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Top Useful Definitions When Applying for a Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS) Grant
See below for definitions of important terms used in the application and application instructions.


Authorized representative: The official within an organization with the legal authority to give assurances, make commitments, enter into contracts, and execute such documents on behalf of the organization as may be required by the Department of Education (the Department), including certification that commitments made in grant proposals will be honored and that the applicant agrees to comply with the Department's regulations, guidelines, and policies.

Local educational agency: For the purpose of this competition, the definition of the term "local educational agency" is the definition at Section 9101 (26) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended:

    In general-The term "local educational agency" means a public board of education or other public authority legally constituted within a State for either administrative control or direction of, or to perform a service function for public elementary or secondary schools in a city, county, township, school district, or other political subdivision of a State, or for a combination of school districts or counties that is recognized in a State as an administrative agency for its public elementary schools or secondary schools.

    Administrative controls and directions-The term includes any other public institution or agency having administrative control or direction of a public elementary or secondary school.

    BIA schools-The term includes an elementary school or secondary school funded by the Bureau of Indian Affairs but only to the extent that including the school makes the school eligible for programs for which specific eligibility is not provided to the school in another provision of law and the school does not have a student population that is smaller than the student population of the local educational agency receiving assistance under the ESEA Act with the smallest student population except that the school shall not be subject to the jurisdiction of any State educational agency other than the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

    Educational service agencies-The term includes educational service agencies and consortia of these agencies.

    State educational agency-The term includes the State educational agency in any State in which the State educational agency is the sole educational agency for all public schools.
Local juvenile justice partner: For the purpose of this competition, the definition of "local juvenile justice partner" is an agency or entity that is officially recognized by State or local government to address juvenile justice system issues in the communities to be served by the grant. Examples of juvenile justice agencies include, but are not limited to, the following: local juvenile justice task forces, juvenile justice centers, juvenile or family courts, juvenile probation agencies, and juvenile corrections agencies.

Local law enforcement partner: For the purpose of this competition, the definition of "local law enforcement partner" is the agency (or agencies) that has (have) law enforcement authority for the LEA. Examples of local law enforcement agencies include municipal, county, and State police; tribal police and councils; and sheriffs' departments.

Local public mental health authority partner: The local public mental health authority partner is the entity legally constituted (directly or through contract with the State mental health authority) to provide administrative control or oversight of mental health services delivery within the community.

Rural districts: School districts with a designated locale code of Large Town (5), Small Town (6), Rural-Outside MSA (7), or Rural-Inside MSA (8) using the National Center for Education Statistics' National Public School and School District Locator (available online at

Suburban districts: LEAs with a designated locale code of Urban Fringe of Large City (3) or Urban Fringe of Midsize City (4) using the National Center for Education Statistics' National Public School and School District Locator (available online at

Urban districts: LEAs with a designated locale code of Large Central City (1) or Midsize Central City (2) using the National Center for Education Statistics' National Public School and School District Locator (available online at

Other Terms

Community policing: Community policing is a policing philosophy that promotes and supports organizational strategies to address the causes and reduce the fear of crime and social disorder through problem-solving tactics and community police partnerships. A fundamental shift from traditional, reactive policing, community policing stresses the prevention of crime before it occurs. Community policing is an integral part of combating crime and improving the quality of life in the nation's cities, towns, and rural areas. Core components of community policing include partnering with the community, problem solving, and transforming policing agencies to support and empower frontline officers, decentralize command, and encourage innovative problem solving.

Developmentally appropriate: In designing prevention programs, the developmental appropriateness of different intervention strategies must be considered. A key question is whether the intervention takes into account the developmental stage of the child or youth targeted for the intervention by addressing appropriate risk and protective factors. For example, dyadic (one-on-one) parent-child training programs may be effective with young children and early adolescents at risk for adopting violent coping strategies, but they are not appropriate for or may have negative effects on older adolescents who are seeking independence from parents and who look to peers for approval and status. Likewise, attempting to teach young elementary-school children how to deal with peer pressure for engaging in violence or taking drugs is not likely to be effective because they have no understanding of the intense need for peer approval and badges of adult status that emerge in this developmental stage.

Evidence-based: A great deal of progress has been made in recent years in developing and testing promising behavioral intervention strategies for high-risk children, youth, and families. As a result, the scientific knowledge base has grown rapidly, and many effective, developmentally appropriate programs are available. Equally important is the availability of information on programs that not only do not work, but can have potentially harmful effects.

The SS/HS Initiative requires the application of evidence-based preventive, treatment, and other behavioral interventions. Evidence-based refers to the extent to which an intervention is supported by scientific data to indicate its effectiveness. Evidence-based programs have met high standards of safety, efficacy, and effectiveness, based on the strength of the study design, magnitude of the beneficial effects of the intervention, sustainability of the effects over time, and replications of the benefits across different settings and populations.

Information on evidence-based programs, including programs for which there is evidence of negative or harmful effects, can be found on the following Web sites:

Goal: Broad, general statements concerning what a program intends to accomplish. This is also the intended long-term outcome of the program or strategy. Goals should be clearly defined and specific, realistic and attainable, and measurable. Examples of program goals that are relevant to the SS/HS initiative are reducing rates of youth drug use, reducing number of fights at school, or increasing access to mental health services for students.

Long-term strategies: These are strategies that span most (or even all) of an SS/HS project's 3-year duration. These long-term strategies should be linked closely with the program goals and desired outcomes, and are likely to be supported by a number of simpler steps or short-term strategies that will help implement the long-term strategy. An example of a long-term strategy that supports a program goal to reduce the rates of youth drug use would be "to implement a research-based ATOD prevention curriculum in all school district elementary schools." (See also short-term strategies.)

Objectives: Specific statements describing what will be accomplished, by when, for whom, and how success will be measured. Objectives should be derived from program goals. An example of a possible program objective for an SS/HS grant might include increasing levels of perception of health risk related to drug use among 9th to 12th graders by 10 percent by the end of the school year. A drug prevention program may expect to change student perception of health risk (objective) in order to ultimately reduce student drug use (goal).

Performance Indicators/Measures: Ways to objectively determine the degree of success a program or strategy has had in achieving its stated objectives, goals, and planned activities. Performance indicators should be specific and measurable, and should be derived from program goals and objectives. For example, knowledge of attitude change, numbers of fights at school, or number of clients served may all be performance measures.

Prevention: Reduction of risk of onset, or delay of onset, of an adverse health, mental health, or other outcome. Prevention interventions can be characterized as universal, selective, or indicated, based on the level of risk associated with the groups or individuals for whom the intervention is intended. Successful prevention interventions may reduce risk of onset, or they may delay onset, of negative outcomes. Preventive interventions may also include treatment interventions intended to reduce risk of comorbidity (having two or more diagnosable conditions at the same time), lessen the severity of illness, or prevent relapse of episodic disorders in diagnosed populations.

Protective factors: Characteristics, variables, and/or conditions present in individuals or groups that increase resistance to risk and fortify against the development of a disorder or adverse outcome. Both protective and risk factors can vary over time.

Risk factors: Characteristics, variables, and/or hazards present in an individual or group that increase the likelihood of that individual or group developing a disorder or adverse outcome. Because both the potency and clustering of risk and protective factors can vary over time and developmental periods, prevention interventions that are successful and developmentally appropriate take this variation into account.

School resource officer: A career law enforcement officer, with sworn authority, deployed in community oriented policing and assigned by the employing police department or agency to work in collaboration with schools and community based organizations to: (a) address crime and disorder problems, gangs, and drug activities affecting or occurring in or around an elementary or secondary school; (b) develop or expand crime prevention efforts for students; (c) educate likely school-age victims in crime prevention and safety; (d) develop or expand community justice initiatives for students; (e) train students in conflict resolution, restorative justice, and crime awareness; (f) assist in the identification of physical changes in the environment that may reduce crime in or around the school; and (g) assist in developing school policy that addresses crime and to recommend procedural changes.

Short-term strategies: These are strategies that can be accomplished in a relatively short, discrete period of time (perhaps 6 to 12 months). Short-term strategies should directly support the implementation of the proposed project's long-term strategies and attainment of its goals. Examples of short-term strategies might include the development of staff training activities, providing training to school staff, and purchasing a curriculum, all of which would support a long-term strategy of implementing a research-based prevention program. (See also long-term strategies.)

Social marketing: The social marketing concept differs from conventional "marketing" techniques. In social marketing, the objectives of the marketer are not focused on a product, but seek to use the core principles of marketing to influence social behaviors rather than to benefit the marketer. The beneficiaries of social marketing should be the "target audience" and the community served by the grant, and social marketing activities should ultimately enhance the health and well-being of the community.

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Last Updated on 1/27/2015