Preventing School Crises

Given the complexity of crisis events and reactions, planning and implementing school-based crisis intervention require special expertise. The immediate goals of school staff after a crisis are to reestablish a sense of safety and restore the learning environment at the school. This course is designed to help classroom teachers develop a sophisticated understanding of preparing, preventing, responding to, and recovering from school crises. The focus will be on how schools can promote mental health, resiliency, and coping skills for students who are affected by a crisis. This highly interactive course will examine school-based crisis intervention, strategic guides for response, addressing specific areas of crisis, law enforcement interventions during a crisis, examining available resources, and evaluating school crisis plans. There will be inclusion of the ways in which school crisis policies and response can reduce fear and the grieving process in schools. 

Graduate students will study the history, policies, crisis and grief processes, and school culture through class discussion, activities, case studies, inquiry-based learning, primary source analysis, and scholarly research. We will examine school crisis prevention and coping as it applies to students, families, and educators. This course will require that students apply critical inquiry into various forms of school crises. Case studies and practical application of program specifications will be utilized in the study of this course.