School Security Assessment Tool (SSAT)
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Step 1 of 9 Welcome
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Welcome to the K-12 School Security Assessment Tool (SSAT) provided by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security!
The SSAT is designed to help inform your school’s safety and security planning process by taking stock of what security measures and associated supports are in place across your campus, and where you can make improvements to improve the safety and security of your school community. The tool focuses on protection (keeping people and property safe from threats and emergencies) and mitigation (reducing the damage or harm from safety-related incidents) and will help you apply the three physical security strategies of detection, delay, and response.
Throughout the next sections, the SSAT will ask you to think about the various components that make up your school’s physical security system: equipment and technology; site and building design features; school security personnel; policies and procedures related to school security; and training, exercises, and drills. It will ask you a series of questions about these features; please do your best to answer the questions as accurately as possible, so that the tool can provide you with a tailored set of results that reflect your school’s unique security needs.
CISA uses third-party websites and services to make information and resources like the SSAT available to you. CISA will not collect, process, or store any information from you to use the SSAT. Third-party websites and services will also not store or retain any information from you as part of the SSAT. All the information you enter into SSAT stays on your local computer, so the information you enter about your school stays with you. Third party software, modules, or add-ins used to provide the SSAT to you may or may not use persistent cookies or similar technology; however, no data collected in this manner is accessible, viewable, or retained by the federal government. Any PII collected by the third-party website will not be transmitted or stored by CISA. CISA websites, including the SSAT, may contain links to international agencies, private organizations, and commercial entities. These websites are not within our control and may not follow the same privacy, security, or accessibility policies. Once you link to another site, you are subject to the policies of that site. By using the SSAT, you hereby acknowledge these terms and consent to any necessary data collection and processing for use of the SSAT.
After clicking the “Next” button below, you will proceed through four sections before arriving at the Results page:
- About School: The tool will ask questions about your school’s attributes such as grade levels served, location, campus layout, and the presence of school security personnel.
- Choose a Scenario: The tool will ask you to choose from a limited number of safety-related incidents. You can complete the tool for multiple incidents, although you will need to run the tool separately for each distinct incident.
- Existing Safety & Security Measures: The tool will ask you to answer a series of questions about the security measures in place across your campus. The questions will only ask about measures in place at those physical security layers relevant to the safety-related incident that you selected in “Choose a Scenario.” Keep in mind that some scenarios will require that you answer questions about measures in place at all four physical security layers—the school perimeter, school grounds, building perimeter, and building interior layers. It will take you longer to complete the tool for these scenarios, relative to scenarios that affect only one or two physical security layers.
- Safety & Security Measure Detail: The tool will ask you a series of follow up questions about the security measures you indicated are in place at your school. As noted above, this section may take longer to complete depending on the safety-related incident you have selected in “Choose a Scenario.”
You must answer every question in each section before proceeding to the next one. The SSAT includes an option to “Save Your Progress” if you need to pause your session. The “Save Your Progress” option does not require login information and does not transmit information to any third-party server for permanent storage. You can reload this saved information into the SSAT the next time you open the tool. Although this tool is web-based, only one user should input information and access results at any one time.
Once you have answered all of the questions in each section, the SSAT will display a set of eight results modules based on the information you entered. You also have an option of a results summary page that presents a list of options that your school could pursue to strengthen physical security which includes space for you to insert your own notes.
Please refer to the SSAT Quick Start Guide and SSAT User Guide, as well as the SSAT Technical Appendix, for additional information about this tool. A Glossary of Terms also provides definitions for security concepts and measures that appear in the SSAT.
If you have a pre-existing SSAT session progress file you'd like to load, please input the file here now:
Summary of Options to Strengthen Your School's Physical Security System
This page presents a full, printable list of recommendations to improve your school’s physical security system. Results are divided into three categories:
- Policy and Training to Support Your Safety & Security Staff
- Additional Safety and Security Staff You Could Add to Your Physical Security System
- Additional Measures You Could Add To Your Physical Security System.
|$ low cost for most schools||+ likely positive impact on school climate|
|$$ medium cost for most schools||± neutral or variable impact on school climate|
|$$$ high cost for most schools||- likely negative impact on school climate|
|$-$$$ costs for most schools will vary|
Click to expand the “Cost” and “Climate” boxes to view more information about the cost and school climate implications of each recommended security solution.
Click to expand the “Participant Notes” box to add your own notes related to specific improvement options. To ensure that your notes are saved, be sure to click “Expand All Results” when you are finished entering any additional information. Then click “Print” to save the Results Summary file as a PDF for future reference.
|Improvement Options||Why is this appearing?|
This is a test here
- You indicated that there were measures in your school's physical security system that you were not confident or only mildly confident would perform well to detect, delay or respond to this incident. A key part of your school security improvement planning should be taking steps to improve your confidence in those measures.
- You indicated that there were measures in your school's physical security system that you did not know enough about to assess whether you were confident they would perform well to detect, delay or respond to this incident. A key part of your school security improvement planning should be taking steps to gather the information you need to assess your confidence in those measures.
* If you indicated that there were measures in your school's physical security system that you were not confident or only mildly confident would perform well to detect, delay or respond to this incident, then a key part of your school security improvement planning should be taking steps to improve your confidence in those measures.
* If you indicated that there were measures in your school's physical security system that you did not know enough to assess whether you were confident they would perform well to detect, delay or respond to this incident, then a key part of your school security improvement planning should be taking steps to gather the information you need to assess your confidence in those measures.
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