JEFFERSON HILLS, Pa.; March 5, 2024 -- The West Jefferson Hills School District will hold its first annual School Safety and Security Symposium on Wednesday, March 20 at Thomas Jefferson High School. Members of the district community and all residents of the South Hills and Mon Valley are invited and encouraged to attend this important and interactive learning opportunity.

The symposium is open for all parents/guardians, community members, staff and stakeholders within and outside the WJHSD community.

Below is a listing of the 17 sessions being offered in thirty (30) minute increments. Attendees will be asked to select three sessions to attend, with more information on the time for each session to be announced.

Attendees are encouraged to register in advance at the following link: . Regular registration will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the TJHS Theater lobby with a general event introduction at 6 p.m. in the Theater.

Teachers that attend will receive Act 48 credit and paraprofessionals will get credit towards their 20 hours per year.

Thomas Jefferson HS students who are part of the school's Interact program will be providing free childcare on site for attendees. The district community is encouraged to attend this important event and to share with family and friends.

Below are the sessions that will be offered during the WJHSD School Safety and Security Symposium (Presenters):

ALICE (WJHSD School Police): This presentation focuses on teaching individuals how to respond to emergencies, particularly active shooter scenarios. The district uses this to prepare students and staff for unexpected and potentially dangerous situations in various school settings. The ALICE acronym stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate, representing a set of strategies for responding to an active shooter situation.

What is Behavioral Threat Assessment & how does that make my kid(s) safer? (WJHSD School Police) Learn about how the WJHSD uses a structured, multidisciplinary approach to Behavioral Threat Assessment to address potential risks to students, staff, and the community.

Safe2Say (WJHSD Administration): This presentation will discuss preventing violence and self-harm among students. Students can report concerns about potential threats anonymously without the fear of retaliation. The information reported through Safe2Say is used by school administration and local law enforcement to determine and respond appropriately to potential threats.

Trends with Juveniles and the Justice System (District Judge Michael Thatcher): This discussion will cover common challenges with juveniles and the justice system as well as provide parents with tools to aid them in their endeavor to raise their kids to be productive adults. There will be an opportunity for questions and answers.

The DUI Process and the Dangers of Binge Drinking (RC Hughes III, Hughes Initiative): This presentation will cover the basic process and consequences of a DUI arrest, including what may or may not happen if stopped for Driving Under the Influence of alcohol or drugs. We will also discuss the signs, symptoms, and dangers of binge drinking. With the advent of social media, drug and alcohol trends are hitting our kids at ages earlier and younger than ever before. We will discuss how we can better recognize and respond when loved ones are affected by these events.

Drugs and Drug Use: Signs, Symptoms, Look Fors (Detective Calvin Kennedy): This presentation will cover the signs, symptoms, and look fors of drug use. In addition, samples of what some of the typical drugs look like will be shared with participants.

Keeping Your Child Safe Online (State Trooper Gagliardi): Families can gain practical knowledge, tips, and resources to foster a safe and healthy environment in the digital age. It's an opportunity to ask questions, share experiences, and connect with experts who can provide guidance on navigating the challenges posed by video games, social media, AI, and current drug trends.

Depression and Youth Resources in the Community (Mrs. Amanda Sable): Learn about the Student Assistance Program (SAP) and how it's designed to assist in identifying issues including alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, and mental health issues that pose a barrier to a student's success. Depression will be discussed, including causes, diagnosis, treatment, and community resources.

Dealing with Loss (Highmark Caring Place): Dealing with loss varies based on a student's age and individual characteristics. These items will be discussed and parents will be provided resources and strategies to work with their children in these difficult situations.

The World is Not Better Without You (AHN Chill Project): This presentation will talk about statistics and demographic information about suicide, risk factors, what to look for, and different resources and ways to help those who may be struggling.

Child and Adolescent Depression: Signs and Symptoms for Parents and Guardians (AHN Chill Project): This presentation will review the types of depression seen in kids and teens, causes, symptoms, and how parents can help and share resources.

Parent Involvement and Child Mental Health Services (AHN Chill Project): This presentation will discuss the benefits of parents being involved in their child's mental health services and strategies for strengthening parent involvement. This presentation will also provide an overview of the impact social media can have on a child's mental health, and strategies to support your child and children in the community.

Hidden in Plain Sight (Detective Marcus Costanza, JHPD): This trailer teaches you how to recognize if your child may be hiding drugs in his or her room and how normal, everyday things can store an awful lot of really bad things. But that's just it. If we tell you all about the trailer, you'll know the secrets and it will spoil your motivation to look for clues. So, you're just going to have to carve out a little time to see it for yourself.

Prepare Your Child For Success: How To Create Healthy Habits in Adolescence (Mrs. Ashley Bellovich): We will discuss the importance of helping children create healthy habits and how the choices they make during adolescence will prepare them to be successful in the future.

504 Plans and IEP's: What's the difference? (Dr. Cassandra Bozek): Working with students with 504 plans and IEP's helps them be more successful in school. There are significant differences between the two. Attend this session to learn more about the differences and what each type of programming means for children.

Student Voice on Student Issues (Mrs. Jen McHugh/Mr. Pete Murphy): Panel discussion with members of Grades 10-12 regarding issues students face daily. Presentation and discussion will include data collected highlighting trends among youth. Come see the view our high school students have of the world today.

Demonstration of Lifesaving CPR (TJHS Students): TJHS students will demonstrate techniques of CPR to the audience and answer any general questions about CPR that they have learned with the intention of promoting life safety.

This content has been submitted by authors outside of this publisher and is not its editorial product. It could contain opinions, facts, and points of view that have not been reviewed or accepted by the publisher.