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CISA Releases Updated K-12 School Security Guide and Assessment Tool

The guide specifically focuses on the most common incidents of crime and violence that K-12 schools in the United States face today.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has released its third edition of the CISA K-12 School Security Guide and School Security Assessment Tool (SSAT), which include new products to support K-12 schools and communities in their efforts to strengthen security and protect against a range of targeted violence and other threats. The guide and accompanying web-based tool provide schools with a comprehensive doctrine and methodology to assess vulnerabilities, plan for emergencies, and implement layered elements of security.

“Our kids deserve to learn in a safe and secure environment, and CISA is committed to providing schools with tools and information to improve their security,” said CISA Executive Assistant Director for Infrastructure Security Dr. David Mussington. “The updated CISA K-12 School Security Guide and School Security Assessment Tool provide schools with critical new information, practical tools, and concrete steps they can implement immediately – and with minimal financial investment – to improve their physical security and better protect students, teachers and staff. This is part of our ongoing effort to make school safety and security information readily available for communities across the country.”

The third edition of the K-12 School Security Guide is designed to help local schools and school districts adopt a systems-based approach to physical security planning and implementation. It demonstrates how taking a systems-based approach to layered physical security can help schools create safe and secure learning environments without burdening staff members or expecting them to become security experts. The guide specifically focuses on the most common incidents of crime and violence that K-12 schools in the United States face today.

The guide is designed to be used in conjunction with the SSAT, a web-based assessment that walks users through a tailorable vulnerability analysis and provides results and recommendations that can be integrated into their safety and security plans. Together, both products outline action-oriented security practices and options for consideration for K-12 schools. Both products are also applicable to schools in different geographic areas and at various levels of maturity in their security planning process.

The guide and SSAT are part of the broader K-12 School Security Guide Suite, which includes an accompanying User Guide and Technical Appendix to support stakeholders in using the SSAT. CISA plans on releasing additional training companions in 2022 to further support the use of these resources.

To access the K-12 School Security Guide and SSAT, visit https://www.cisa.gov/k-12-school-security-guide.

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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