Published: Dec. 13, 1999 Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail A new $1 million initiative called Safe Communities-Safe Schools was announced Dec. 14 by the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence at the University of Colorado at Boulder, The Colorado Trust and Attorney General Ken Salazar. The statewide initiative, unique in the nation, was developed by the Violence Center under the direction of nationally renowned violence-prevention expert Professor Delbert Elliott, and is funded by The Colorado Trust and a consortium of educational associations. It is designed to assist schools and communities in safe school planning. Over the three years of the initiative, which began in October, the Violence Center will provide any of Colorados 1,500 schools or their school districts with information, practical planning tools and technical assistance to conduct safe school planning that addresses their communitys unique needs. The Violence Center will serve as an information clearinghouse, providing schools with information it has collected from around the country on which school safety and violence prevention programs are effective and which are not. Schools and communities participating in Safe Communities-Safe Schools also will have access to a network for ongoing learning and information sharing. The other key component of the initiative will be the selection of 20 schools to receive in-depth training and technical assistance to further develop a comprehensive plan for creating a safe and orderly school, individually tailored to each schools particular needs. The schools will be selected by the Violence Center through an application process. To obtain application materials or more information contact the Violence Center at (303) 492-1032. Application materials are also available on the Violence Center Web site at www.colorado.edu/cspv/safeschools. Applications must be submitted by Jan. 31, 2000. Training of the selected schools will begin in the spring. “The goal of the initiative is to create and maintain a safe, positive and welcoming school climate that is free of drugs, violence, intimidation and fear — an environment in which teachers can teach and students can learn,” Elliott said. He noted that this climate extends beyond the boundaries of the school into the community. “Schools dont operate in isolation,” Elliott said. “Instead, theyre part of the fabric of the community and everyone in the community has a role to play in creating a violence-free environment for our youth.” Colorado Attorney General Ken Salazar endorsed the Safe Communities-Safe Schools initiative. “This effort is essential to create a model through which schools, youth, parents, law enforcement, clergy, business people and other community members can work together to create safe and healthy schools in which students can thrive and learn,” he said. “Safe and orderly schools was a major component of this summers Youth Violence Summit Report,” Salazar said. “This initiative greatly advances that portion of those report recommendations and I personally pledge my time and effort to help make this initiative a success.” “The Colorado Trust is very proud to be a part of this important initiative,” said John Moran, president of The Colorado Trust, a grantmaking foundation serving Colorado. “The Safe Communities-Safe Schools Initiative is an important complement to the Trusts Colorado Violence Prevention Initiative, which helps communities address violence at the local level through broad-based community involvement.” In addition to The Colorado Trust and Attorney General Salazar, other partners of the initiative include the Colorado Department of Education, the Colorado Association of School Boards, the Colorado Association of School Executives, the Colorado Federation of Teachers, the Colorado Education Association, the Metro Denver and Front Range Safe and Drug-free School Coordinators, and the University of Colorado. For more information, or for an application to participate in Safe Communities-Safe Schools contact the CU-Boulder Violence Center at (303) 492-1032.