School improvement plans and major reform initiatives most often target core academic competencies. They might include strategies to improve the physical safety of school campuses, but they rarely include discussions about creating psychologically safe environments. School safety has garnered national attention in the aftermath of violent high profile shootings on K through 12 campuses across the country. The Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Education have offices dedicated to providing schools with funding, training and resources to improve security and develop strategic crisis plans. There are a variety of resources available about lessening physical vulnerabilities as related to school safety. There is however, far more to establishing a safe school culture than physical safety and secure facilities. It is equally imperative to ensure that schools are psychologically safe spaces for children. Very little work has been done to provide resources on practices for creating a culture of school safety related to student resiliency and well-being. This research examines best practices of K through 12 school leaders in establishing a culture of school safety - specifically targeting student resiliency and well-being.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Schools -- Security measures -- Psychology; School violence -- Psychological aspects; Students -- Psychology

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Madjidi, Farzin;