School Safety » Threat Assessment Team

Threat Assessment Team

Protecting the health, safety, and welfare of Windber Area students and staff is a top priority. The District’s Threat Assessment Team is committed to assessing and addressing student behavior that may indicate a threat to the safety of the student, other students, school employees, school facilities, the community, and others. 

The Threat Assessment Team is composed of the School Safety and Security Coordinator and individuals with expertise in school health; counseling, school psychology or social work; school administration; law enforcement agency representatives; and members of the Safe2Say crisis team.  Each building has its own team who works alongside when needed, the District Core Team to investigate threats made against the school.  

If you are aware of a threat to the safety and security of our students or staff, please reach out to the school directly, report the threat to Safe2Say immediately, or call 911. 

Threat assessment is a fact-based process for the assessment of and intervention with students whose behaviors may indicate a threat to the safety of the student, other students, school employees, school facilities, the community, or others. Source:  PA Public School Code, Article XIII-E. Threat Assessment.
Threat assessment is a prevention strategy.
  • School communities work together to identify student threats before they become acts of violence
  • Schools have systems in place to process information
  • Students receive assistance through early identification
The people on the threat assessment team are appointed by the superintendent in consultation with the school safety and security coordinator. There are some positions that are required in statute to be on the team and there are others that may be assigned based on the needs of the school. The chief school administrator is to appoint a threat assessment team leader. The Principal of each building serves as the threat assessment team leader and each building has its own team that works alongside, when needed, the District Core Team. 
In addition, when a student is referred to the threat assessment team, it would the team will consult with or engage the participation of someone in the school building who knows the student well, whether that be a teacher, aide, custodian, secretary, food service worker, coach, or other school staff person.
Required Members (individuals with expertise in:) Optional Members
School Health Other school staff or community resources who can assist with the threat assessment process. 
Counseling, school psychology School Security Personnel & Law Enforcement 
Special Education Behavioral Health Professionals
School Administration SAP Team Members
School Safety and Security Coordinator & Juvenile Probation Professionals to name a few
Click here to view the District and individual building teams. 
  1. Education and Awareness - provide materials for students, school employees, and parents/guardians.
  2. Intake, Assessment, and Response - assess and respond to reports of threat from varying resources; make appropriate determinations, referrals, and notifications. 
  3. Communication & Information Sharing - provide information necessary for annual reporting. 
  1. Once the team receives a report of a potential threat, it is their job to assess and intervene with the student and determine the level of threat.
  2. If the student’s behavior indicates a threat to the safety of the student, other students, school employees, school facilities, the community, or others, the team will immediately notify the chief school administrator or a designee, the building principal, and the school safety and security coordinator.
  3. The building principal or designee shall then immediately notify the student’s parent or guardian, respond and make appropriate determinations and referrals based on the information available to the team.
  4. Following notification of the parent/guardian, the team may refer the students, as appropriate to the Student Assistance Program, a law enforcement agency, an evaluation under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a student's existing individualized education program (IEP) team established under IDEA and 22 Pa. Code Ch. 14 (relating to special education services and programs), and an existing team established to implement a student's section 504 service agreement established under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and 22 Pa. Code Ch. 15 (relating to protected handicapped students).
  5. A parent or guardian shall provide consent prior to a team referring a student to a behavioral service provider, health care provider, and/or a county agency.
School employees shall act immediately to address an imminent threat. Imminent threats and emergencies shall be promptly reported to a law enforcement agency.
School employees and other mandated reporters shall follow the responsibilities regarding reporting suspected child abuse as required by law.
For more information on child abuse recognition and mandated reporting go to:
Nothing shall limit the authority of a school entity to refer a student to the student assistance program without referral by a team, so long as the student's behavior does not indicate a threat to the safety of the student, other students, school employees, school facilities, the community or others.
The goal of this process is to ensure the safety of the school community, and also to ensure that the student presenting the threat receives assistance through a range of strategies already established in the school.
Some of the strategies/supports that Windber has in place when a report is made are:
Student Assistance Team Mental Health Services Through R.E.A.C.H.
Addressing Inappropriate Behavior Setting Reasonable Boundaries
Suspension Law Enforcement
School Psychologist Services School Counseling Services 
There are observable behaviors that may not be normal and are out of character for most students. These behaviors may lead to acts of violence. If the behaviors are noticed early on and dealt with through the strategies that are in place in the school, then appropriate measures can be taken to assist the student before the violence occurs.
Some observable, at-risk behaviors include:
  • Unusual social distancing or isolation of individuals from peers and family members
  • Sullen or depressed behavior from an otherwise friendly and positive person
  • Out of context outbursts of verbal or physical aggression
  • Increased levels of agitation, frustration, and anger
  • Confrontational, accusatory, or blaming behavior
  • An unusual interest in weapons
  • Fixation on violence as means of addressing a grievance
In January 2019, Pennsylvania initiated the Safe2Say Something Anonymous Reporting System, which is run through the Attorney General’s Office. It is a 24/7 hotline that allows people to submit tips via phone calls, a secure website, or a mobile app.
The reporting system allows people to submit secure and anonymous safety concerns to help identify and intervene
upon at-risk individuals BEFORE they hurt themselves or others. Individuals can do this by reporting observed threats, behaviors, actions, and harassment.
Students and Families Can Use Safe2Say to Report the following:
Assault Abuse (physical, verbal) Bullying or regular intimidation
Bragging about an upcoming
planned attack
Depression, anxiety, or loss of
Gun Violence / Violence Harassment Hopelessness, excessive guilt or
Reckless behavior Social isolation or withdrawal Substance abuse
Suicide threats, cutting, or other
Theft Threats
Weapons (use of and/or
discussion about)

Find out more information on the Safe2Say Something website. A downloadable APP for mobile devices is available on Google Play and the App Store.
Safe2Say Logo
  • Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) - PBIS is a proactive, multi-tiered approach to discipline that promotes appropriate student behavior and increased learning.
  • Student Assistance Program - The Pennsylvania Student Assistance Program (SAP) is a systematic team process used to mobilize school resources to remove barriers to learning. The primary goal of the Student Assistance Program is to help students overcome these barriers so that they may achieve, advance, and remain in school.
  • Multi-Tiered Systems of Support - Pennsylvania’s Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) is a standards-aligned, comprehensive school improvement framework for enhancing academic, behavioral, and social-emotional outcomes for all students.