Arizona Alliance of Black

School Educators

Creating and Sustaining a safe Teaching and Learning Environment by
Ensuring an academically, physically, and socially driven school community.

Due to the complexity of this topic, the workshop will be divided into two parts. Part one will focus on fostering a school culture that ensures a safe and academically driven teaching and learning environment. Part two will focus on developing a comprehensive School Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan.

Part one of the workshop will focus on fostering a safe and healthy school environment to ensure a respectful, high academic performing, teaching and learning community. Grade-level strategies and research-based programs proven to reduce socially irresponsible behaviors and incidents of bullying will be presented. Case studies illustrating how planning and preparing for crisis and emergencies, not only save lives, but reduce student and staff absences and lessen teacher “burn-out” and “bail-out”, while increasing academic achievement and mutual respect.

Part two of the workshop will focus on the development of a school-wide Emergency Response Plan with the minimum requirements mandated in ARS 15-341 (A) (32). Emphasis will be on the potential types of threats facing our schools and the three essential components required to be included in the Emergency Response Plan:  (1) Direction, (2) Control, and (3) Coordination. Group discussions, video clips, and a PowerPoint presentation will be used to present the material. Hand-outs will also be provided for each workshop participant. By the end of the workshop, participants will:
√    Develop an inclusive vision statement to reflect academic, emotional, physical, and social
safety as equally important tenets for ensuring a healthy and academically focused teaching and learning school community.
√    Identify site-specific, inhibitors and risk factors challenging the vision.
√    Prioritize potential risk factors and threats, specific to your site.
√    Review the Arizona Emergency Response Plan Template to identify financial, human, and
 technical resources required to complete and implement the mandated school-wide plan.


Horace attended A M & N College in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, where he studied Business Management. As a youngster, he admired his grandfather who worked for himself because he owned his own business since the early 1930’s. He then became even more inspired to become an entrepreneur by watching his father establish his own business, even though he taught school and worked as a school administrator. He soon learned that developing a service-driven skill, having a strong work ethic, working hard for you self and honesty will  Work ethics   because he  , he established Southland Risk Management in 1992, with the objective of providing commercial insurance and risk management concepts to public and private industries. As the Founder and CEO, his primary goal was to provide customers educational protection against potential losses from avoidable and unforeseen circumstances as well as financial protection due to business interruptions and employee/customer injuries.

After an escalation in violent acts on school campuses and places of worship in 2011, Horace expanded his company’s focus to include a comprehensive safety model and crisis management for school facilities. As the grandson, son, and sibling of generations of elementary, secondary, and post-secondary educators, (college professor, superintendent, principal, and teacher) he decided he could no longer sit numbly, listening to local, state and national news reports and his family’s personal passionate accounts of bullying, cyberbullying, unsafe working environments, and teacher “drop-out” occurrences, he decided to take his knowledge and resources to help make educational environments safer and ultimately more conducive for teaching and learning.

Horace began his journey by volunteering and working with school staffs, students, parents, community leaders, and first responders to get first-hand knowledge of the risks and challenges schools are facing. After examining a plethora of research and attending safe school conferences, he shifted his company’s focus to providing schools with proven risk management practices and strategies, similar to those used to save customers unnecessary expenses and equally important, reducing the number of employee injuries and loss of time from work. Horace partnerships with local municipalities, first responders, and staff to ensure the school is safe from violence and prepared for unforeseen emergencies. Horace is committed to creating a comprehensive safe teaching and learning environment, where staff and students can not only feel safe, but genuinely be safe, because predictable obstacles are minimized, if not removed. Data driven research documents that when students and staff can focus on teaching and learning without worrying about safety, students not only excel academically but demonstrate socially responsible behaviors.