School Safety Officer Recruitment Information

WE’RE HIRING

School Safety Officers

School Safety Officers (SSOs) lead the School District’s work in fostering safe, secure, and supportive learning environments. In addition to being guardians for our schools, Officers are also mentors and champions of our students.

The primary goal of a SSO is to be a supportive role model by building positive, productive relationships with students, staff, and parents. This is done by collaborating with administration and staff by providing restorative suggestions and alternatives to punitive discipline. Your responsibilities will include: responding to and investigating incidents, using de-escalation, physical intervention procedures and conflict resolution as appropriate, taking the lead on serious violations, and referring routine discipline issues to the appropriate staff member; you will detain and make arrests for offenses outside the scope of our Diversion Program. Common daily activities include: effective management of the weapons detection process, safety checks of the entire building and its perimeter, acknowledgement of all calls for services (responding in a timely manner), and proper documentation and reporting of all incidents.

Apply today to support our schools and students!

Job Summary

Ensures the safety and welfare of students, faculty, and staff, as well as school grounds. The School Safety Officer (SSO) will work with the Office of School Safety and school administrators to identify procedures that will help create a campus environment that is safe, supportive, and conducive to learning.

Essential Functions

Provides security for all School District facilities, including extracurricular activities and some Saturday activities; patrols school grounds and perimeters on foot or in a vehicle; reports unsafe conditions.
Oversees building access by monitoring all entrances and visitors.
Builds positive relationships with students, faculty, and staff, and the surrounding community to establish a safe and supportive learning environment.
Exhibits ethical and professional behavior; ensures that students are always treated with dignity and respect.
Responds and investigates incidents and disturbances with efficiency; defuses and de-escalates misconduct or inappropriate student behavior.
Completes, organizes and submits incident reports in accordance with departmental procedures.
Performs other duties as assigned.

For All Specialties

Candidates must be at least 21 years of age at the time of appointment.

Successful completion of a training program provided by the School District of Philadelphia is a requirement for continued employment.

Qualifications
Minimum Requirements

  • High school diploma or equivalent.
  • Additional Requirements for the Bilingual Specialty
  • Training and Certification Provided
  • Health Insurance
  • Step Pay Increases
  • Paid Holidays and Weekends Off
  • Summers off, with opportunity for additional paid summer work.
  • Overtime Eligible
  • Pension
  • Union Represented
  • Advancement Opportunities
  • And more!

Find more information on benefits below.

Salary Schedule

Step 1Step 2Step 3Step 4Step 5Step 6Step 7
9/1/2333,84935,95038,62042,47845,12947,83549,271
9/1/2434,52636,66939,39243,43046,03248,79250,256

Office of School Safety

Now hiring Safety Officers to start the 2024-2025 school year

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the primary responsibilities of a School Safety Officer?

The day-to-day experience will be different for SSO’s stationed at High Schools vs. those at Elementary Schools.

General days are 8 hour shifts, with schedules of 6:30 or 7 AM – 3 or 3:30 PM.  This includes a 30 minute lunch break.  Daily duties include, but are not limited to: morning admission scans, monitoring parent drop-offs, amnesty box collection, perimeter checks, monitoring hallways, bathrooms, and lunchrooms corresponding to the bell schedule, preparing for dismissal, and addressing emergency calls as needed.

Outside of the School Safety team, this role would have the support of school partners, community groups, and Philadelphia PD.

What would the 10-month schedule look like?

General days are 8-hour shifts, with schedules of 6:30 or 7 AM – 3 or 3:30 PM.  This includes a 30 minute lunch break.

School Safety Officers (10-month) have the day off (paid) on any days schools are closed for holidays, including winter and spring breaks.

School Safety Officers (10-month) have opportunities, if desired, for additional work in the summer, which is compensated in addition to the base annual salary. Summer assignments are made on a seniority basis.

What are the opportunities for growth and development?

After two years an Officer is eligible to seek promotion to the Supervisor role. Beyond the Supervisor role there is a more senior supervisory role, the position of Area Manager. There are further senior organizational leadership positions. School Safety Officers are able to be considered for other openings in the department as they occur, such as Emergency Dispatcher.  For School Safety Officers there are other opportunities within the Officer role, including serving as a mentor in the School Safety Mentoring Program, or as a member of our Mediation Response Team.  School Safety Officers can be specially considered to direct one of our Police Athletic League Centers (as openings occur).  School Safety seeks to actively train, support and develop all of its staff, and to promote outstanding staff from within.

What training and support do new Officers receive?

The Office of School Safety places a major emphasis on the continuous training, support, and development of our staff.  Pre-service training includes the Pennsylvania state-mandated Act 67 course, as well as foundations in school safety and security operations, QBS Safety-Care certification, and American Red Cross CPR/AED certification.  Complementing core safety and security operations training, Officers receive training in trauma-informed care, adolescent development, as well as relationship development and mentoring. All training is paid.

Early career Officers receive ongoing training and coaching through the Positive School Safety Program (PSSP). The PSSP is a national model for training safety personnel to obtain the skills needed to positively and effectively interact with students to support and enhance school safety and climate. The PSSP uses specially trained School Safety Officers as peer coaches to directly support the learning and development of fellow School Safety Officers. The Program uses evidence-based approaches in school-based positive behavior management practices, trauma-informed practices, and community-oriented procedurally-just safety practices, to develop skill in forming positive relationships, promoting positive student behaviors, de-escalating challenging situations, and problem-solving around ongoing problematic student behavior.

Once hired, what are the next steps? Who is the point person?

Once you receive and accept an offer letter, the School District Talent and School Safety teams will work with you to move you from candidate to employee.

Kayla Kitchen-Newton from Talent will ensure you move through the onboarding process.  If additional support is needed, Frances Sanchez (fsanchez@philasd.org) from School Safety can assist

What are the clearance requirements for this role?

School District Employees are required to secure three clearances:

⋅Pennsylvania Criminal History Check
⋅Pennsylvania Child Abuse Clearance
⋅FBI Fingerprint Clearance.

Once hired, what does training look like?

The Office of School Safety places a major emphasis on the continuous training, support, and development of our staff.  Pre-service training includes the Pennsylvania state-mandated Act 67 course, as well as foundations in school safety and security operations, QBS Safety-Care certification, and American Red Cross CPR/AED certification.  Complementing core safety and security operations training, Officers receive training in trauma-informed care, adolescent development, as well as relationship development and mentoring. All training is paid.

Early career Officers receive ongoing training and coaching through the Positive School Safety Program (PSSP). The PSSP is a national model for training safety personnel to obtain the skills needed to positively and effectively interact with students to support and enhance school safety and climate. The PSSP uses specially trained School Safety Officers as peer coaches to directly support the learning and development of fellow School Safety Officers. The Program uses evidence-based approaches in school-based positive behavior management practices, trauma-informed practices, and community-oriented procedurally-just safety practices, to develop skill in forming positive relationships, promoting positive student behaviors, de-escalating challenging situations, and problem-solving around ongoing problematic student behavior.

Read about different programs School Safety Officers run and how they’re ultimate goal is to provide students the opportunity to reach their full potential in a positive and nurturing atmosphere.  By doing so, we help to achieve The District’s Goals and Guardrails.

School Safety Mentorship Program

  • A restorative initiative that aims to help support the needs of youth through mentorship, conflict resolution, mediation, and leadership development.
  • School Safety Officers (SSOs) serve as a positive role model to strengthen intergenerational relationships and equip students with life skills necessary for success Currently, this program serves district youth in 23 Elementary/Middle schools.
  • We work to ensure that each student is given high expectations, coping/restorative skills, and the ability to succeed in accomplishing all goals through group sessions.

Diversion Program

  • Designed to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline, the Diversion Program was developed via collaboration among the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD), School District of Philadelphia (SDP), Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS), and other city agencies.
  • Implemented across all city schools in 2014, this innovative policing strategy diverts—in lieu of arrest—students with no delinquency history who commit one of several specified offenses in schools and, based on identified needs, offers voluntary, community-based prevention services to diverted youth and their families. The School Diversion Program has resulted in an 84 percent reduction in school-based arrests.

Police Athletic League

  • The Office of School Safety has partnered with the Police Athletic League of Philadelphia (PAL) allowing us to open OSS Police Activity League Centers in three of our neighborhood schools – Tilden Middle School, Roberto Clemente Middle School and Harding Middle School.
  • We offer services for students of these locations that are centered around the OSS’s restorative justice model by building and fostering positive relationships between School Safety Officers, students and their surrounding communities while giving students a positive outlet in their neighborhood to exercise, socialize and build positive relationships through teamwork, character-building, mentoring and restorative circles.
  • OSS PAL Center programming will be aimed towards the goals of promoting character development and improving educational outcomes.