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Wyoming Department of Education Selects PublicSchoolWORKS as Approved Suicide Prevention Training Program for 2014-2015

By Abi Mandelbaum
September 11th, 2014

State Superintendent of Public Instruction recommends programs to address the state’s recent adoption of the Jason Flatt Act

Cincinnati, OH (September 10, 2014) — The Wyoming Department of Education has named PublicSchoolWORKS an approved provider of training on suicide prevention fundamentals and core competencies for all staff in school districts. As part of its adoption of the Jason Flatt Act, beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, Wyoming educators are required to receive a minimum of two hours of training each year to maintain their state teaching licenses. Wyoming is the 13th state to do so as part of its state-wide initiative to address suicide prevention for students. While requirements vary by state, the Jason Flatt Act supports state legislation that provides suicide prevention training and resources to teachers, parents and students.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among U.S. youth ages 10 to 19 (National Association of School Psychologists). Because of this, suicide prevention is a priority for school districts and states. This has led to an increased focus on student well-being.

Wyoming created a Suicide Prevention Review Team comprised of credentialed and experienced professionals who vetted vendors to find and validate programs that met the Wyoming standard. Seventeen educational programs now are approved and recommended by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction for use as suicide prevention training materials in the 2014-2015 school year.

The recommendation includes categorization of the programs into three tiers. Tier 1 provides fundamentals and core competencies training, such as those featured in the award-winning PublicSchoolWORKS EmployeeSafe Suite, and is recommended for all district staff, including teachers and administrators. Tiers 2 and 3 provide intermediate to in-depth or advanced training for counselors, nurses, clinicians, mental health professionals, and school psychologists.

“Our research and development team tracks legislation like the Jason Flatt Act and creates training courses that not only address the letter of the law, but also its intent,” said Tom Strasburger, vice president of PublicSchoolWORKS. “This diligence, on top of the built-in automation our online staff training system features, ensures that Wyoming districts are 100 percent compliant with state mandates like the Jason Flatt Act and also federal mandates.”

Three Jason Flatt Act-specific online training courses addressing suicide in students, suicide warning signs and responses, and suicide intervention are included in the PublicSchoolWORKS Student Safety, Wellness and Social Responsibility Catalog. The catalog includes additional topic-specific courses covering self-injury, self-asphyxiation or “The Choking Game”, suicide prevention, and more to help in dealing with student concerns. These courses are included in PublicSchoolWORKS’ extensive catalog of more than 400 online trainings available for school educators and staff.

The PublicSchoolWORKS online staff training system is programmed during implementation to auto-email employees to take their training and auto-sends reminder and late notice emails to those who have not completed training. Once the deadline passes, the system automatically sends non-compliance reports to supervisors and site administrators of those employees who failed to complete training.

PublicSchoolWORKS program includes a dedicated Research and Development team that stays on top of new and changing legislation. If legislation like the Jason Flatt Act is amended in any way that requires districts to take action, this team will add the necessary content, alert districts of the updated law and automatically deploy the new training.

Wyoming joins 12 additional states in passing the Jason Flatt Act, listed in order of the act passing: Tennessee, Louisiana, California, Mississippi, Illinois, Arkansas, West Virginia, Utah, Alaska, South Carolina, Ohio and North Dakota. In all instances, the passing of this act has been supported by the state’s Department of Education. For more information on championing the Jason Flatt Act in your state house, contact the Jason Foundation at 1-888-881-2323 or contact@jasonfoundation.com.

The PublicSchoolWORKS “set it and forget it” programs for staff and students were developed to improve safety in schools, cut risk-related costs, and reduce administrator time and effort, all while making district staff 100% compliant to local, state and federal requirements. For more information on how PublicSchoolWORKS can improve district safety programs, contact 1-877-779-6757 or sales@publicschoolworks.com.

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About PublicSchoolWORKS
Since its founding in 2000, PublicSchoolWORKS has been committed to providing top-quality, practical and cost-effective solutions to the constantly changing environmental, health and safety requirements affecting the nation’s educational systems. The company has gained an exemplary reputation for the innovation and technical superiority of its comprehensive and integrated safety and compliance management systems, which combine administrative software tools and resources to dramatically reduce the time and cost required to develop, implement, and sustain safety compliance programs. www.publicschoolworks.com.

About the Author:

Abi Mandelbaum

Abi Mandelbaum is CEO of YouVisit.