Course Information

The content in each of the five courses that make up this program systematically reflects in-depth research and best-practice learning focused on the key topics schools are facing today.

Each course is broken down into lessons that contain the following:

Academic readings including a breakdown and key takeaways


Video content from subject matter experts in the field


Activities to promote self-reflection


Submitted assignments to ensure learning outcomes


When enrolling in the Johns Hopkins Safe and Healthy Schools Certification Program,
 each learner will be required to complete the following courses:

This course is meant to help you reflect upon your interest in understanding and supporting a comprehensive safe schools strategy and to identify best practices in this regard. 

Beginning with an overview and definition of a safe school, we discuss the rationale for understanding the importance of safe and healthy schools, the Johns Hopkins School of Education SCHOOLWELL model for school resilience, early learning practices that support safe schools and the importance of strong family engagement.

School safety begins with a safe and healthy school. This course will focus on the complex and dynamic relationship between safe and healthy schools and mental health supports for both students and school-based personnel. 

As the national conversation around school safety continues to grow, we must address the growing needs to support students in various situations that can potentially undermine their academic success. In addition, schools face a growing role in terms of identifying and remediating mental health stressors affecting the performance of classroom teachers and other essential school personnel.

Every child deserves to be safe in school. This course will explicate the importance of research-based school interventions that support Safe and Healthy Schools. 

From improving outcomes for students with disabilities to using restorative practices to reduce student conflict to understanding trauma-informed practices and social-emotional learning as an achievement strategy, this course will make the case that schools must first be emotionally safe and nurturing environments in order to understand the physical dimension of campus safety.

This course seeks to establish a broader understanding of the nuanced relationship between school culture, climate and discipline. Participants will consider the disproportionality in school discipline outcomes for marginalized and underrepresented populations in the United States. 

In addition, the sometimes-controversial role of the school resource officer will be examined.

With $3 billion in annual spending on school safety across the country, school administrators are frequently compelled to make high-stakes purchasing choices with marginal information.  

This course will unpack advances in school safety technology, best practices in choosing technology to support safe and healthy schools, and safety training for students. It will also consider the overall impact of gun violence in schools as a mandate for change.

Take the first step to getting Safe and Healthy Schools certified today!

Johns Hopkins Center for Safe and Healthy Schools

In keeping with the mission of Johns Hopkins University to “bring the benefits of discovery to the world,” the School of Education equips educators and communities—locally and globally—with the latest insight into how learning happens.

The Johns Hopkins School of Education explores the frontiers of knowledge to understand how individual, communal, behavioral, and neurological aspects of human development interact to impact learning. Researchers are passionate about sharing their findings: with educators, with leaders, with communities, with students. With you.

From individual students to the schools they learn in, from communities to states, quality education is imperative. Nothing less than our future is at stake.


Klassroom is a mission-driven education company committed to connecting students with life-changing teachers and helping those teachers live their dreams.

Through state-approved teacher certification, innovative teacher recruitment solutions, online professional development and access to 1.2 million teachers, Klassroom offers real opportunity to address the national teacher shortage.

Klassroom is connecting great schools with great educators and empowering life-changing career opportunities. Because we believe there’s one critical factor to student success that will never change: the power of a great teacher.

How JHU and Klassroom work together

Created by the Johns Hopkins Center for Safe and Healthy Schools (CSHS) and powered by Klassroom, this program is the result of a joint commitment to establishing safe and healthy learning environments.

As a part of the core focus of CSHS, this program aims to address a definitive 21st-century issue facing education across the nation: ensuring students experience a safe school environment.

Working together with Klassroom, a mission-driven education company committed to connecting students with life-changing teachers, and helping those teachers live their teaching dreams, CSHS is thrilled to bring this program to schools across the country.

Course Contributors

A native of Baltimore and a graduate of Baltimore City Public Schools. Dr. Annette C. Anderson continued her higher education journey with a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University, a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in Education Policy, and a second master’s degree in Public Policy from Georgetown University.

Currently, Dr. Anderson’s portfolio includes faculty leadership for all of the Educational Administration and Supervision school leadership programs at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education (SOE) as well as the chairmanship of the school’s Curriculum and Policy Committee. She also serves as the Director of Academic Programming for the JHU Center for Safe and Healthy Schools.
Robert Balfanz holds a BA in history from Johns Hopkins University and a PhD in education from the University of Chicago. He is currently a research professor at the Center for the Social Organization of Schools at Johns Hopkins School of Education, where he is also the director of the Everyone Graduates Center. 

In addition to being the co-founder of Diplomas Now, an evidence-based school transformation model that has now been implemented in 40 schools across 12 school districts.  Dr. Balfanz has also published works on secondary school reform, high school dropouts, early warning systems, chronic absenteeism, school climate, and instructional interventions in high-poverty schools, with a focus on translating research findings into effective school interventions.

In 2013 he was named a Champion for Change for African American Education by the White House.
Julia Burdick-Will holds a PhD from the University of Chicago, where she was an Institute for Education Sciences Predoctoral Fellow. She was also a postdoctoral research associate at the Population Studies and Training Center at Brown University. She is now an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University.

Her research combines the sociology of education and urban sociology to study the roots of educational inequality and to examine the dynamic connections between communities and schools that shape opportunities to learn.

Her current projects focus on metropolitan-level patterns of school mobility and segregation and the relationship between transportation, safety and school attendance.
As professor and program lead for the special education programs at the School of Education, Laurie U. deBettencourt oversees all master’s programs and certificates within the special education programs. She is also principal investigator on an MSDE funded program training paraprofessionals to be special educators.

Dr. deBettencourt is also the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship at the Special Education Institute of Eötvös Loránd University, Atypical Behaviour & Cognition in Budapest, Hungary. She has co-authored several textbooks and written numerous articles related to the instruction of students with mild to moderate disabilities.
Sheldon Greenberg’s career began with the Howard County (Maryland) Police Department, where he served as a patrol officer, supervisor, director of the Police Academy, director of research and planning, and commander of the Administrative Services Bureau.

Dr. Greenberg served as associate dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Education for more than a decade, and as associate dean and interim director of the Johns Hopkins Division of Business and Management (currently the Carey Business School) for almost two years.

His primary research interests are police patrol, the relationship between police and public health, police organizational structure, highway safety, campus and school safety, the role of the police in community development and community organizing.
Prior to joining Johns Hopkins in 2006, Hardiman served in the Baltimore City Public Schools for more than 30 years. As the principal of Roland Park Elementary/Middle School, she led the school to its designation as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. With the use of the Brain-Targeted Teaching® Model that Hardiman developed, the school was recognized nationally for innovative arts programming.

Mariale Hardiman is currently a professor of clinical education, and co-founder and director of the Johns Hopkins University School of Education’s Neuro-Education Initiative. She has presented  nationally and internationally on topics related to the intersection of research in the neuro- and cognitive sciences with effective teaching strategies.

Hardiman earned undergraduate and master’s degrees in education from Loyola University Maryland and a doctorate of education from Johns Hopkins University.

Alissa J Harrington

Alissa Harrington draws from more than 20 years of industry experience as an instructional designer and technology trainer. In addition to her role as the instructional designer for Center for Safe and Healthy Schools, she is also the Senior Instructional Designer for McDaniel College.

A former elementary school teacher, Harrington holds a degree in elementary education from Towson University, and has obtained several certifications including Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW), Quality Matters (QM) Peer Reviewer, and SMART Notebook Certification. As an advocate for active learning classrooms and Universal Design for Learning, Alissa currently serves as the Education Liaison for the Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE), an American Institute of Architects (AIA) Knowledge Community.

Lieny Jeon is an assistant professor and research director of the IDEALS Institute at Johns Hopkins School of Education. She received her PhD degree in human development and family science with a minor in quantitative methods at Ohio State University and completed her postdoctoral training in the Department of Defense-funded Child Development Virtual Laboratory School.

Dr. Jeon’s research focuses on early care and education, family characteristics and neighborhood disadvantage that impact children’s lives.

She has been published in national and international peer-reviewed journals and featured in the New York Times. She was selected as an AERA-SRCD Early Career fellow in Early Education and Development in 2017.
Richard Lofton, Jr., serves as an assistant professor of education at the Center for Social Organization of Schools at Johns Hopkins School of Education and is co-principal investigator for the national evaluation of the Student Success Mentor Initiative.

Much of his work aims to reduce chronic absenteeism, develop caring relationships within schools and increase successful outcomes for students. His research also explores the Black habitus of African American students and parents and the impact of concentrated poverty on homes, schools and communities, examining the importance of uncovering systemic inequalities, illuminating agency and developing meaningful relationships with students and their parents for academic success.
A medical physicist, with a BA in Medical Physics from the University of California, Berkeley, and a PhD in environmental health sciences from Johns Hopkins University, Jonathan Links serves as the vice provost and chief risk and compliance officer at Johns Hopkins University.

He is chair of the university’s Committee on Crisis Management and Institutional Compliance Oversight Committee (ICOC), professor of environmental health Sciences in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and director of the Center for Public Health Preparedness which includes CDC-funded research on disaster mental health and public health systems.

Tamara Marder, PhD, BCBA-D

A licensed psychologist and a board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA-D), Tamara Marder has worked in the field of applied behavior analysis since 1994 and has extensive experience working with children with developmental disabilities and families in numerous settings, including schools, homes and hospitals.

Her research includes bettering learning outcomes for students with developmental disabilities and autism through effective training and preparation of educators and professionals who provide educational services. This includes training educators in implementing evidence-based practices and preparing special educators in the field of applied behavior analysis. In 2015, she received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Johns Hopkins University Alumni Association.

She currently serves as the program coordinator for the Applied Behavior Analysis; Autism; and Severe Disabilities programs.
Jonathan Plucker, the Julian C. Stanley Endowed Professor of Talent Development at Johns Hopkins University, serves in both the Center for Talented Youth and School of Education.

His research examines education policy and talent development, with over 200 publications to his credit and over $40 million in external funding to support his work. His recent books include Excellence Gaps in Education, with Scott Peters; Critical Issues and Practices in Gifted Education, with Carolyn Callahan; Intelligence 101, with Amber Esping; and Creativity and Innovation.

He is an APA, APS, AERA and AAAS Fellow, and a recipient of the 2012 Arnheim Award for Outstanding Achievement from APA and of the 2013 Distinguished Scholar Award from the National Association for Gifted Children.

Donna Schnupp

Donna Schnupp has been the instructional design manager at the Johns Hopkins School of Education for nearly 20 years. She currently manages the school’s instructional design team and is the lead instructional designer for its innovative Doctor of Education, collaborating with faculty to design and deliver a fully online EdD program that reaches students around the globe.

Schnupp has also taught online courses for the Digital Age Learning and Educational Technology and Online Teaching and Learning for Adults programs while being an integral part of the development of the continuing education units initiative for the Center for Safe and Healthy Schools. She also serves as the School of Education’s Johns Hopkins Universal Design for Learning ambassador.


Marc Stein is an associate professor in the Johns Hopkins School of Education and the research co-director of the Baltimore Education Research Consortium. He also is a faculty associate with the Johns Hopkins Population Center and a faculty affiliate with the Center for Social Organization of Schools.

His research focuses on quantitative and mixed methods analyses of the social contexts surrounding schools and schooling, and the role that these contexts play in the enactment of educational policy. He is especially interested in how educational policy can exacerbate or ameliorate racial-ethnic, socioeconomic, and other inequalities.

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Take the first step to getting Safe and Healthy Schools certified today!