As a school, we are committed to creating and sustaining a comprehensive, coordinated effort to support the overall safety and well-being of our students and the entire Moravian Academy community. MA has long been known for strong student-teacher relationships and this remains the cornerstone of student wellness. Student support teams compliment this with strategic responses to specific student needs.
We also believe student wellness must involve community-wide programs and initiatives involving students, parents, teachers, administrators, local law enforcement, mental health & wellness professionals, and elected officials to take meaningful action to protect our students. With this in mind, today, we are happy to announce the launch of the “Safe2Say Something” (S2SS) reporting system. This program, which is mandated under PA state law/Act 44, teaches students, teachers, and administrators how to recognize warning signs and signals, especially within social media, of individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others and Say Something to a trusted adult OR use the S2SS anonymous reporting system. Specifically, the program educates participants to:
- Recognize the signs and signals of at-risk behaviors – especially within social media
- Take every sign and signal seriously; act quickly to get help by talking to a trusted adult OR
- Report it anonymously through the S2SS Office of the Attorney General 24/7 Crisis Center, mobile app, or website
- Respond to and manage the submitted tip via a school-based multi-disciplinary educator and administrator teams
- Sustain the curriculum and awareness via student clubs, in-school activities and call-to-action weeks
Our S2SS training began Tuesday, February 19th, with our Middle and Upper School faculty and was followed by student training at these division levels. In our Middle School, student training occurred on Monday, February 25th. Each student had an extended advisory session to participate in an interactive training in paired advisory groups; to reinforce key learning points and messages, a follow-up advisory session is also scheduled for Monday, March 4th. In our Upper School, students learned about S2SS in paired advisory groups last Wednesday, February 27th and Thursday, February 28th. Students often are aware of the problems their peers are facing, so we want them to know the danger signs and give them the tools to help each other with the assistance of trained and caring adults. We believe our advisor-advisee relationships and advisory groups lend themselves well to such critical conversations.
To learn more about the S2SS program, click here for a full brochure outlining the program. You can help your child at home by reading this brochure and being ready to listen and help them find a trusted adult to go to with a concern.
The S2SS program is being provided through Sandy Hook Promise (SHP), a nation-wide non-profit organization. SHP’s programs are in 50 states – with 10,000+ schools and over 5.5 million students and adults trained. They have a track record, reputation, and knowledge of how to work effectively with kids, parents, and teachers to improve school safety and culture. The program is age-appropriate and research-based. SHP also have funding to provide and sustain the program at no cost to our school (and all schools statewide). Pennsylvania is the first state in the nation with a state-wide deployment of this program.
We anticipate that the S2SS student trainings and overall initiative will have a positive impact on our school’s safety, security, and overall climate.