This project's objective was to bridge the gap between scientific evidence and the application of that evidence to safety measures in schools and communities by defining the key components of a comprehensive approach to school safety and describing how schools can assess their readiness to implement a comprehensive approach.
Research has consistently found that a comprehensive approach to school safety, which integrates the best scientific evidence and solid implementation strategies, offers the greatest potential for preventing youth violence and promoting mental and behavioral health; however, schools and communities encounter significant challenges in articulating, synthesizing, and implementing all the complex aspects of a comprehensive approach to school safety. The current project used readiness and implementation data from the Safe Communities Safe Schools project to illustrate these challenges and solutions. The findings suggest that (1) readiness assessment can be combined with feasibility meetings to inform school selection for implementation of a comprehensive approach to school safety and (2) intentionally addressing readiness barriers as part of a comprehensive approach may lead to improvements in readiness (motivation and capacity) to effectively implement a comprehensive approach to school safety. (publisher abstract modified)