5. Review of School District Policies and Procedures

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Beginning in school year 2015-2016, every school district in Pennsylvania is required to have a set of policies and procedures related to working with students at risk for suicide. It is essential that educators are aware of their school district’s policies and procedures and what their roles are in compliance.


Terri A. Erbacher, Ph.D; Clinical Associate Professor, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine; Author of Suicide in Schools: A Practitioner’s Guide to Multi-Level Prevention, Assessment, Intervention, and Postvention

Matthew Wintersteen, Ph.D; Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Human Behavior Director of Research, Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University; Executive Board, Prevent Suicide PA, Philadelphia, PA

Course Length: 30 minutes credit

Course Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will be able to discuss the importance of establishing and reviewing school policies and procedures for suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention.
  2. Participants will be able to summarize the key outcomes of school suicide litigation.
  3. Participants will be able to describe the implications of school suicide litigation for school administrators and staff.

Course Supplemental Material:

  1. Please review your school or district suicide prevention policies and procedures.
  2. Pennsylvania Act 71 Legislation. (2014). Available here.
  3. Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) Model Policy. Available here.
  4. Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) Model Policy. Available here.
  5. National Model Policy, developed by the American School Counselors Association (ASCA), National Association of School Psychologists (NASP), American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), and The Trevor Project). Available here.

Course Achievement: No certificate will be available for this class. Completion for this class will, however, show up on the user’s transcript.  Once users complete the entire course (8 classes), they will be able to print a certificate.

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