SSSD Threat Assessment Training Emphasizes Importance of Multidisciplinary Approach to School Safety
Representatives from multiple entities in the community received training to enhance best practices
Steamboat Springs, Colo. - September 6, 2023 - The Steamboat Springs School District (SSSD), in coordination with the Colorado Safety Resource Center (CSRC) and the Colorado Department of Public Safety (CDPS), delivered a full Threat Assessment (TA) training on August 3 and 4 to 40 individuals who make up our multidisciplinary School Threat Assessment Teams.
According to the National Threat Assessment Center at the United States Secret Service, “The goal of a Threat Assessment is to identify students of concern, assess their risk for engaging in violence or other harmful activities, and identify intervention strategies to manage that risk.”
Representatives from all aspects of the multidisciplinary team attended, including law enforcement (Steamboat Springs Police Department and Routt County Sheriff’s Office including both School Resource Officers) along with school administration, mental health providers, and school counselors from district schools. Representatives from North Routt Community Charter School and Steamboat Montessori were also in attendance.
“It’s important to have collaboration and a multidisciplinary team from schools, law enforcement, and mental health providers to ensure safety in our schools,” said Shelby DeWolfe, SSSD Behavioral Health and Restorative Practices Manager. “Everyone is trained with a different lens to recognize threats and how to respond. There is also a lot of new leadership in these entities, and we wanted to make sure we had the opportunity to establish our threat assessment procedures.”
The experts from CSRC provided the group with training in best practice TA protocols and the rationale behind TA’s that is grounded in 20 years of research by the U.S. Secret Service. The exercise allowed our multidisciplinary team to come together and critically evaluate and further establish our TA practices, procedures, and policies in the SSSD to ensure the highest level of school safety.
“With law enforcement, mental health professionals, and school leadership working together, it enhances our ability to gather information from multiple sources and organizational silos and maximize resources to address concerns,” said Rich Brown, Interim Commander of the Steamboat Springs Police Department. “We are committed to being an active member of the threat assessment team and to keeping our students, school staff, and community safe.”
“This effort began in April 2022 to ensure we had all our stakeholders involved,” said Dr. Celine Wicks, Superintendent. “We wanted our multidisciplinary team to be ready for the start of the 2023 school year. The safety of our students, teachers, and staff is always our number one priority.”
Laura Milius, Director of Communications