Three Valley high schools are among the top 100 safe schools in Pennsylvania, according to a survey conducted by a national analytics firm.
In order, the three are Selinsgrove, 47; Danville, 75 and Southern Columbia 91.
Ratings for the survey by Niche.com were based on Parent/Student Surveys on Health and Safety, expenses per student, expulsion rate, in-school suspension rate, law enforcement referral rate, out-of-school suspension rate, and school-related arrest rates.
The organization also ranks the safety of entire school districts. In that listing, Selinsgrove ranked 39th in the state; Danville was 105 and Lewisburg ranked 114.
“The safety rankings of the Selinsgrove School District are a reflection of the efforts by the faculty, staff, administration, school board, and students,” said Superintendent Chad Chors, Friday afternoon.
The district is continually trying to improve the health and safety components of their schools, Chors said.
“We are fortunate to have certified school nurses in each of our buildings to address health concerns. We also have a district-wide pupil services cabinet which focuses on how to better meet the health and safety needs of our students.”
Each building in the district has a safety committee, which meets regularly to examine safety and address concerns. School counselors and faculty work with students in how to prevent bullying and the need to report incidents.
“Our CASS (Creating a Safe School) initiative at the middle school utilizes students as leaders in helping their peers to address bullying,” Chors said.
“Our student body is also very protective and supportive of each other. If they become aware of another student having issues they will seek out help and support for them. I believe the health and safety in our schools is a top priority and it is only through a multifaceted team approach that we are able to make Selinsgrove a great school.”
Danville Area School District Superintendent Cheryl Latorre also praised teachers, administrative staff and students for their efforts in making their schools safe. “It’s always one of our main goals, safety,” she said Friday. “We initiated a risk assessment and vulnerability study of all of our buildings, and from that we held training sessions with staff.” The district has also met with local police and involved parents in discussions and programs.
The district has implemented “lots of internal and external education programs to educate our kids,” Latorre said. “We have an extensive anti-bullying program. And we have a comprehensive discipline program. Our principals have done a great job, and our students have responded in kind. Keep our schools safe has been an all-inclusive effort, and we’re proud that we’ve been recognized as one of the safest schools in the state.”