Safety Planning

Comprehensive K–12 School Security Guide, Online Assessment Tool Released

Third Edition of CISA Guide Covers All Areas of Physical Security and Safety at Schools

The federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency this week released an updated CISA K-12 School Security Guide and School Security Assessment Tool, which include new aids and guidance to support K-12 school districts in strengthening physical security on school campuses and protect against targeted violence and other threats.

The guide and accompanying online assessment tool provide a comprehensive methodology to help administrators and safety officers assess physical campus vulnerabilities, plan for emergencies, and implement layered elements of security, CISA said in a news release.

“The updated CISA K-12 School Security Guide and School Security Assessment Tool provide schools with critical new information, practical tools, and concrete steps they can implement immediately — and with minimal financial investment — to improve their physical security and better protect students, teachers and staff,” said CISA’s David Mussington, the executive assistant director for Infrastructure Security.

The guide, now in its third edition, “demonstrates how taking a systems-based approach to layered physical security can help schools create safe and secure learning environments without burdening staff members or expecting them to become security experts,” CISA said. It specifically focuses on the most common types of crime and violence at U.S. K–12 schools.

Accompanying the guide is the SSAT, a web-based assessment that walks district leaders through a school-specific vulnerability analysis and provides actionable, detailed recommendations that can be integrated into district safety and security plans. Both products are applicable to schools at varying levels of maturity in their security planning process.

The guide and online assessment are part of CISA’s K-12 School Security Guide Suite, which also includes an accompanying User Guide and Technical Appendix to support stakeholders in using the SSAT. CISA said it will be releasing additional training components in 2022 to help schools better use the safety resources.

Find the K-12 School Security Guide and SSAT at the CISA website.

About the Author

Kristal Kuykendall is editor, 1105 Media Education Group. She can be reached at [email protected].