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Department of Education Principal Office Functional Statements
Office of Elementary and Secondary Education

Functional Statements > Office of Elementary and Secondary Education

J. 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 other 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; draft program regulations.
  • Participate in interagency committees, groups, and partnerships related to: drug and violence prevention, school preparedness; homeland security; missing and exploited youth, 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 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-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 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, and data collection.

  • Programs authorized under this legislation provide financial assistance for drug and violence prevention activities in elementary and secondary schools, and institutions of higher education. Activities may be carried out by State and local educational agencies and by other public and private nonprofit organizations. Specifically, the group has lead responsibility for the Safe and Drug-Free Schools National Programs, Safe and Supportive Schools Program, and the American Clearinghouse on Educational Facilities.
  • Provides national leadership on issues and programs in character, and civic education, including reporting on issues and programs, disseminating information, and providing technical assistance, and providing financial assistance for citizenship and character education activities in elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education.

In performing its responsibilities, the group:

  • Administers discretionary grants, interagency agreements, contracts, and cooperative agreements.
  • Monitors program compliance with statutory and regulatory provisions.
  • Provides technical assistance to grantees and other members of the public.
  • Participates in the formulation and development of ED program policy and legislative proposals and in the overall Administration policies related to violence and drug prevention. Drafts program regulations.
  • Designs operating programs, prepares program budgets and other management documents.
  • Establishes program goals and objectives that are consistent with the ED strategic plan.
  • Participates in interagency committees, groups, and partnerships related to drug and violence prevention.
  • Participates with other Federal Agencies in the development of a national research and data collection agenda for drug and violence prevention.

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. Activities may be carried out by local educational agencies and by other public and private nonprofit organizations. Specifically, the group has lead responsibility for the following discretionary programs: Safe Schools/Healthy Students, Physical Education, Alcohol Abuse Prevention, Higher Education Alcohol Programs, Drug Testing, and School Counselors programs.
In performing its responsibilities, the group:

  • Administers discretionary grants, interagency agreements, contracts, and cooperative agreements.
  • Monitors program compliance with statutory and regulatory provisions.
  • Provides technical assistance to grantees and other members of the public.
  • Participates in the formulation and development of ED program policy and legislative proposals and in the overall Administration policies related to health, mental health, environmental health, and physical education. Drafts program regulations.
  • Designs operating programs, prepares program and administrative budgets and other management documents.
  • Establishes management goals and objectives that are consistent with the ED strategic plan.
  • Participates in interagency committees, groups, and partnerships related to health and the well-being of students in elementary and secondary schools, and institutions of higher education.
  • Coordinates with other Federal agencies on issues related to comprehensive school health.
  • Advises the Assistant Secretary and respective Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy on the formulation of comprehensive school health education policy.
  • Participates with other Federal Agencies in the development of a national research agenda for the health and well-being of students in elementary and secondary schools, and institutions of higher education.

Center for School Preparedness, herein known as "the Center," administers programs that promote the ability of schools to prepare for and respond to crisis 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
  • Disaster Response Coordinated with FEMA and DHS

In addition to the above activities, the Center is responsible for maintaining close contact with school security police chiefs, School Resource Officers, and emergency first responders.

Managing these programs/activities includes: administering (1) discretionary grants, (2) interagency agreements, (3) contracts, and (4) cooperative agreements; monitoring grant compliance with statutory and regulatory provisions; providing technical assistance to grantees, constituents and other members of the public; participating in the formulation and development of Department program policy and legislative proposals, and in overall Administration policies related to the prevention of, preparation for, and response to emergency and crisis situations, including school shootings, terrorism, and natural disasters such as earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes; drafting program regulations; designing operating programs; preparing program budgets and other management documents; preparing responses to program correspondence; directing staff responsible for operational programs; establishing program goals and objectives that are consistent with the Department’s Strategic Plan; participating in interagency committees, groups, and partnerships related to responses to emergency and crisis situations, coordinating with other Federal agencies on issues related to comprehensive emergency and crisis response plans, and advising the Assistant Secretary and/or respective Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy on the formulation of emergency and crisis response policy.


 
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Last Modified: 02/24/2012