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OESE: Office of Elementary and Secondary Education
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Office of Safe and Healthy Students

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I. Office of Safe and Healthy Students

The Office of Safe and Healthy Students (OSHS) administers, coordinates, and recommends policy for improving the quality and excellence of programs and activities that are designed to:

  • Provide financial assistance for drug and violence prevention activities; activities that promote the health and well-being of students in elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education; and school preparedness activities that contribute to improved conditions for learning.  Activities may be carried out by other Federal agencies, State and local educational agencies, and public and private nonprofit organizations.
  • Participate in the formulation and development of ED program policy and legislative proposals and in overall Administration policies related to violence and drug prevention and draft program regulations.
  • Participate in interagency committees, groups, and partnerships related to drug and violence prevention; school preparedness and homeland security; missing, exploited, and trafficked youth; and school health. 
  • Participate with other Federal agencies in the development of a national research and data collection agenda for drug and violence prevention and school preparedness.
  • Administer the Department's programs relating to citizenship and civics education.

OSHS is headed by a Director, who reports to the Assistant Secretary and/or respective Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy, and advises the Assistant Secretary and/or Deputy Assistant Secretary on matters related to the programs administered by OSHS. The Immediate Office of the Director provides overall direction, coordination, and leadership to the following major program elements:

  • Safe and Supportive Schools
  • Health, Mental Health, Environmental Health, and Physical Education
  • Drug and Violence Prevention
  • Character and Civic Education
  • Homeland Security, Emergency Management and School Preparedness.

OSHS is divided into three subordinate units:

Safe and Supportive Schools Group (S3) administers Title IV, Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (SDFSCA) authorized by ESEA, as amended, and other programs related to developing and maintaining safe, disciplined, and drug-free schools. In particular, this Group administers the Safe and Supportive Schools (S3) grant program and a number of interagency agreements with a focus on but not limited to bullying, school recovery research, data collection, and drug and violence prevention activities. This group provides national leadership on issues and programs in character and civic education, including reporting on issues and programs, disseminating information, providing technical assistance, and providing financial assistance for citizenship and character education activities. These activities may be carried out by State and local educational agencies and by public and private nonprofit organizations. (Group Leader: Paul Kesner)


Healthy Students Group administers programs that promote violence prevention, alcohol abuse prevention, and the health and well-being of students and families as outlined in Title IV and V, Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (SDFSCA) authorized by the ESEA, as amended. Programs authorized under this legislation provide financial assistance for activities that promote the health and well-being of students in elementary and secondary schools, and institutions of higher education. This group administers Safe Schools/Healthy Students, Physical Education, and School Counselors Programs. Activities may be carried out by local educational agencies and by public and private nonprofit organizations. (Group Leader: Norris Dickard)

Center for School Preparedness, or "the Center," administers programs that improve the ability of schools to prepare for and respond to crises and disasters (natural and man-made). The Center also has responsibility for addressing issues related to homeland security. The Center is responsible for Project SERV (School Emergency Response to Violence); Readiness Emergency Management for Schools; Emergency Management for Higher Education; Homeland Security Activities; and Disaster Response Coordinated with FEMA and DHS. In addition to the above activities, the Center maintains close contact with school security police chiefs, school resource officers, and emergency first responders. (Group Leader: Paul Kesner)

OSHS staff also implement several other provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. These provisions are consistent with the office's mission to support the creation of safe, disciplined, drug-free and healthy learning environments for students, and include:


 
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Last Modified: 11/13/2013