New guidelines urged for Pa. school safety

    State education officials are rolling out a new set of initiatives they say will lead to safer schools across the commonwealth.

    State education officials are rolling out a new set of initiatives they say will lead to safer schools across the commonwealth.

    Listen:
    [audio: 091203sdschool.mp3]

    Education Secretary Gerald Zahorchak and State Board of Education Chairman Joe Torsella want to establish clear guidelines and mandates spelling out what Pennsylvania’s schools need to do to ensure a safe and welcome learning environment. Torsella says the effort is modeled after the expectations the state sets for teachers when it comes to education.

    Torsella:We set forth clearly what it is that we want, for example, a fourth grader to be learning in math class. We need to set forth as clearly what our behavior expectations are for that student and others in the hallways outside of math.

    The guidelines will be introduced at a Board of Education meeting next month.

    Torsella says he hopes to have them in place before the 2010-2011 school year begins.

    The officials are also endorsing legislation requiring educators to collaborate with their local police districts on setting procedures for what to do if a student breaks the law while on school grounds.

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