This Week in School and Campus Safety

Good morning,

This Weekly Update by the Illinois School and Campus Safety Program shares information on warning signs and risk factors for emotional distress, links to articles on addressing school violence, shares information on the new culturally responsive teaching and leading standards from ISBE, and links to resources from the CDC for safer winter holiday celebrations.

Please note, we are in the process of updating our contacts list. If you believe you have been added by mistake or wish to no longer receive our emails, just let me know and I will remove you from our directory.


Laura Black
Program Coordinator
Illinois School and Campus Safety Program
Resilience and Wellness

For many it has been a grinding year, wearing people down while testing endurance and resilience. As
we slip into winter, it is no surprise that many are or may experience emotional distress and mental
health and wellness issues. Knowing the warning signs can help in identifying students, coworkers, loved ones, and others who may be struggling. SAMHSA’s Warning Signs and Risk Factors for Emotional Distress provides information on signs and factors for distress in children, adults, and first responders and notes that “adults impacted by disaster are faced with the difficult challenge of balancing roles as first
responders, survivors, and caregivers. They are often overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of
responsibility and immediate task of the crisis response and recovery at hand. They must also take the
time to address their own physical and emotional needs as well as those of their family members and
ICJIA Shares Information on Addressing School Violence

The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority recently shared two articles regarding addressing school violence, Exploring School Violence and Safety Concerns and Programs and Practices to Prevent School Violence and Improve School Safety. The Exploring School Violence article discusses school climate, bullying, and school violence rates. The Programs and Practices article looks at practices including threat assessment, school resource officers, zero-tolerance policies, positive behavioral interventions and supports, and target hardening. The article then discusses some violence prevention programs.
ISBE Implements New Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading Standards

The Illinois State Board of Education announced last week that they were adopting new Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning Standards. According to the news release:

"The standards support inclusion and equity for students by guiding educators to:
  1. Self-reflect and gain a deeper understanding of how their life experiences affect their perspectives;
  2. Understand that systems in our society create and reinforce inequities;
  3. Learn from and about their students' cultures, languages, and learning styles to make instruction more meaningful and relevant to their students' lives;
  4. Value students' feedback and leadership;
  5. Support and create opportunities for student advocacy;
  6. Develop relationships with families and the community;
  7. Curate the curriculum to include and represent a wide spectrum of identities; and
  8. Ensure the diversity of the student population is represented within the broader learning environment."
CDC Releases Information on Making Holidays Safer

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released information on Holiday Celebrations and Small Gatherings during the pandemic, including considerations for gatherings, travel and overnight stays, making holiday celebrations safer, and considering other holiday activities. The resources also include the pdfs Everyone Can Make Winter Holidays Safer and Consider Other Winter Holiday Activities.
Illinois School and Campus Safety Program