CENTEGIX | Education

Pennsylvania School Safety Standards

CENTEGIX | Education

Pennsylvania School Safety Standards

Pennsylvania School Safety Solutions: Act 44

The Pennsylvania legislature passed the School Safety and Security Act (Act 44) in 2018, which offers new guidance for Pennsylvania school safety solutions and establishes a fund for safety grants. The legislation provides guidance for everything from training and planning to installing Pennsylvania school alert systems.

The law established the School Safety and Security Committee, which has since developed a tiered system for evaluating school safety. The law also created a school safety fund designated for grants to help schools achieve higher tiers of safety compliance.  

In subsequent years, the Pennsylvania state legislature passed multiple amendments that added regulations for developing a trauma-informed approach to safety, safety and security training standards and training requirements for school resource officers and security personnel. 

To qualify for grant funding, schools must reach a Tier 1 level of compliance, which focuses on safety training and planning. But, depending on the level of need, schools can achieve Tier 2 and Tier 3 safety criteria by implementing additional Pennsylvania school safety solutions.

Tier 1 Requirements

Pennsylvania School Safety Tier 1 Requirements include:

  • A physical security assessment
  • Vehicle barriers
  • Exterior lighting
  • Compliant doors
  • Visitor buzz-in entry system and procedures
  • Blind spot cameras
  • Emergency preparedness plan 
  • Law enforcement memorandum of understanding
  • Trained staff and security personnel
  • Emergency communication system

Tier 2 Requirements

Tier 2 Requirements include all Tier 1 requirements with the addition of: 

  • Vehicle speed controls
  • Backup generators for lighting
  • Buffer and holding areas for main entrances
  • Routine exterior door checks
  • An electronic school visitor management system
  • Security cameras in all common areas
  • Exterior door alarms
  • Law enforcement coordination
  • Security personnel stationed at each school level
  • Two-way emergency communication between the office and all campus buildings and personnel
  • Devices for hearing-impaired
  • Special needs considerations
  • Annual review
  • Ongoing training for all staff open to community first responders

Tier 3 Requirements

Tier 3 requirements include all lower requirements with the addition of:

Achieve Tier 2 and Tier 3 School Safety Criteria with CENTEGIX

While the Pennsylvania School Safety Act provides new funding pathways for schools needing Pennsylvania school safety solutions, most Tier 1 qualifications can be met by completing formal training and emergency planning. 

To reach additional compliance levels, however, schools must undergo more intensive training and will likely need to invest in Pennsylvania school safety solutions at the infrastructure level.

Enhanced Visitor Management Protects Your School and Your Visitors

CENTEGIX’s Enhanced Visitor Management system gives you added protection from outside visitors and increased visibility into who is in your school. With visitor badges, school administrators can create zone-based visitor location authorization, maintain historical visitor details and location data, and identify visitors based on role (volunteer, contractor, parent, etc.).

When combined with Safety Blueprint™ through the CENTEGIX Safety Platform™, security personnel can use real-time location mapping to pinpoint each guest’s specific location.

Teacher smiling at students in class
Nurse with badge standing in office

Safety Blueprint Coordinates All Security Feeds and Assets

Using an all-in-one intelligent response mapping solution like CENTEGIX Safety Blueprint™ can decrease response times for emergency responses, from personal medical emergencies to school lockdowns. The technology coordinates with security cameras for real-time emergency monitoring, visualizes safety equipment, and issues safety asset maintenance reminders.

CrisisAlert™ Badges Offer Personal Silent Panic Alarms

Tier 3 compliance requires schools to have a digital security alarm system that can be triggered from each building on campus. Our CrisisAlert personal safety badge gives each staff member at your school the power to initiate a request for help or trigger an emergency lockdown from their personnel badge. Each badge coordinates with the CENTEGIX Safety Platform to show real-time location data on the interactive map.

Teacher smiling at students in class

CENTEGIX Safety Platform: One-Stop Shop for School Safety

The CENTEGIX Safety Platform allows school safety planners to combine all of their safety planning assets in one location, combining the digital mapping, CrisisAlert badges, and Visitor Management in one place. The solution includes:

Reliable connectivity without Wi-Fi or cellular requirements

Immediate connection to emergency service technology

Real-time communication with local and state first responders

Public safety system and 911 integration

Funding for Pennsylvania School Safety Solutions

Stronger Connections Grant

The US Department of Education allocated $1 billion in Stronger Connections Grants through the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) in 2022 to create safer and more supportive learning environments for students. The BSCA funnels grant money to state educational agencies, who then issue the funds through state-level grant programs. 

The legislation includes nearly $39 million in funding for Pennsylvania school safety solutions. The award period spans the 2023-2025 school years, and funds can be obligated through September 2026.

According to the Department of Education, Stronger Connections Grant Program money should be allocated to achieve the following goals:

  • Support emotional and social well-being with evidence-based programs and strategies
  • Foster student support, positivity, and inclusivity 
  • Make place-based interventions and services more accessible
  • School and community stakeholder collaboration to implement strategies that create safer and more inclusive school environments
  • Meet the needs of underserved students
  • Emphasizing respect for the potential and dignity of students

Funds can be used to hire nurses and counselors, implement inclusion and behavioral intervention training for teachers, provide increased mental and behavioral service access, and other evidence-based strategies that foster supportive environments in Pennsylvania schools.

Explore additional federal funding programs in more detail here.


The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund was created as a part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Of the $189.5 billion in federal funds, Pennsylvania was awarded nearly $8 billion. More than $2.5 billion of those funds are still available for allocation through September 2024. 

Through the CARES Act, the first round of ESSER grants allotted $518,920,770 for Pennsylvania schools. Those funds were available for allocation through September 30, 2022.

In the CRRSA Act, congress allocated another $2 billion in ESSER funds for Pennsylvania schools. These funds had a September 30, 2023, obligation deadline and have mostly been spent.

The American Rescue Plan made an additional round of funding available. Pennsylvania’s portion of those ESSER funds is $5,000,509,384, with an obligation deadline of Sept. 30, 2024. 

Additional resources on the fund can be found at the federal government’s Education Sustainability Fund monitoring portal

Explore additional federal funding programs in more detail here.

COPS School Violence Prevention Program

The Federal COPS School Violence Prevention Program, overseen by the U.S. Department of Justice, earmarks funds for evidence-based school safety technology and programs. The money can be used to purchase new technology that helps monitor potentially dangerous situations and improve emergency response and notification systems, including Pennsylvania school alert solutions. Learn more about the COPS program here.

BJA’s STOP School Violence Program

The Bureau of Justice Assistance offers STOP School Violence Program funds through the U.S. Department of Education to help schools recognize, respond to, and prevent campus violence. The BJA STOP School Violence Program gives k-12 schools funding for software designed to maintain a safe environment. Additional information on the BJA STOP School Violence Program can be found here.

CENTEGIX | White Paper

The Impact of Safety on the Mental Health and Well-being of Staff and Students in K-12 Schools

When safety leads, success follows.

We’ve examined how physical, emotional, and mental health needs comes together to create the best possible outcomes for your district in our latest white paper. Access it today.
Download your copy of The Impact of Safety on the Mental Health and Well-being of Staff and Students in K-12 Schools now 
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Hear from Our Educators

We engage with teachers and staff every day to understand how CrisisAlert supports them, and here’s what they’ve shared:

A student was having trouble breathing and her vision was beginning to black out. We don’t have service in our building and it can be difficult to get ahold of the office staff, so having something to immediately alert them of emergency was incredibly helpful in a very scary situation.

Elementary school teacher

Clayton County Schools, GA

I had a student who was refusing to follow directions and became very defiant. This student was beginning to get aggressive. I used my badge to alert our campus security monitor to remove the student from the situation. It is a very useful tool when the response was as immediate as it was.

High school teacher

Clark County School District, NV

A student was having a severe panic attack, trouble speaking, crying, not able to answer my questions as to what was wrong with her. I used the device to call for administrative help and it worked like it was designed to. Help arrived in a matter of seconds. I saw firsthand how well it works.

Middle school teacher

Palm Beach County Schools, FL

Championing Safe Schools with Educators and Educator Associations

Discover the Safety Platform

Safety solutions that prioritize speed for the best outcome.

One Button Activation icon
A wearable mobile panic button quickly and discreetly initiates alerts.
Location Accuracy icon

Mapping and locating capabilities provide the precise locationof emergencies, visitors, and safety assets.

Audio Visual Notifications icons
Audiovisual notifications notify everyone rapidly of a crisis.
One Button Activation icon

A visitor management system screens and locates visitors on your campus.

One Button Activation icon

Protocol development to plan for rapid incident response.

One Button Activation icon
A private, managed network provides campus-wide coverage.
One Button Activation icon
Integrations to your existing safety assets to extend their capabilities.

CENTEGIX CrisisAlert vs. Mobile Apps

CrisisAlert eliminates vulnerabilities related to app-only solutions and enables rapid incident response to all emergencies.

In an Emergency, You Need CrisisAlert™

Adverse situations can happen at any moment—from everyday crises such as medical emergencies, severe weather, and physical altercations to extreme situations that threaten your entire campus. The faster you get help to the right location, the better the outcome.

See how our CrisisAlert wearable mobile panic button empowers staff to get help instantly in an emergency. 

Ready to Connect with a CENTEGIX Specialist to Learn More?

Ryan Baswell

Channel Manager

Phone: 330-814-0934


John Marchei

Regional Vice President

Phone: 401-269-9826


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