Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Center for Safer Schools to Hold Annual Summit

The Center for Safer Schools (CFSS) will hold its annual RISE Back to School Safety Summit from July 31-Aug. 2, 2023, at the Gastonia Conference Center in Gastonia, N.C.
Jul 12, 2023

The Center for Safer Schools (CFSS) will hold its annual RISE Back to School Safety Summit from July 31-Aug. 2, 2023, at the Gastonia Conference Center in Gastonia, N.C.

RISE – the CFSS’ signature event – focuses on the Resiliency, Information, Support and Empowerment needed when supporting children and adolescents in schools and communities. The training offers a range of sessions covering the issues of bullying, suicide, critical incidents and other vital information about trauma and victimization among children and adolescents, and how these various dynamics impact school climate and school safety. Scheduled trainings include child abuse prevention, gang awareness, human trafficking, School Risk Management Plans and suicide prevention.

“School safety is a primary factor in ensuring an environment conducive to students’ learning and growth, and parents want to know that their children will return home after sending them to school,” said CFSS Executive Director Karen W. Fairley. “It is the Center for Safer Schools’ responsibility to do everything we can to support districts in creating safer schools. This includes holding proactive trainings and providing resources on a variety of topics.”

RISE will have five Work Tracks for school personnel:

  • Engaging Schools and Communities
  • School Climate and Multi-tiered Systems of Support
  • Information/Intelligence Gathering
  • Emergency Management, Crisis Response, Recovery
  • From Research/Theory to Practice

Superintendent Catherine Truitt shared how this conference provides comprehensive training to school personnel to help prevent, prepare and respond to school safety matters.

“This Conference is an important way to kick off the school year and proactively provide research-based safety sessions and hands-on training opportunities to school leaders and personnel,” said Truitt. “There is an ever-increasing need to offer informational and educational support to school leaders, security professionals, and law enforcement, and we’re excited about the opportunity to do that through the agency’s Center for Safer Schools as they continue their work to create a safe and healthy learning environment for students and school leaders.”    

 Behavioral threat assessment sessions will be held for law enforcement. Behavioral threat assessment is a best practice for helping to identify potential threats in K-12 schools and school districts. Behavioral threat assessment and management provides a proactive, evidence-based approach for identifying individuals who might pose a threat to themselves or others and for providing intervention before an incident occurs.

A session on the CFSS’ Educating Kids About Gun and Gang Violence (EKG2) program will be held for school resource officers and school social workers. EKG2 teaches seventh- and ninth-grade students about the possible legal, medical and emotional consequences of youth gun possession, substance abuse and related gun violence.

Media: Training sessions are closed to the media. However, media representatives are welcome to attend the opening ceremony and the luncheon on July 31st, featuring remarks from Gastonia, Gaston County and state officials and RISE sponsors. Stay tuned for more information on media availability and interview opportunities, as this information will be noticed via an advisory distributed on July 24. This advisory will include additional information about how to RSVP and will outline which sessions are open to the media. Contact for more information.

About the Center for Safer Schools
The Center for Safer Schools serves to promote safe learning environments for North Carolina K-12 schools. The CFSS serves as a hub of information and technical assistance on school safety to school faculty and staff, law enforcement, youth-serving community agencies, juvenile justice officials, policymakers, parents/guardians and students. CFSS staff focuses on school climate, school discipline and emergency preparedness concerns for North Carolina’s public K-12 schools. CFSS staff is available to provide training, guidance and technical assistance upon request for school faculty and staff and those working with children and adolescents. The CFSS is headed by Karen W. Fairley, Executive Director.

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