Site URL: safesupportiveschools.ed.gov/index
Content: The Safe and Supportive Schools Technical Assistance Center is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students (formerly the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools) to help address issues such as bullying, harassment, violence and substance abuse. Specifically, the Center provides training and support to schools so that through measurement and program implementation, they can improve conditions for learning, giving all students the opportunity to realize academic success. The Web site serves as a central location for the Center and includes information about training and technical assistance, products and tools, and latest research findings.
Design: The site uses a simple color scheme and a clean and easy-to-navigate design. Major drop-down categories across the top include technical assistance (mostly research articles organized by user role [e.g., administrator]), events (primarily webinars), and topics and research (largely the same collection of research articles, but broken down by the topics of student engagement, safety, environment and school climate measurement; also, handy national data on indicators such as students who report being bullied or cyber-bullied). The homepage is arranged around a large image in a “scroller” that contains surprisingly few items (only three at the time the site was reviewed). Other areas of the homepage offer, in manageable bites, content from the various drop-down categories.
Review: Information within the content areas is all of good quality. Highlights include a selection of free, archived webinars covering everything from choosing and administering school climate surveys to substance abuse prevention. (The audio on these sounds a little hollow, but that’s a minor detractor from the content.) A School Climate Survey Compendium provides a very useful side-by-side comparison of available instruments. In addition, the topics and research section offers great access to many full-text articles. The site even devotes an area to the 11 current Safe and Supportive Schools grantees. This section gives a snapshot of each state which includes programs implemented under the grant and state-level data on indicators of student well-being. A welcome addition will be the technical assistance Products and Tools area, which is currently under construction.
Bottom Line: Educators committed to improving school climate will find much to like here. The webinars collection and survey compendium alone make the Safe and Supportive Schools Technical Assistance Center worth a visit from every administrator.