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Case management systems help school safety leaders--manual threat assessment program management can be challenging.

Case management solutions are redefining school safety, threat assessment


Managing threat assessment program manually can be challenging due to difficulty finding or sharing information across teams, districts, or counties

Key points:

Students continue to face a variety of challenges in and outside of school–especially at the K-12 level. Pressures can range from high expectations to achieve or bullying, to home-related insecurities and mental health concerns. These potential stressors can interfere with students’ ability to learn and excel. Sometimes, these students will act out or demonstrate early signs of inappropriate behavior.

As schools focus on empowering every student to succeed, they need to identify the signs of possible problems and intervene when necessary to provide the proper support.  

Fortunately, there are best practices available to guide educational leaders and teams. These tenets for threat assessment, such as Behavior Threat Assessment and Management (BTAM), provide a fact-based systematic process to identify, evaluate, and address situations involving students. Using a systemic process reduces the risk of wrongly profiling or labeling an at-risk student. These best practices help school leaders, counselors, and campus safety teams instead prioritize wellness by offering ways to support students in need. However, managing these programs manually can be challenging due to difficulty finding or sharing information across teams, districts, or counties.  

To help determine which students require additional support and wellness resources, school safety and threat assessment teams need to migrate from physical records to a system that allows effortless access, review, and sharing of information. Recognizing the critical need to support students and school staff, more states are providing funding to districts to redesign their student mental health and early intervention programs. 

Redefining threat assessment technology  

Prior to 1999, most safety measures in schools consisted of practice drills for natural disasters. After an increase in deadly school incidents, the focus of safety precautions shifted to physical detection methods to identify potential weapons with cameras and metal detectors. However, the hardware approach usually offers only a reactive solution—once a student has already reached a point of distress. Identifying trends in student behavior before problems escalate into violence enables a more proactive option that maintains school safety and prioritizes student well-being and success. This is where technology can help.

Case management solutions centralize knowledge, making it easier for authorized staff to identify warning signs, create the required documentation, and develop an action plan to intervene in a student’s well-being before a threat escalates. However, because schools have disparate information and different staff members responsible for campus and student safety, challenges emerge in ensuring that pertinent details are seen by the right people at the right time. With digital documents stored in a unified location, all incidents and levels of concern can be centrally managed, giving authorized staff on threat assessment teams quick access to relevant data about a situation and student.

Additionally, resources for integrated behavioral threat assessment best practices like BTAM can be stored in the same location to assist threat assessment teams. Once students have been placed on a wellness plan, their progress can be evaluated through a personalized dashboard to support each student’s unique situation and remedial journey.

A holistic approach to student well-being  

Information kept in binders or separate locations, such as student records, makes it difficult for threat assessment teams to keep a pulse on rapidly changing situations and gain a holistic understanding of each student’s case.

Case management solutions streamline information about each student in a centralized digital platform to support comprehensive evaluations. These technologies adhere to local, state and national regulations, such as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

These solutions empower school leaders and threat assessment teams to form a cohesive methodology for accessing incident reports, low-level concerns, and student files, assessing each student’s need for support, and prescribing wellness plans. These solutions assist threat assessment teams in identifying students showing warning signs, developing threat assessment guidelines, and documenting all at-risk incidents. When school personnel work together, they create a proactive support system for students, guiding and nurturing them on a path to academic success and personal well-being.

The changing dynamics of school safety underscore a heightened focus on the welfare of students, staff and even their communities. In response, educational institutions and states are embracing more inclusive prevention, intervention, and support approaches. Innovative, unified case management solutions transform threat assessment workflows and streamline the collection of key information. These digital tools not only expedite collaboration among diverse authorized stakeholders but also cultivate a deeper understanding of potential threats, elevating the efficacy of response strategies. The significance of this technology lies in its capacity to guide teams in adhering to best practices in threat assessment and the management of case information, fostering a safer and more secure educational environment. 

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