Ensuring That Learning Spaces Are Safe Spaces

Every School Is Safe initiative aims to keep schools free of violence.

Our schools are cornerstones of our communities.

They must be places where adults and children alike are free from all types of violence. That’s why we are facilitating Every School Is Safe, a coalition of community members who are committed to ensuring our learning spaces are also safe spaces.

Why It Matters

Every child, teacher and school staff person has the right to feel safe in school. Yet, with violent acts ocurring nationally and locally — including in nearby Perry, Iowa, and Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin — schools increasingly feel like vulnerable places rather than sanctuaries. Administrators and staff do everything possible to ensure safety, but what if the entire community joined in on the effort? This cross-sector collaboration focuses on the well-being of the children of northeast Iowa.

Our Unique Role

In partnership with local school districts, we facilitate Every School is Safe, inviting all who want to protect our region’s children to work collaboratively toward solutions.

Every School is Safe is powered by our tested model for driving systemic change: Understanding critical issues, convening partners, and mobilizing resources to have a positive impact on our communities.

The initiative builds on the work of our other initiatives that aim to increase student success, including Every Child Reads.

Through this work, we can build safe learning environments through candid dialogue and promotion of evidence-based school safety programs.

How It Works

We learn about challenges, concerns and opportunities by listening to people from all corners of our community. We recognize that several areas lead to a safer school environment—physical safety, emotional safety, supportive relationships, brain health support and community involvement—all of which can be addressed by an engaged and passionate community committed to the well-being of all children. By working collaboratively, we can forge partnerships that lead to safer schools for all.

Our Goals

We will facilitate a network that shares resources and identifies opportunities for:

  • Prevention: Identify risk factors and safety needs, and resources that can address them.
  • Preparedness: Ensure families know their school’s safety plans and are ready in the event of an emergency.
  • Partnership: Foster strong relationships among schools, families, law enforcement, brain health professionals, and community organizations to holistically address concerns.
  • Promotion: Educate the community on available resources, strategies to create safer learning environments, and ways to empower individuals to report suspicious activities.

Get Involved

You are invited to attend a series of community conversations during summer 2024.

We want to hear from people who are passionate about this issue and want to help create a community-based plan that addresses the safety of our schools and the well-being of the children and adults inside.

Here for you. Josie Manternach Program Officer josie@dbqfoundation.org 563-588-2700