Keeping Students Safe and Helping Them Thrive
A Collaborative Handbook on School Safety, Mental Health, and Wellness
by David Osher, Matthew J. Mayer, Robert J. Jagers, Kimberly Kendziora, and Lacy Wood, Editors
May 2019, 991pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
2 volumes, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-5413-2
$131, £98, 110€, A188
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5414-9
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

To create safe and productive learning environments schools must build supportive conditions for learning.

Details the safety, mental health, and wellness issues in schools today and focuses on the interactions and collaborations needed among students, teachers, families, community members, and other professionals to foster the safety, learning, and well-being of all students.

Safe schools and student well-being take a “village” of adults and students with varied interests, perspectives, and abilities collaborating to create caring, supportive, and academically productive schools. Schools are unofficial mental health care providers for children and youth who are placed at risk by social and economic circumstances and whose un- and under addressed needs can compromise teaching and learning. This handbook provides up-to-date information on how to promote safety, wellness, and mental health in a manner that can help draw the needed “village” together. It aligns research and practice to support effective collaboration—it provides information and tools for educators, administrators, policy makers, mental health and community organizations, families, parents, and students to join forces to promote and support school safety, student well-being, and student mental health.

Chapters address school context, the dynamic nature of school communities and child development, and the importance of diversity and equity. Chapters provide in-depth understanding of why and how to improve safety, well-being, and mental health in a culturally responsive manner. They provide strategies and tools for planning, monitoring, and implementing change, methods for collaborating, and policy and practice guidance. They provide examples of successful and promising cross-system and cross-stakeholder collaborations. This handbook will interest students, scholars, faculty, and researchers in education, counseling, and psychology; administrators in human services and youth development; policy makers; and student, family, and community representatives.


  • Brings together cross-disciplinary and cross-stakeholder teams from education, counseling, psychology, human services, juvenile justice, law, and other fields
  • Focuses on promotion, prevention, early and intensive intervention, and treatment for safety and wellness in schools
  • Highlights collaborative, culturally competent approaches to family and youth engagement
  • Provides strategies for threat assessment and crisis management
David Osher, PhD, is vice president and institute fellow at American Institutes for Research, where he leads research and capacity-building projects. He is principal investigator of the National Center on Safe and Supportive Learning Environments, the National Resource Center on Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention, and the National Evaluation and Technical Assistance Center for the Education of Children and Youth Who are Neglected, Delinquent, or At Risk. He is also senior advisor for the Evaluation of School Climate Transformation Grants, given by the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Justice.

Matthew J. Mayer, PhD, is associate professor of educational psychology in the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University. He has published on school violence and school safety as coeditor on the International Handbook of School Violence and School Safety, 2nd edition. He is on the editorial boards of Behavioral Disorders and Journal of School Violence and is an associate editor of School Psychology Quarterly.

Robert J. Jagers, PhD, is vice president of research at the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning. He leads action research projects focused on how social, and emotional learning can be leveraged to create equitable learning environments and equitable developmental outcomes, especially for underserved children and youth. He is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University and received his PhD from Howard University.

Kimberly Kendziora, PhD, is a managing researcher at the American Institutes for Research. Her work focuses on the evaluation of school-based programs related to students' behavior, mental health, and health. She also works on the measurement and improvement of conditions for learning in schools. Her work advances understanding of how schools can interact with communities to support all children's academic, social, and emotional development.

Lacy Wood, PhD, is a principal consultant at the American Institutes for Research and has more than 18 years of experience working in the field of family engagement. She is also a founding board member for the National Association of Family, School, and Community Engagement and sits on its family engagement policy task force. Wood chairs a cadre of SEA family engagement staff from 40 states across the United States, focused on providing resources and capacity-building support for SEA family engagement initiatives.


"Because of its transdisciplinary approach, anyone from researchers, students, and educators to parents will benefit from reading these volumes. All libraries with education, school counseling, social work, and school psychology students will find these two volumes a necessary addition to their collections. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty."—Choice, November 1, 2019
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.