and foundation to begin solving school climate problems, but if participants were to receive all P5 modules, they would be able to see significantly improved outcomes related to school climate.
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What participants are saying...
Training sessions are based on principles from psychology (i.e., the science of emotions, thinking and behavior), including models of youth development, implicit bias research and the hierarchy of needs theory. These principles are transformed into practices that school personnel and law enforcement officers can use to improve relationships with youth in school and in the community. These psychological principles inform the practices used by school and safety professionals to promote a positive safe and secure school climate.
Positive School Climate
HIGHLY STRUCTURED AND HIGHLY SUPPORTIVE SCHOOLS ARE BEST.
An ideal teacher and school share one commonality—an authoritative approach to student development. An authoritative teaching style leads to better academic outcomes (e.g., Gregory & Weinstein, 2004). In fact, an authoritative school climate results in significantly less bullying (Gregory et al., 2010).
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
When school personnel collaboratively use positive practices to implement authoritative approach to student development (i.e., structure & support), the outcomes are more positive relationships, increased safety, and a more positive school climate.
Prevention & Promotion Thinking
PEOPLE ACHIEVE GOALS DIFFERENTLY
For decades, professionals from various fields (e.g., medicine, psychology, law enforcement) have held a prevention paradigm, focusing on stopping harm. What has been neglected is the opposite end of the spectrum, a promotion paradigm. Those is a promotion paradigm focus on increasing positive end states (Higgins, 2000).
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Both prevention and promotion approaches are key to creating a positive school climate. Decreasing student risk behaviors and eliminating harmful environmental factors isn’t enough because the absence of a negative isn’t the presence of a positive. Promoting positive relationships, student strengths, and prosocial behaviors must be included to provide students with a holistic learning environment.
Implicit Bias & Microaggressions
ALL PEOPLE HAVE IMPLICIT BIAS.
Bias can be conscious or unconscious (aka implicit bias). Scientific research from Harvard University suggests most people have an implicit preference toward white people in comparison to black people and are more likely to associate males with “careers” and females with “family.” These gender and race-based biases are only two examples of implicit bias.
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
On a daily basis, students may have implicit biases towards school personnel, and visa versa. More importantly, being mindful of negative biases related to various identities (e.g., race, gender) can improve decision making and actions, ultimately improving relationships and school climate.
STUDENTS’ ACTIONS MEET NEEDS
Maslow’s (1972) hierarchy of needs posits that people behave to satisfy various needs (e.g., physiological, safety, self-esteem). If students have not satisfied basic needs (e.g., hunger), they are unable to obtain higher-level needs, such as acceptance and status.
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
Understanding and rationalizing students’ behaviors based on unsatisfied needs enables school personnel to select an appropriate strategy to support the development of students.
MANY FACTORS AFFECT YOUTH DEVELOPMENT.
The development of the adolescent mind affects behavior. Other factors affecting youth development include culture, worldview, strengths and risk factors (e.g., Kia-Keating et al., 2011; Furlong).
WHY DOES IT MATTER?
School personnel and law enforcement officers may interact with students more effectively if they understand the uncontrollable factors influencing youth development. A specific worldview or risk factor may be hindering a student’s success, but a professional must empathically listen and search to understand these factors before guessing what caused a student's behavior.
What are the training benefits for the trainee (e.g., SRO/ SSO, teacher, social worker, administrator, counselor, psychologist), the student, and the school?
Benefits of training for trainees:
Understanding the psychology of school climate change
Understanding cultural competence (including implicit bias and microaggressions)
Use positive practices to enforce, educator and mentor more effectively
- Use the SARA problem solving model to address school issues
Benefits of training for students:
Develop better relationships with school professionals
- Develop critical thinking and problem solving skills through the execution of school climate initiatives
Benefits of training for school:
More positive school climate (safety, relationships, and environment) with fewer school problems
Complements existing framework and programming (e.g., PBIS)
- Improved relationship with local law enforcement agency, mental health providers, and other school-based service providers
The P5 team has reviewed the research and practices regarding school safety and security. If your school district or law enforcement agency needs consultation to develop a safer climate, please contact us.
Jennifer Panagopoulos, Ph.D.
Jennifer earned a doctorate in sociology with a major in criminology and minors in theory and research methods. She has 30 years of management, training, facilitation, evaluation and instructional development experience. She has worked collaboratively with colleges and universities, associations, advocacy groups, the federal government, law enforcement, and other stakeholders to promote safety and reduce violence on campuses. She has personally conducted as well as assisted colleges and universities in conducting self-audits around compliance. For seven years, she was the deputy director of the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) and the chief administrator of the American Prosecutors Research Institute (APRI) where she directed the research, publications, training, and technical assistance activities of APRI’s major prosecution centers serving the nation's prosecutors.
Shane McCarty, Ph.D.
Shane earned a doctorate in Developmental Psychology from Virginia Tech with a focus on adolescent helping and aggression. He has seven years of experience developing, implementing, and evaluating prosocial curricula in schools. In the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings, McCarty developed Actively Caring for Schools, which uses peer-to-peer diffusion of prosocial concepts to enhance the quantity and quality of prosocial behavior in order to reduce aggression and violence. Dr. McCarty led training efforts for a 40-person team of trainers who delivered workshops and assembly presentations to middle school and high school students, including Chardon High School in the aftermath of their 2012 school shooting. Additionally, Dr. McCarty has experience as a trainer, delivering assemblies and workshops to K-12 and college students as well as training teachers and SROs.
Corporal Jon Carrier
Jon has been a certified law enforcement officer since 1989 and has served as a School Resource Officer in Anne Arundel County Public Schools since 2001. He was named Police Officer of the Year four times during his tenure. He has conducted trainings in physical security, hostage negotiations, hazardous materials response, firearms instruction, special weapons instruction, and first aid. He is the current President of the Maryland Association of School Resource Officers (MASRO) and on the Executive Board for the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO). He is a NASRO/ MASRO trainer for various SRO trainings and a former adjunct faculty member of the National Cryptologic School. Corporal Carrier has been a member of several NIJ/DOJ Technical Working Groups for the federal government, including “Active Shooter Focus Group” and a member of the Maryland State Department of Education’s “Best Practices in School Discipline” workgroup.
Michael Rudinski, is a retired Sergeant with the Hyattsville City Police Department where he served as a Patrol Supervisor, Community Action Team Supervisor and the departments Training Director and FTO Program Supervisor. Most notably, He served over 17 years as the departments School Resource Officer. Mr. Rudinski is an Adjunct Professor of Criminal Justice Studies at The Community College of Baltimore Campus. He is a certified School Resource Officer Practitioner through the National Association of School Resource Officers and Past President of the Maryland Association of School Resource Officers. He currently serves as an Advisory Board Member of the School Safety Advocacy Council. Michael is a certified instructor with the Maryland Police and Correction Training Commission. His areas of expertise include, Communication, Fair and Impartial Policing, School Resourcing, Gang Management in Schools, Active threat and Law Enforcement Emergency Medical Care. He also has served as a consultant with many private and parochial schools and corporations in the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area. Mr. Rudinski is a frequent speaker at Law Enforcement and School Security events across the nation.
The following list includes some of the featured partners in Promoting Positive Practices.
Maryland center for school safetY
AND MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
In collaboration with the Maryland Center for School Safety and Maryland Department of Education, the P3 training curriculum was piloted and evaluated with two districts.
WICOMICO COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS
AND WICOMICO COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
In July 2016, school representatives of Wicomico County Public Schools and school resource officers from the Wicomico County Sheriff's Office participated in a two-day joint training session to pilot the P3 training curriculum.
St. Mary's COUNTY SCHOOL SAFETY CENTER
AND ST. MARY's COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE
In August 2016, school security officers and school resource officers received a two-day training session.
Baltimore city public schools
In August 2017, Baltimore City School police received a two-day training session from Don Bridges and Dr. Shane McCarty.