The Administration recommends that the Board of Education, acting in its capacity as Board of Directors of Philadelphia Intermediate Unit No. 26 (IU 26), authorize IU 26, through the Executive Director or his designee, to execute and perform contracts, subject to funding, as follows:
With: QBS, Inc.
Safety Care Training for staff working directly with students
Start date: 7/1/2023
End date: 6/30/2024
Compensation not to exceed: $300,000
Location: All Schools; Administrative Office(s)
Why is the contract needed?
Students, including those with emotional disturbance (ED), sometimes act out in aggressive or inappropriate behaviors, which can endanger themselves or others. To avoid these incidents, reduce the number of student physical restraints involving these behaviors, and to reinforce appropriate student responses in reaction to stress, anger, or other triggers, the School District of Philadelphia (District) seeks authorization to contract with QBS, Inc. (QBS) to provide teachers and staff with professional development in Safety Care. Safety Care is a highly effective skill-set used to handle, protect, and support students with self-injurious, dangerous, and aggressive behaviors, and to replace these behaviors, through the application of positive reinforcement, de-escalation, and modeling with appropriate and healthy responses.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) recommended that the District train all of its teachers and staff who directly work with students, in de-escalation, positive reinforcement and non-restraint techniques. PDE recommended contracting with QBS the proprietor of the Safety Care program as a means of providing this training. QBS is used by many other school districts throughout Pennsylvania to train staff in highly effective de-escalation, positive reinforcement and non-restraint techniques, .
To accomplish the task of having student-facing staff trained in Safety Care, QBS will train and certify designated District staff as Safety Care Trainers. Trainers are authorized by QBS to train other District staff in Safety-Care methods and to certify staff who successfully complete training as Safety Care Specialists. Under QBS certification guidelines, Trainers and Specialists must be retrained and recertified annually. Since the inception of this program, District Trainers have certified over 2,500 teachers, principals, staff, and administrators as Specialists who are now skilled in de-escalation techniques.
How is this work connected to the District’s plan to achieve Goals & Guardrails?
Safety Care techniques, when used in classrooms and to support special education students, promote positive reinforcement, focused learning, respect for self and others, and the elimination of racist and discriminatory practices. Teachers and staff implementing Safety Care provide students with effective social, behavioral, emotional, and mental health supports, which enables student to learn, make academic progress, and function proficiently on annual state assessments. By increasing student's positive behaviors and instructional time on task, Safety Care supports the Board of Education’s goals that every student shall perform on or above grade level in reading and math and graduate ready for college and career.
How will the success of this contract be measured?
The success of the program will be measured based on the number of District staff trained in Safety Care and the number of District staff who receive new certifications and annual re-certifications as Trainers and Specialists.
When applicable, is this an evidence-based strategy? If so, what evidence exists to support this approach?
Safe Care training of staff will reduce the number of serious student incidents, restraints, disciplinary actions, suspensions, and state corrective actions. The program will enable the District to support students in a positive, caring, safe, and respectful learning environment.
When applicable, was a larger community of District community members and/or stakeholders involved in this selection process? If so, what groups and how?
At the recommendation of PDE, teachers and professional educational staff employed in schools throughout Pennsylvania receive professional development in the QBS Safety Care Program. QBS was selected through a Cooperative Contract through an RFP issued by Chicago Public Schools.
Funding Source(s): FY23-24 IDEA Grant
Office Originating Request: Academic Support