The Mid-Valley Student Threat Assessment System
The Mid-Valley Student Threat Assessment System (STAS) is set of assessment protocols and safety planning procedures overseen and administered by a unique collaborative team comprised of schools, law enforcement, public mental health, the judiciary and juvenile corrections to promote safe school environments. The primary goal of the STAS is to provide an immediate and systematic response to youth who pose a serious threat to commit violence to others. Furthermore, the STAS also reduces over-reactive school responses to Zero-Tolerance Policies that often result in an inflated number of students identified as potentially dangerous and thus an over reliance upon expulsion to resolve school safety concerns.
The STAS process is a two-level system that includes the different perspectives of a school site-based multi-disciplinary team called a Level 1 Screening and a multi-agency community team called a Level 2 Assessment. Thus, the two-gate process maximizes school and community resources by determining the level of supervision and intensity of intervention required to decrease risk and ensure needed supports. The team-based investigation process is based upon assessment that determines the level of risk posed by a situation involving one or more students (as opposed to other threat assessment instruments that make prediction regarding potential violence based upon profile characteristics). The team-based decision making and supervision planning is based upon the assessment’s indications of risk, factors that elevate that risk and the protective supports and strategies needed to decrease that risk.
Simply put, the objectives are:
- Identify and assess threats of potentially harmful or lethal behavior and determine the level of concern and action required.
- Organize resources and strategies to manage situations involving students that pose threats to other students, staff and the community.
- Maintain a sense of psychological safety among our students, teachers, and parents, thus fostering a learning environment that allows for teaching and learning that is free of the distraction caused by fear.