RCSD enters into contract with company to provide training for school safety officers

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Making Rochester City School District schools safer was on the agenda at Thursday night’s Board of Education meeting, in which members authorized an agreement with Coordinated Care Services to fund an additional $3,770 in training for school safety officers.

According to district Deputy Superintendent Ruth Turner, the additional training will help school safety officers better handle conflicts on campus.

“So they can really understand student behavior and how to de-escalate students when there is a disregulation. So it teaches them a lot about student mental health and how to respond in a way that will help students process their health and emotions in a very positive way,” Turner said.

That’s precisely what Turner said is needed as students and faculty prepare for the 2023-2024 school year.

“So we are entering into a contract to provide professional development for about 180, 160 of school safety officers,” Turner said.

When asked whether additional training would include having officers with handguns on school campuses, she said that is not something under consideration.

“That is not in our plan right now,” Turner said.

Under the current plan authorized by the school board, $3,770 will be used to enter into a contract with Coordinated Care Services to provide school safety officers with the extra training the district feels is warranted.

“The need of students’ mental health has really, really been a major concern and need that we are trying to provide, so this will provide a better understanding of youth mental health and maybe some of the experiences that our youth have so that our school safety officers will better be able to meet their needs,” Turner said.

Community Care Services was reached for comment on its contract with RCSD but said it would be inappropriate at this time to comment on the issue.