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Washington Parish School Board Washington Parish School Board Title IV, Part A, Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities whitepaper.

Title IV, Part A, Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities

The purpose of the Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities Act is to support programs that prevent violence in and around schools; that prevent the illegal use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs; that involve parents and communities; and that are coordinated with related federal, state, school, and community efforts and resources to foster a safe and drug-free learning environment that supports student academic achievement.

To be eligible for funding, school districts are required to develop the Title IV, Part A application through timely and meaningful consultation with state and local government representatives, representatives of schools to be served (including private schools), teachers and other staff, parents, students, community-based organizations, and others with relevant and demonstrated expertise in drug and violence prevention activities (such as medical, mental health, and law enforcement professionals).

Funds shall be used to develop, implement, and evaluate comprehensive programs and activities, which are coordinated with other school and community-based services and programs. Such program or activity developed must meet the five Principles of Effectiveness, and be scientifically based. Schools receiving funds under this act are required to report the information required for the uniform management information and reporting system.

In any fiscal year, a local education agency, or consortium may retain for obligation in the succeeding fiscal year:

  1. An amount equal to not more than 25 percent of the allocation it receives under this subsection for such fiscal year; or
  2. Upon submission of a waiver request which includes a statement showing good cause by such agency or consortium, a greater amount than the stated percent.

Principles of Effectiveness. For a program or activity developed under the Safe and Drug-free Schools and Communities Act the program must meet the principles of effectiveness and such program shall

  1. Be based on an assessment of objective data regarding the incidence of violence and illegal drug use in the elementary schools, secondary schools, and communities to be served including an objective analysis of the current conditions and consequences regarding violence and illegal drug use, including delinquency and serious discipline problems, among students who attend such schools (including private school students who participate in the drug and violence prevention program) that is based on ongoing local assessment or evaluation activities.
  2. Be based on an established set of performance measures aimed at ensuring that the elementary schools and secondary schools and communities to be served by the program have a safe, orderly, and drug-free learning environment.
  3. Be based on scientifically based research that provides evidence that the program to be used will reduce violence and illegal drug use.
  4. Be based on an analysis of the data reasonably available at the time, of the prevalence of risk factors, including high or increasing rates of reported cases of child abuse and domestic violence; protective factors, and assets; and other variables in schools and communities in the State identified through scientifically based research.
  5. Include meaningful and ongoing consultation with and input from parents in the development of the application and administration of the program or activity.

Scientifically Based Research. The term "scientifically based research" means research that involves the application of rigorous, systematic, and objective procedures to obtain reliable and valid knowledge relevant to education activities and programs; and includes research that

  1. Employs systematic, empirical methods that draw on observation or experiment.
  2. Involves rigorous data analyses that are adequate to test the stated hypotheses and justify the general conclusions drawn.
  3. Relies on measurements or observational methods that provide reliable and valid data across evaluators and observers, across multiple measurements and observations, and across studies by the same or different investigators.
  4. Is evaluated using experimental or quasi-experimental designs in which individuals, entities, programs, or activities are assigned to different conditions and with appropriate controls to evaluate the effects of the condition of interest, with a preference for random-assignment experiments, or other designs to the extent that those designs contain within-condition or across-condition controls.
  5. Ensures that experimental studies are presented in sufficient detail and clarity to allow for replication or, at a minimum, offer the opportunity to build systematically on their findings.
  6. Has been accepted by a peer-reviewed journal or approved by a panel of independent experts through a comparable rigorous, objective, and scientific review.

A local educational agency shall use its Title IV funds to develop, implement, and evaluate comprehensive programs and activities, which are coordinated with other school and community-based services and programs that shall

  1. Foster a safe and drug-free learning environment that supports academic achievement.
  2. Be consistent with the principles of effectiveness.
  3. Be designed to (i) prevent or reduce violence; the use, possession, and distribution of illegal drugs; and delinquency; and (ii) create a well-disciplined environment conducive to learning, which includes consultation between teachers, principals, and other school personnel to identify early warning signs of drug use and violence and to provide behavioral interventions as part of classroom management efforts.
  4. Include activities to (i) promote the involvement of parents in the activity or program; (ii) promote coordination with community groups and coalitions, and government agencies; (iii) distribute information about the local educational agency’s needs, goals, and programs.

Activities supported by Title IV funds should be age appropriate and comply with the principles of effectiveness. Such activities may include those that

  • Address the consequences of violence and the illegal use of drugs, as appropriate.
  • Promote a sense of individual responsibility.
  • Teach students that most people do not illegally use drugs.
  • Teach students to recognize social and peer pressure to use drugs illegally and the skills for resisting illegal drug use.
  • Teach students about the dangers of emerging drugs.
  • Incorporate activities in secondary schools that reinforce prevention activities implemented in elementary schools.
  • Involve families, community sectors (which may include appropriately trained seniors), and a variety of drug and violence prevention providers in setting clear expectations against violence and illegal use of drugs and appropriate consequences for violence and illegal use of drugs.

Authorized Activities

  1. Dissemination of drug and violence prevention information to schools and the community to develop awareness and knowledge of the nature and extent of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use, abuse, and addiction, and their effects on individuals, families, and communities.
  2. Professional development and training for, and involvement of, school personnel, pupil services personnel, parents, and interested community members in prevention, education, early identification and intervention, mentoring, or rehabilitation referral, as related to drug and violence prevention.
  3. Drug and violence prevention activities may include the following:
    1. Community-wide planning and organization - to reduce violence and illegal drug use, which may include gang activity prevention.
    2. Conflict resolution/peer mediation programs - implementation of programs intended to affect critical life skills, knowledge, attitudes, and skills in resolving conflict without violence, including programs that train peer mediators and a designated faculty supervisor, and youth led anti-crime and anti-drug councils and activities
    3. Alternative education programs or services for violent or drug abusing students that reduce the need for suspension or expulsion or that serve students who have been suspended or expelled from the regular educational setting, including programs or services to assist students to make continued progress toward meeting the State academic achievement standards and to reenter the regular educational setting.
    4. Expanded and improved school-based mental health services related to illegal drug use and violence, including early identification of violence and illegal drug use, assessment, and direct or group counseling services provided to students, parents, families, and school personnel by qualified school-based mental health services.
    5. Counseling, mentoring, referral services, and other student assistance practices and programs, including assistance provided by qualified school-based mental health services providers in appropriate identification and intervention techniques for students at risk of violent behavior and illegal alcohol, tobacco, and drug use.
    6. Mentoring programs that encourage students to seek advice from, and to confide in a trusted adult regarding concerns about violence and illegal drug use.
    7. Truancy reduction programs - drug and violence prevention activities designed to reduce truancy.
    8. Student harassment programs - age-appropriate, developmentally-based violence prevention and education programs that address victimization associated with prejudice and intolerance, and that include activities designed to help students develop a sense of individual responsibility and respect for the rights of others, and to resolve conflicts without violence.
    9. Locker searches - a student’s locker may be inspected for weapons, illegal drugs, or drug paraphernalia.
    10. Drug testing - consistent with the fourth amendment to the Constitution of the United States, students may be tested for illegal drug use (including at the request of or with the consent of a parent or legal guardian of the student, if the local educational agency elects to so test or inspect).
    11. Emergency intervention services following traumatic crisis events, such as a shooting, major accident, or a drug-related incident that have disrupted the learning environment.
    12. Establishing or implementing a system for transferring suspension and expulsion records, consistent with Section 444 of the General Education Provisions Act (20 USC 1232g), by a local educational agency to any public or private elementary school or secondary school.
    13. Character education - developing and implementing character education programs, as a component of drug and violence prevention programs that take into account the views of the parents of the students for whom the program is intended.
    14. School safety hotline - developing and maintaining a school safety hotline.
    15. Community service - pertains to activities conducted by students to benefit the larger community and encourage students to lead drug/violence-free lives or increase students’ sense of community. These activities may include service learning.
    16. Employee background checks - conducting a nationwide background check of each local educational agency employee, regardless of when hired, and prospective employees for the purpose of determining whether the employee or prospective employee has been convicted of a crime that bears upon the employee’s fitness
      • to be responsible for the safety or well-being of children.
      • to serve in the particular capacity in which the employee or prospective employee is or will be employed.
      • to otherwise be employed by the local educational agency.
    17. Early warning signs training - programs to train school personnel to identify warning signs of youth suicide and to create an action plan to help youth at risk of suicide.
    18. Domestic/child abuse programs - programs that respond to the needs of students who are faced with domestic violence or child abuse.
  4. Security Measures may include the following:
    1. Security equipment - acquiring and installing metal detectors, electronic locks, surveillance cameras, or other related equipment and technologies.
    2. Reporting criminal offenses committed on school property.
    3. School security plans - developing and implementing comprehensive school security plans or obtaining technical assistance concerning such plans, which may include obtaining a security assessment or assistance from, the Louisiana Emergency Management Agency (LEMA), the School Security and Technology Resource Center at the Sandia National Laboratory located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, or others as applicable.
    4. Safe zones of passage - activities that ensure students travel safety to and from school, which may include bicycle and pedestrian safety programs.
    5. Hiring and training of school security personnel - hiring and training based on scientific research, of school security personnel (including school resource officers) who interact with students in support of youth drug and violence prevention activities.

LIMITATION: Not more than 40 percent of the funds available to a local education agency may be used to carry out the authorized activities listed under security measures, section (D) 1-5; of which not more than 50 percent may be used to carry out the activities described in section (D) 1-4. If other sources of federal funds are used for the purposes listed in section (D) 1-5, Title IV funds may not be used.

General Fiscal Guidelines

  1. Funds may pay up to 2 percent of direct administrative costs associated with the operation of the Title IV program.
  2. Funds may be used to hire personnel if the personnel are hired to carry out activities consistent with the purposes of the act that are included in the approved application.
  3. Time distribution records must be maintained for employees working part of the time on Title IV activities and part of the time on other programs. Such records must be retained for a period of five years.
  4. Applicants may use no more than 20% of original Title IV allocation to purchase security equipment. All equipment purchases will be scrutinized closely to assure that the expenditure is deemed necessary and proper.
  5. Applicants may use no more than 40% of original Title IV allocation to fund school security personnel or School Resource Officers (SROs).
  6. The combination of security equipment and SRO expenditures may not exceed 40% of your original Title IV allocation.
  7. Funds may not be used for general entertainment or social activities, such as dances or parties. Title IV funds may be used for performance-oriented presentations by individuals and groups whose presentations are geared toward drug, alcohol, tobacco, and violence prevention.
  8. Funds may not be used for rehabilitation or treatment. Funds may be used for referrals for rehabilitation and treatment.
  9. Funds may not be used for construction costs.
  10. Funds may not be used to fulfill the matching requirements of another federal program.
  11. Funds may not be used to purchase agenda books.
  12. Funds may not be used to purchase medical equipment such as defibrillators/AEDs, first-aid kits, etc.
  13. Funds may not be used for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training.
  14. Funds may not be used to purchase file cabinets.

Budget Descriptions

When creating a budget item, be as specific as possible. Avoid using broad terms such as "office supplies" and "expendable equipment". Please provide a more detailed budget description such as:

  1. "500 copies of XYZ drug prevention program"
  2. "Six security cameras"
  3. "Instructional supplies to support XYZ bully prevention program"
  4. "Salary for Title IV coordinator"

Uniform Management Information and Reporting System

Schools receiving funds under the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act are required to report the information required for the uniform management information and reporting system including the collection of information on

  1. Truancy rates.
  2. The frequency, seriousness, and incidence of violence and drug-related offenses resulting in suspensions and expulsions in elementary and secondary schools.
  3. The types of curricula, programs, and services provided by the local educational agency.
  4. The incidence and prevalence, age of onset, perception of health risk, and perception of social disapproval of drug use and violence by youth in schools and communities.

The information described above must be reported to the Louisiana Department of Education and to the public. The first two items must be reported on a school-by-school basis.