University of Montana Safe Schools Center


Providing training, research and professional development services to schools and communities across Montana and the U.S.

Click Here to let us know how we can support your safe & positive Montana School

  • School Emergency Operations Planning
  • Cybersecurity
  • Victim Assistance
  • Professional Development
  • Threat Assessment

About Us

The UM Safe Schools Center was endorsed by the Superintendent of Montana's Office of Public Instruction in 2005, and approved by the Montana University System Board of Regents in 2006. However, our organization has been working on numerous school safety grants and initiatives since 1999. Our current director is Dr. Emily Sallee, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Counseling.

Contact Us

Safe Schools Center 
Phyllis J. Washington Education Building, Suite 109 
Social Media: UMTSafeSchools

Staff Directory

Services Provided

The Montana Safe Schools Center can provide unique individualized school safety training and technical support.

  • Training
  • Technical Support
  • Emergency Operation Plan Development
  • Consultation
  • Suicide Intervention Skills training (ASIST and safeTALK)
  • MSSC Podcast about school safety
  • Anonymous School Safety Tip line (SAFERMT)

For specific information, please see the individual tabs on the left side of the website.

Upcoming Trainings

K-12 School Safety and Educator Wellness Course

This course is designed for educational leaders and other professionals to heighten awareness of factors around keeping students safe at school. Topics include: resiliency, trauma, crisis prevention, threat assessment, cybersecurity, physical site safety, armed intruder response, suicide, and multi-hazard emergency plans. Graduate credit and non-credit course options available for summer session June 12-July 14th, 2023. The course will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., in-person or via Zoom.

Online registration:

Cybersecurity Training for K-12 Educators

The University of Montana's Safe Schools Center (MSSC) was awarded a federal STOP School Violence Grant. Included in this grant is hosting cybersecurity trainings to assist K-12 schools in learning more about the topic. MSSC in partnership with Missoula College's National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense have brought together local, state, and federal trainers to build a curriculum that will provide research, training, and best practices to keep schools safe from cyber-attacks. The goal of the training is to provide problem-solving skills, test technical aptitude and lessons learned from cyber-attacks in the State of Montana.

  • January 1st, 2023 - May 15th, 2023
  • Fee: $25
  • Available completely online for noncredit only.
  • The micro-credentialed cybersecurity course is live and available for registration. Please see the registration link to access the course.

News and Updates

  • May is Mental Health Awareness Month!
    • Mental Health Awareness Month has been observed in the U.S. since 1949. Every year during the month of May, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) joins the national movement to raise awareness about mental health. Together, we fight stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for policies that support the millions of people in the U.S. affected by mental illness.

    • Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. Mental health is important at all stages in life since it determines how to handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices in life. Everyone's journey with mental health is unique and different. A person's mental health can change over time depending on many factors, such as stress, physical health conditions, family or relationship conflicts, work or social demands, and finances.

    • It is normal to experience times when you feel down, stressed, afraid, or anxious. Those feelings will usually pass, but occasionally they can persist and become more serious. Sometimes, people can feel alone and uncomfortable sharing about their mental health challenges, but it is important to remember that mental health challenges can happen to anyone. You are not alone. There is hope and there is help. For more information please see

  • Dr. Emily Sallee and Nancy Berg of the University of Montana Safe Schools Center, and Dr. Molly Blakely, Superintendent of Hellgate Elementary School District, published a two-part op-ed in the Missoulian on the importance of prioritizing school safety. Read part one, and part two.

  • In the Fall of 2022 the Montana Safe Schools Center engaged in their five year review conducted per the Faculty Senate and the University of Montana’s Provost Office. The purpose of the periodic Center review is to allow for review and update of the Center’s purpose, objectives and activities in relation to the University of Montana’s priorities for action and how the Center contributes to University academic programs.

    • In Spring of 2023 the Montana Safe Schools Center received continued approval as an operating Center at the University of Montana. Please click here to read our Montana Safe Schools Center review report.

  • MSSC Director, Emily Sallee, published her article, "The Safety and Security Side of Teacher Preparation," in Inside Higher Ed. 
  • We received a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. This grant will give us the opportunity to collaborate with schools across the state, and work locally on campus to create safer schools for students statewide. 
  • The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services has added a Coronavirus update to their information page on Communicable Diseases in Schools.
  • The Montana Office of Public Instruction released this document concerning public school reopening, which contains information on various levels of reopening.

School Safety Resources

Additional Resources


Cyber Safety

  • Bullying and Cyberbullying Resources for K-12 Schools
    • National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month occurs every October to raise awareness about the effects of bullying. Bullying and cyberbullying threaten students' physical and emotional safety and can impact their social and academic success at school. The Federal School Safety Clearinghouse offers resources, tools and information to educate students and school staff about preventing and responding to bullying and cyberbullying in kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) communities. Visit to learn more.
  • Password Managers are a great way to keep passwords safe and keep information secure.
  • "Zoombombing" is a potential security risk due to the move to remote schooling. This article contains tips for how to keep Zoom calls secure.
  • The FBI has created the FBI Child ID App to help parents keep track of their children's information.
  • Sudden Cardiac Arrest In Athletes: Learn how to recognize and treat cardiac arrest in athletes.


The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 24/7, confidential and free: 1-800-799-7233 and through chat.

The National Sexual Assault Hotline is 24/7, confidential and free: 800-656-HOPE (4673) and through chat.

The Trans LifeLine for peer support for trans folks 9am-3am CT: 1-877-565-8860. This hotline is staffed exclusively by trans operators, and is the only crisis line with a policy against non-consensual active rescue.

National Parent Helpline Monday - Friday, 12pm-9am CT, emotional support and advocacy for parents: 1-855-2736.

The Trevor Project Lifeline is 24/7, confidential and free: 1-866-488-7386 and specifically designed for LGBTQ+ youths in crisis.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides a 24/7, toll-free hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Callers can now dial 988 to be routed to the nearest crisis center to receive immediate counseling and local mental health referrals. The lifeline supports people who call for themselves or for someone they care about. Note that dialing the previous hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) will continue to function as a suicide and crisis hotline indefinitely.