The United States Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative: Turning a National Initiative into Local Action
The Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS) initiative is a competitive grant program involving the United States Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Justice. Between 2000 and 2010, these agencies blended resources in support of innovative school-community coordination to improve school safety, reduce student substance use, and enhance the social-emotional well-being of youth from preschool through grade 12. This chapter provides an overview of the SS/HS initiative’s core elements by describing its implementation in two California communities. Examples demonstrate how local education agencies conducted needs assessments, implemented evidence-based programs, and organized schoolwide data management systems, while addressing local and federal needs. Discussion of lessons learned and sustainability challenges provide guidance for similar school-community eff orts.