Safe Schools

Safe Schools Reports & Publications

This page contains publications, reports, guidelines, brochures and other materials which have been created to assist educators, administrators and families.

Emergency Management

Resources Supporting Districts and Schools in Building Emergency Management Capacity

The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Safe and Healthy Students, works closely with other federal agencies, such as FEMA, HHS, and USDA. A resource document entitled "Resources Supporting Districts and Schools in Building Emergency and Management" was created for schools as a tool to plan for and respond to school emergencies.

School Grounds and Facilities Safety Review Checklist

This checklist is intended to be used (in conjunction with the Vermont School Crisis Guide) by school personnel to annually review the safety of school facilities and school safety procedures. This document also may be tailored to the varying needs and size of Vermont schools and is available for download in the following formats:

For questions or more information about school grounds and facilities safety, contact Cassandra Ryan at (802) 479-8545 or

"Special Edition: School Trauma" Newsletter from EAP

This Invest Employee Assistance Program (EAP) special newsletter shares important resources for coping in the aftermath of such a tragedy, as well as information pertinent to preventing such incidents.

Vermont School Crisis Guide

The Vermont School Crisis Guide is designed to help schools develop their comprehensive emergency plan as required by State Board of Education regulations. The guide has also been designed to record vital information during and after a crisis. The document is intended for use by school leaders and emergency service providers. It may be freely copied and distributed to anyone involved with planning and implementing school safety drills.

For more information contact Stephen Earley, Chair Vermont School Crisis Planning Team, at (802) 338-5316 or

Vermont 2-1-1

Using Vermont 2-1-1 as a network communication system can support schools in getting vital information to parents and the public. 2-1-1 assists communities with any kind of incidents and should be included in every Vermont school safety plan. Schools can contact 2-1-1 by phone, fax or email to inform them of the incident and give them information for parents and the public as to what level the incident is, if there is a lockdown (secure the building), where students are being evacuated, etc. This support allows schools and first responders to focus on the safety of students while still respecting the need of parents to know what is happening with their children. Vermont 2-1-1 is eager to test the system through a cooperative emergency drill to ensure the system of communication is sound. Please contact us with questions or for more information. Learn more about 2-1-1 here:

Weather Safety in Vermont Schools

View this important memo from the National Weather Service in Burlington about how to stay informed of severe weather conditions that may impact your school.

Behavioral Challenges

Building Effective Strategies for Teaching (BEST) Students with Behavioral Challenges (Pyramid of School Discipline)

This publication outlines and describes the components of a comprehensive system of school discipline that is necessary for ensuring safety, a positive climate, the opportunity to learn and teach, and the social/emotional growth of students.

Building Effective Strategies for Teaching (BEST) Students with Behavioral Challenges Project

The BEST Project is designed to help schools develop effective strategies to respond to challenging student behaviors.

A Guide to Positive School Discipline(2006)

This document is a comprehensive resource for fulfilling the school quality standard which states: "Each school shall maintain a safe, orderly, civil and positive learning environment, which is free from hazing, harassment and bullying and based on sound instructional and classroom management practices and clear discipline and attendance policies that are consistently and effectively enforced". The document synthesizes several previously published resource materials aimed at helping schools strengthen their approaches to discipline and school climate. Strategies and resources pertaining to the prevention of and response to bullying and harassment are also provided for school staff, students and parents. NOTE: The size of this file is 500K.

Guidelines for Discipline Plan Development

Act 113 requires each Vermont school to develop and implement a school discipline plan. This model plan is a revision of materials originally made available to superintendents, principals, independent school headmasters and school board chairs in December 2001. The new version strengthens the guidance provided by previous materials, particularly in the area of implementation, with an emphasis on promoting prevention efforts, positive approaches to discipline and family-centered practices.

Preventing and Responding to School Disruption and Violence

This publication provides information and resources pertaining to effective practices for creating a well disciplined school, planning professional development opportunities for working with disruptive and violent students, using time out and planning rooms, and preventing and responding to gangs and gang like activities.

Harassment, Hazing, and Bullying

Bullying Incidents Data Gathering

School districts are required to collect data on the number of reported incidents of bullying and the number of incidents that have been verified and to make such data available to the Secretary of Education and to the public. This document provides clarifying information for using the Combined Incidence Reporting Software (CIRS) to collect bullying data.

The Bullying and Harassment Paradox

An article that outlines a framework for using "restorative practices" that indicated how it might be used at all levels of education and the behavioral as well as academic performance benefits that are invariable benefits. NOTE: A number of schools have already contacted the International Institute for Restorative Practices to initiate professional development training during the summer of 2010.

Harassment, Hazing, and Bullying Prevention Advisory Council

Per Act No. 129 of 2012, the Secretary of Education established an advisory council to provide advice and recommendations on harassment, hazing, and bullying prevention strategies and resources, and to coordinate statewide activities related to the prevention of and response to harassment, hazing, and bullying.

Hazing & Harassment Complaints Reported by Vermont Schools

The department collects statewide hazing, harassment and bullying data from all public schools as required under 16 V.S.A. §164. Individual school data may be obtained by contacting the school directly.

Hazing, Harassment, Bullying, Suicide and Substance Abuse Prevention Training Resources

This is a list of organizations and individuals who provide hazing, harassment, bullying, suicide prevention and substance abuse prevention training (required by Act 182, sec. 27). For questions or information, contact Greg Glennon, General Counsel at (802) 479-1756 or

Independent Reviewers

Reviewer List

Alphabetical listing of statewide independent reviewers.


This document provides basic information for students, parents and staff explaining the "independent review" process available to complainants and schools after a harassment complaint has been filed. Independent review offers a second look at the school's handling of harassment complaints by a neutral third party.

Information on Hazing, Harassment, Bullying, Suicide and Substance Abuse Prevention Training gathered by the Vermont Agency of Education

Act 182 of 2006 requires the Secretary of education to compile information and make available to schools the names of organizations and individuals who have provided effective hazing, harassment, bullying, suicide, or substance abuse prevention training for staff or students, or both.

Policy on the Prevention of Bullying of Students

Student Harassment

This Agency of Education model policy may be used by supervisory unions/school districts to formalize policies and procedures for identifying and reporting the unlawful harassment of students based on race, color, religion, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability. Vermont law requires schools to adopt a policy "at least as stringent as [this] model policy."

Unsafe School Choice Option Rule

This rule defines "persistently dangerous" schools, as required by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA). Under provisions of NCLBA's Unsafe School Choice Option, a student who attends a "persistently dangerous" school or who is the victim of a violent crime on school grounds, has the same choice options as are available to a student attending a "failing" school, as determined by the accountability system. View Vermont State Board of Education rules and regulations (Rule series 4000).

Vermont Human Rights Commission

All schools are required to have a policy that prevents and prohibits hazing, harassment and discrimination. If you - a student - believe that you have been the victim of harassment or discrimination, a complaint should be filed, in accordance with the school policy, with the appropriate school official. Students may also file a complaint with the Vermont Human Rights Commission which investigates violations of Vermont's public accommodation law.


HIV/AIDS Prevention Education for Vermont Youth Needs Assessment Project

Conducted in three phases, this project outlines the results of interviews and focus groups with youth service providers, school administrators, educators and youth from around the state. The reports highlight findings in a variety of HIV/AIDS-related areas.

Legal & Technical Resources Related to Life-Threatening Chronic Allergies and Illnesses in Schools (Act 158)

This document contains information that may help schools while they are assessing and addressing the needs of students with life threatening allergies and life-threatening chronic illnesses. With a chart of live links to related legal and technical resources and contact numbers for DOE staff that may address specific subtopics within this topic, this will be a useful tool for school staff serving students with these conditions.

SAFE-T™ Program (Sexual Abuse Free Environment for Teens™)

The SAFE-T™ Program is a research-based curriculum that promotes both victim and offender prevention within middle school communities. The curriculum incorporates classroom presentations and activities, home dialogue assignments and school community change projects to help middle school students, educators, staff, parents/guardians and community members with the tools for creating a respectful learning environment for all students.

Model Policies

Model policies provide guidance, direction and recommended standards to help school administrators develop general school policy statements. Policies may be developed based on requirements of state or federal laws or at the request of the Vermont State Board of Education or the Vermont Legislature. View the model policies.


Richard Boltax at or (802) 479-1399

Tracy Harris at or (802) 479-1421

Page Last Updated on December 4, 2014