CALL FOR PRESENTERS 2019-05-29T14:21:28+00:00

Keeping Our Children Safe: Strategies for Schools and Communities

October 2 – 3, 2019 | Hilton, Harrisburg, Pa.


The Center for Safe Schools seeks high quality, effective presentations addressing best practice information relative to school safety and youth violence prevention. Based upon that criteria and professional development needs expressed by Pennsylvania educators and administrators, the Center has identified the following conference themes:

  • Bullying Prevention
  • Emergency Response and Crisis Management
  • Positive School Climate
  • Student Wellness
  • Youth Violence Prevention
  • Open Category

This conference is designed to provide quality professional development opportunities for school administrators, student support personnel, teachers, alternative education staff, school nurses, student assistance team members, school counselors, school psychologists, school safety coordinators, local law enforcement, school resource officers and community partners.

About Center for Safe Schools

For more than two decades, Center for Safe Schools (Center) has been committed to providing schools with resources, training and technical assistance to create and maintain safe, productive learning environments. The Center serves as the organization to assist educators, parents, law enforcement and others on school climate, safety and youth violence prevention. Through expert staff, as well as access to a network of state and national researchers and practitioners, the Center provides state-of-the-art professional development and technical assistance to schools throughout the commonwealth and across the country.

The Center, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, Pennsylvania Department of Health, Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, Pennsylvania State Police and Mid-Atlantic Equity Center, supports schools, local agencies and parents in developing and practicing emergency management and crisis response plans, creating positive school environments, implementing evidence-based programs and institutionalizing proactive safety measures in partnership with law enforcement and other community entities to address local needs.

Center for Safe Schools is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention and National Crime Prevention Council as one of 20 Statewide School Safety Centers.

Apply to Present

Presentation Theme
Choose to present on one of the following presentation themes.

Effective bullying prevention, intervention and response efforts continue to be an area of identified professional development need for Pennsylvania educators and administrators. Because all students who are impacted by bullying are at risk of negative outcomes (Rigby, 2000; Nansel, et. al., 2001), it is imperative that schools not only respond to bullying situations which come to their attention, but also work to prevent bullying behaviors.

Suggested topic presentations for this theme include:

  • Bullying, harassment and the law
  • Conducting effective investigations in bullying situations
  • Effective anti-bullying/harassment policy development
  • Intervention/supports for students affected by bullying
  • Introduction to bullying prevention
  • Involving parents and community members in bullying prevention programs
  • Research-based bullying prevention strategies
  • Cyberbullying

Emergency response and crisis management comprises the five mission areas identified in the National Preparedness Goal (prevention, protection, mitigation, response and recovery) and the ability of K-12 schools to handle school-based incidents and emergencies prior to and upon the arrival of emergency service agencies. All-hazards planning involves being prepared for natural disasters, technological events and human-made (intentional and accidental) events. Even a small emergency can become a crisis when schools fail to develop all-hazards knowledge, plans and procedures.

Suggested topic presentations for this theme include:

  • Emergency responders; pre-incident collaboration
  • Emergency planning for special needs students
  • Evacuation and relocation issues in school emergencies
  • All-hazards plan development
  • Hazard/vulnerability assessments
  • Recovery crisis counseling
  • Special events planning
  • Student transportation emergencies
  • Student threat assessment process
  • Visitor procedures
  • Act 44 requirements
  • Parent reunification
  • Crisis communication

Research shows a connection between school climate and student academic achievement (Maxwell et. al, 2017). Schools which make it a priority that all students feel safe and respected enjoy a positive school climate. Providing educators and administrators with tools to support this climate of safety and respect will help them help ensure that all students are given the opportunity to achieve to the best of their ability.
Suggested topic presentations for this theme include:

  • Comprehensive school climate improvement
  • Cultural awareness
  • Effective classroom management
  • LGBTQ awareness
  • PBIS (positive behavior intervention and supports)
  • Positive peer relationships
  • Social norming
  • Social-emotional learning
  • Behavioral health assessments
  • Equity

Students suffering from abuse and/or mental health issues are at significant risk of academic failure. They may also be targets of bullying and harassment. A staff that can identify the signs, symptoms and behaviors associated with mental illness can provide appropriate supports and interventions in order to help students succeed.

Suggested topic presentations for this theme include:

  • Depression, anxiety and/or grief
  • Inclusive classroom techniques
  • Mindfulness
  • Self-injurious behaviors (cutting, eating disorders, etc.)
  • Suicide prevention
  • Topics for school nurses, guidance counselors and school psychologists
  • Brain development
  • Stress reduction strategies
  • Recovery after traumatic events
  • Connectedness and belonging
  • Resiliency

Research indicates that youth who engage in anti-social, violent and criminal behaviors as adolescents have a greater likelihood of continuing these behavior patterns as adults. As such, it is imperative that educators, law enforcement and community partners develop positive connections with youth to help them avoid negative behaviors and patterns. Awareness, prevention and intervention programs assist educators and their partners in identifying anti-social, violent and criminal behaviors.

Suggested topic presentations for this theme include:

  • Evidence-based effective programming
  • Research-based conflict management models and strategies
  • Balanced and restorative justice/practices
  • Awareness programs relative to youth anti-social and/or criminal behaviors, including but not limited to: alcohol and/or drug usage, gangs, hate groups, gambling, etc.
  • Human trafficking prevention
  • Social emotional learning

A wide variety of safety issues, not directly tied to the above categories. that impact student achievement and school connectedness. Because the areas of “school safety and youth violence prevention” are broad, this category allows prospective presenters to be creative in submitting proposals not covered at prior Safe Schools conferences.

Suggested topics for this theme include:

  • Alternative education for disruptive youth
  • Alternative classroom settings
  • Corrections education
  • Self-care for teachers (burnout prevention)
  • Family-school-community partnerships
  • Be creative!

Session Length
Three types of breakout sessions will be offered during the 2019 Safe Schools Conference. Applicants may choose any of the following.

  • Day 1, Wednesday, October 2, 2019: p.m. half day Institutes (3 hours each)
  • Day 2, Thursday, October 3, 2019: a.m. Plenary (2 hours each)
  • Day 2, Thursday, October 3, 2019: p.m. Workshops (90 minutes each)

Presentation Synopsis (75 words)
This is the short description of the presentation that will appear on the Safe Schools Conference website and in the printed conference program. All descriptions are subject to change at the discretion of conference staff.

To aid applicants in completing the presentation synopsis section found in the call for presenter’s application, examples of workshop descriptions are given below.

Example #1
A critical part of classroom management is the implementation of corrective consequences. For corrective consequences to reduce or eliminate purposeful or habitual misbehavior, they must be implemented consistently. When consequences are implemented only some of the time, the consequence, no matter how severe is not likely to change the behavior. In fact, it may even make things worse. This session will provide tips for implementing consequences.

Example #2
Easy access to the internet and social media has fundamentally changed the lives of children more than any innovation in history. The pervasiveness of portable internet enabled devices opens a world of opportunity to people and offers us great hope for communication, learning, and commerce. However, there are serious risks associated with the online world. Many parents and schools have unknowingly placed their children in harm’s way. This presentation is aimed at informing adults of the risks associated with children’s online activity.

Example #3
This workshop is intended to familiarize the participants with the components of a parent/child reunification program. This introduction is not meant to be an all-inclusive program, but is designed to make school officials and emergency responders aware of the key components of a good parent-child reunification plan. Participants will return to their school able to analyze their current capabilities and plans to improve their school’s parent-child reunification processes and procedures.

Selection Process
Each presentation proposal will be reviewed and evaluated by a team comprised of peer reviewers and Center for Safe Schools staff to determine selection. Proposals will be reviewed for:

  • Clarity of proposal
  • Adherence to proposal submission instructions
  • Relevance to conference goals and themes, timelines and general interest level of topic
  • Quality of proposed session’s content and the potential for engaging participants in meaningful discussion through experiential learning techniques
  • Format, organization, length and session type

Please note that vendor proposals will not be considered unless they are part of a school, school district or intermediate unit session proposal or if approved by Randall B. Fox, Center Director.

All applicants will be advised electronically regarding the status of their presentation proposal no later than Friday, May 10, 2019.

Conference Registration and Associated Costs
Presenters may attend sessions on the day of their presentation at no charge. If the presenter would like to attend on a day when he/she is not scheduled to present, the registration fee for that day must be paid. Registration instructions will be provided to accepted presenters when available. Presenters are required to assume responsibility for all costs associated with the presentation, including handouts, lodging, mileage, non-conference meals and related expenses.

Proposal Submission


Proposals must be submitted electronically using the Call for Presenters submission form no later than Monday, April 29, 2019. Handwritten, faxed or incomplete proposals will not be reviewed or accepted. Any questions regarding this Call for Presenters or the process should be directed to Randall Fox, (717) 763-1661, ext. 105.