Second Annual School Safety Summit Goes Virtual & Discusses COVID-19 Impacts

empty school desk with pencil on it

Albany, NY (September 1, 2020) - Leaders from the University at Albany’s School of Education and College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity wrapped up the second annual Safe, Prepared and Effective Learning Environments (SPELE) summit on August 13. Three virtual sessions in July and August focused on school preparedness and response to COVID-19.

The well-timed summit, sponsored by Northeastern Regional Information Center (NERIC) and Capital Region BOCES, included discussions on how to safely reopen school buildings, campuses and classrooms, keeping students and schools safe in cyberspace, and addressing mental health for students and staff.

“Capital Region BOCES was proud to partner with UAlbany in support of this important event,” said Dr. Joseph Dragone, senior executive officer of Capital Region BOCES. “Districts throughout our region are not only constantly supporting the health and safety of their staff and students but are also actively managing all of the risk associated with cybersecurity and the protection of hard assets. As regional leaders, the opportunity to collaborate with our higher education partners to highlight the most recent and effective proactive measures regarding safety and security helps keep all of our schools, students and staff safe.”

UAlbany is New York’s oldest public teachers college and a national leader in the area of emergency preparedness and school safety. The virtual summit, offered at no cost to over 350 registrants, featured experts from across the University, along with local K-12 leaders and industry partners.

Speakers included David Holtgrave (Dean, School of Public Health, UAlbany), Robert Griffin (Dean, College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity, UAlbany), Jason Lane (Dean, School of Education, UAlbany), Gladys Cruz (District Superintendent, Questar III BOCES), Kambiz Ghazinour Naini (Assistant Professor, Center for Criminal Justice, Intelligence and Cybersecurity, SUNY Canton), Benjamin Yankson (Assistant Professor, College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity, UAlbany), Karen Geduldig (Associate Chief Information Officer, The State University of New York), David Versocki (Chief Technology Officer, Capital Region BOCES), Jennifer Goodall (Vice Dean, College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity, UAlbany), Amy Nitza (Director of the Institute for Disaster Mental Health, SUNY New Paltz), Jayson Kratoville, Interim Director of the National Center for Security & Preparedness, UAlbany), and Christy Smith (Assistant Dean for Academics and Assessment, School of Education, UAlbany).