Alternatives to SROs? The School Safety Coach Model

There have been many conversations in the past few weeks about the role of Student Resource Officers (SROs) in schools. The RPS School Board is considering next steps and timeframes to have a discussion on SROs in our schools.


As I watch and read about the work of other districts in MN and nationwide who have discussed the future of SROs, a major part of the discussion has been on the alternatives to SROs. How could financial and human resources currently allocated to SROs be redeployed to serve the maximum benefit to students? What is the impact on school safety and student outcomes?


Minnesota Intermediate District 287 (ISD 287) replaced their SROs with Student Safety Coaches (SSCs) in the 2017-18 school year, and the positive impact for students since implementation has been impressive. According to ISD 287, they are the only district that has developed this type of model. I am interested in receiving feedback from the Rochester community on this alternative model at canathan@rochester.k12.mn.us.


Here is some information for you to review on the SSC program.

✳School safety coaches model graphic (attached)

✳Presentation to ISD287 School Board on June 25, 2020 - If you're wondering "how would this work?", the presentation and discussion at their board meeting last night provides some great insight.

PowerPoint: https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicItemDownload.aspx?ik=46570172

Link to Video: https://youtu.be/KBg2lIlZRWo?t=4545


More resources/media links on ISD 287's work:

✳Great video (5 min watch) from ISD 287 on their School Safety Coach work with feedback from students and staff.

https://youtu.be/0RSc6D-TPG0

✳Minn Post Article 6/25/20: https://www.minnpost.com/education/2020/06/no-police-in-schools-this-minnesota-district-committed-to-an-alternative-four-years-ago/

✳Hearing of the MN House Education Policy Committee January of 2019 - ISD 287 testified on the SSC program - link to video: https://youtu.be/h11X0CqfmfY?t=325

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