NYSED’s 2024 School Safety Summit 

NYSED’s 2nd Annual School Safety Summit will provide two full days of training, information, and resources on topics related to emergency response planning and creating safe and supportive learning environments for the whole school community. The conference will provide opportunities for New York State’s schools and districts to engage with colleagues from other NY schools and to meet with experts from many of New York State agencies and technical assistance centers that provide high-quality resources and supports to schools.

Audience: New York’s school and district personnel involved in the development and implementation of school and district safety plans, including Superintendents, Principals, and leaders of K-12 schools, district Chief Emergency Officers, members of the district-wide school safety team and/or building-level emergency response team.

Dates: Wednesday, April 17th – Thursday, April 18th, 2024 (attendance both days is required)

Time:  Check-in: 8:30 am – 9:00 am; Conference: 9:00 am – 4:30 pm

Location: Empire State Plaza Convention Center, Albany, NY

Cost: This is a FREE event, however participants are responsible for their own travel expenses, meals, and beverages.

Registration: Registration is required. Capacity is limited.

Priority for attendance will be given to school staff.

A waiting list will be available when capacity is reached.

Questions? Contact us at SafetyPlans@nysed.gov

Several presenters from our inaugural summit in 2023, are returning this year to provide a deeper dive into their areas of expertise. This year’s agenda also includes many new presenters and topics related to creating safe school environments. Presentations will include:

  • Communication Before, During, and After a Tragedy: Delve into the implementation of a crisis communications plan before, during, and after a tragic event. Walk away with a fully customizable, tangible blueprint to create or upgrade your communications plan. Presented by Michael Bennett, Superintendent and Sierra Pizzola, Communication Specialist from Greenville Central School District
  • Lockdown Drills 101: From Implementation to Impact: We share the lessons learned from implementing a new emergency response program, including lockdown procedures, in NY’s 5th largest school district. We include findings from faculty, staff, and student perceptions as well as the procedural integrity of the drills. Considerations for school districts seeking to implement similar procedures with fidelity will also be presented. Presented by Dr. Jaclyn Schildkraut, Executive Director of the Regional

Gun Violence Research Consortium at the Rockefeller Institute of Government and Thomas Ristoff, Director of Public Safety and the Chief Emergency Officer for the Syracuse City School District

  • Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED) and Site Assessment: Learn how to use the REMS TA Center’s SITE ASSESS mobile application (app) to conduct assessments of their buildings and grounds. Practice using the app on your own mobile devices through a brief guided session. Presented by Carlton Gerald; Assistant Director of Security and Emergency Operations for Alexandria Public Schools, U.S. Department of Education Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center (REMS-TA Center)
  • Understanding Equity as a Preventative Approach to School Safety: Addressing issues of racial, ethnic, linguistic, and gender disparities in suspensions and behavioral referrals and the biases that create institutional practices. Develop individual equity literacy knowledge and skills, specifically cross- cultural competency and skills. Presented by Edward Fergus, Ph.D., Professor, Rutgers University
  • Building Cyber Threat Resilience: A Non-Technical Workshop for School Leaders: What does a highly cyber-capable district look like? This interactive workshop will provide an overview of 10 dimensions for local leaders. Presented by Meghan Cook, Director of the Cyber Incident Response Team and Noor Gravelle, Information Technology Specialist 4 in charge of Communication and Outreach from the Cyber Incident Response Team at NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services
  • Supporting our LGBTQIA+ Students: Create a welcoming and supportive school environment for LGBTQIA+ youth. We will share policies and resources to help not only students, but staff, families and communities. We will be joined by high school students sharing their experiences, as well as school administrators, teachers and student support professionals sharing examples from their work, with Q&A with the audience. Presented by Michael Montoya and Victor Rose from the Office of Student Support Services at the NYS Education Department
  • Swatting Response and the Connection to Building Level Emergency Response Plans: Presented by Superintendent Jeff Simons and Director of Communication Mark Adam from East Greenbush CSD, and East Greenbush Police Chief Elaine Rudzinski with the Center for School Safety Team
  • The Domestic Terrorism Prevention Unit’s Targeted Violence Prevention Efforts: Confront the threat of domestic terrorism through lessons learned. We will address efforts to build a whole- society targeted violence prevention network, combining both online and offline forms of violence prevention. Presented by Paula Granger, Assistant Director in the Office of Counter Terrorism for the New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services directing the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Unit
  • Supporting Special Populations: Collaborating Before, During and After an Emergency: Improve communication and safety, differentiate your response, and reduce stigma and increase understanding for our special populations in an emergency. Presented by Jay Findling Ph.D., Director of Emergency Readiness, Safety, and Security and Michelle Netzler, Senior Executive Director of Specialized Instruction and Program Development, NYC Public Schools
  • The Role of School Climate in Bullying and Cyberbullying Prevention: Develop a shared understanding of school climate and how promoting a positive climate can be used in schools’ bullying and school violence prevention practices. We will look at best practices for school-based bullying and cyberbullying prevention with a focus on school climate, with strategies for assessing and evaluating climate in a systems-level, multi-tiered framework. Presented by Stephanie S. Fredrick, Ph.D., Associate Director of the Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention
  • Strategic Planning and Implementation of Trauma-Informed District Change Presented by Samantha Koury Ph.D., Co-Director, Institute on Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care, University at Buffalo School of Social Work and Richard Carella, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction at the City School District of the City of Niagara Falls
  • Leading to Safety: The Influence of Culture on School Safety: Explore how leaders play a crucial role in setting the tone and expectations for safety in the workplace, where folks are part of the solutions and integral to sustainability. Leaders’ consistency and genuine concern for the welfare of their team members promotes a thriving culture of well-being and safety. Presented by Francisco (Cisco) Paler- Large, an Equity Associate at Bank Street College
  • Q&A with NYSED’s Office of Facilities Planning and the State Fire Prevention and Control The team will address key school safety requirements and regulations including bus safety, as well as how the Smart Schools Bond Act can be used to implement and reimburse projects in your schools. We will share information about emergency planning for special events. Presented by Sara Madison and Dave Elliott from the NYS Education Department and staff from the State Fire Prevention and Control at the New York State Division of Homeland Security

The Technical Assistance Centers Showcase will include:

  • NYS Center for School Safety
    • NYS Office of Fire Prevention and Control
    • Mental Health Association of NYS (MHANYS) School Mental Health Resource and Training Center
    • NYS Technical and Educational Assistance Center for Homeless Students (TEACHS)
    • The NYS Center for School Health
    • NYS Suicide Prevention Center
    • NYS Trauma Informed Network and Resource Center
    • NYS Community Schools Technical Assistance Centers
    • NYSED’s Office of Student Support Services to support Creating a Safe, Supportive, and

Affirming School Environment for Transgender and Gender Expansive Students

  • NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS)
    • NYS Department of Health
    • NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services