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Motorists Urged To Follow School Bus Safety Laws As Students Head Back To Class

School Bus Safety Diagram Image

PIKESVILLE, MD, August 23, 2021 — With students beginning to head back to school – many for the first time in more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic – Maryland State Police and the Maryland Center For School Safety are stressing school bus safety for motorists.

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2021-2022 MCSS Student Focus Group Members Announced

2021-2022 Student Focus Group Announced

Weeks before the 2021-2022 school year officially begins, members of a select group of twenty-five student leaders from across Maryland are already planning how to make the most of the year ahead while ensuring that Maryland’s K-12 schools remain as safe and supportive of student success as possible. 

These student leaders are the recently-inducted members of the 2021-2022 Maryland Center for School Safety (MCSS) Student Focus Group (SFG). They follow in the footsteps of the twelve inaugural members of the group, whose one-year terms ended in June. 

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2021 Conference: Current Maryland High School Students Present “School Safety through the Eyes of Your Students: Ask a Student!”

Claire, Henry, and Kevin, Student Focus Group Members, smile for the camera.

Do your students really feel safe in your school? What do they think of the climate of their school? What does safety look like in the eyes of your students? What more needs to be done to keep students feeling safer? All of these questions and more can be answered in this Ask Me Anything-style panel session with teen members of the inaugural MCSS Student Focus Group. This is your opportunity to get student feedback on your school safety initiatives and ideas from the students with all work to serve.

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2021 Conference: Michele Gay and Lee-Nadine Oppenheim Present “Especially Safe: An Inclusive Approach to Safety Preparedness in Educational Settings”

Michele Gay and Lee Openheim outside in the verdant valleys of Maryland take a break to look at the camera.

Many will want to attend this snapshot presentation of the newly-released safety planning and training program for individuals with Access and Functional Needs. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss the program and sign up to pilot it in their school or district.

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2021 Conference: “Handle with Care Maryland – Program Overview and Updates”

Handle with Care Update photo

In February 2018, Governor Hogan announced that Maryland will implement the Handle with Care program statewide. At his direction, the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention is implementing the Handle with Care model across the state to increase trauma-informed approaches and to address Adverse Childhood Experiences to prevent future victimization or criminality. If a law enforcement officer encounters a child during a call, that child’s name and three words, HANDLE WITH CARE, are forwarded to the school/child care agency before the school bell rings the next day. Read more…



2021 Conference: Thomas Rivalis Presents “Drafting and Developing High Quality School Emergency Operations Plans”

Thomas Rivalis, conference speaker, looking at the camera stoically.

During his presentation Thomas Rivalis will share how to draft and develop high quality school emergency operations plans. Rivalis is the project manager for the Grant-Funded School Emergency Management initiative jointly administered by the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE).  He has been an EMS provider for 17 years.  Read more…



2021 Conference: Bryant Wu Presents “Ransomware and Risk”

Bryant Wu, conference speaker, smiling for camera.

Ransomware is a significant and growing threat to the education sector, and Bryant Wu, a Senior Intelligence Analyst at the Maryland Coordination and Analysis Center (MCAC), where he started, and currently leads, the Cyber Threat Analysis Section (CTAS), is excited to shed more light on this important topic. Since its inception in 2019, Wu’s CTAS has worked diligently to keep its ever-expanding network informed about developments in the cyber threat environment. 

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2021 Conference: Thomas Kelley Presents “Responding to Gangs In Schools”

Thomas Kelley, conference speaker, smiling for the camera

Master Police Officer Thomas Kelley provides an overview of the National Gang Center’s Responding to Gangs in School Guide and highlights the importance of responding to gangs within a school setting using a collaborative approach between law enforcement and school administration. He’ll cover the following three broad topics: (1) Gang activity, identification, and assessment, (2) Planning and implementing a collaborative approach, and (3) Prevention, intervention, and suppression techniques.

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2021 Conference: Jenn Lynn Presents “Positive Interactions with Autistic, I/DD Students”

Conference speaker Jenn Lynn Kerwin smiles for the camera.

Personal and professional experience in the field of disability and law enforcement has afforded Jenn Lynn a very well-rounded perspective on how to encourage successful interactions that meet the needs of everyone. School Resource & Security officers encounter disabled and vulnerable population daily and some interactions can be difficult. Jenn Lynn will walk you through the basics of how to find the positives in very challenging situations and how to form a trusting bond with the children that will grow your relationships.

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2021 Conference: Robin Shusko Presents “Promoting a Positive Safety Culture Within Educational Settings”

Conference presenter Robin Shusko smiling for the camera.

A strong, positive safety culture is a critical core value of many educational institutions and is also a reflection of the academic administrators, faculty, and students within an educational institution. When a culture of safety is promoted and actively practiced, it imparts a sense of confidence and caring for all employees as well as the entire community. Presenter Robin Shusko will provide guidance, recommendations, and an overview for strengthening and promoting a positive safety culture.

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