Three-day Safe Schools Conference features 48 workshops focusing on trends and best practices

We may be in the dog days of summer, but the pursuit of safer schools is a year-round effort.

As such, more than local 500 educators, school workers and law enforcement representatives are gathering in Costa Mesa this week to address critical school safety and security issues during the sixth annual Safe Schools Conference.

shutterstock_190391855Presented by former state Secretary of Education Dave Long in collaboration with the Orange County Department of Education and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the three-day conference will be held Wednesday, July 29 through Friday, July 31 at the Hilton Orange County. It’s expected to be a big draw for administrators, school board members, counselors, police officers, youth service workers and other school and community leaders interested in learning more about student safety — as well as its impact on school attendance and academic performance.

In all, 48 breakout sessions will cover important topics including bullying, trends in social media and technology, dropout prevention, active shooter strategies, gang intervention and prevention, alcohol and drug use, mental health, and best practices for building positive school climates.

This year’s keynote speakers are education consultant Dr. Michele Borba, FBI Special Agent Jeff Cugno and Wayne Sakamoto, safe schools director for the Murrieta Valley Unified School District. In addition, Dr. Ray Chips of the Irvine Police Department and Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy Brian Gunsolley will be honored as the 2015 recipients of the Distinguished Safe Schools Award.

For more information on the Safe Schools Conference, contact OCDE Program Specialist Christine Laehle at