Leaders Keep Schools Safe.

Welcome to the home of the Council for School Safety Leadership (CSSL).

We’re the only national organization focused on helping school governance teams prepare for and react to significant school crises. And, because we’re school owned, our only bias is kids and the schools responsible for making them safe.

Pre-K through 12 school governance teams—school boards, CEOs/directors/superintendents, CFOs/school business officials and legal counsel—play critical roles in school safety preparedness and response. But, they need a trusted source to help and often don’t know where to turn.

Founded by seasoned experts from the school safety space, CSSL delivers pre- and post-school safety incident services based on the latest research and experiences.

We help leaders lead in times of crises with bias-free, research-based services delivered with years of hard-earned experience.

John McDonald of CSSL speaks at a conference

First Call Support

[CSSL’s co-founder and COO’s] expertise and support has been immeasurable in threat management. He is always my first phone call. He is equipped to calmly and methodically walk districts through the specific steps they need to take to ensure the safety of students and staff. I have worked alongside him through many such situations and always rely on his counsel.

— Dr. Susan Leach | Superintendent
Duvall, Washington

Our Services

CSSL assists school governance teams prepare for and react to significant crises in five critical areas of service.

Crisis Management Support Services​

Customized for specific situations, we can assist with pre-, active and post-event services, from critical incident support to “return to learn” planning.

Crisis Communication Support

Crisis communications and media relations support to help your district message post-event narratives and effective inquiry response.

School Safety Expert Witnesses​

Connecting school attorneys and school insurance carriers with nationally-recognized expert witnesses experienced in the world of school safety and education.

Confidential District Investigative Services

Confidential and independent investigations in cooperation with a school board or district legal counsel.

Crisis Management Training

One of the only national programs that trains executive leaders and board members on how to operate during and in the aftermath of a crisis.

CSSL officials present at a conference

Structure of Success

After a school shooting, [CSSL’s co-founder and COO] was immediately on the phone with us and then responded in person. Always calm and determined to support, he was invaluable and an incredible resource. His processes [before and after the incident] allowed us to deal with the shooting in a very straightforward and calm manner that resulted in our being able to return to school as normal and consistent as possible. Even with strong protocols in place, no one is immune to this type of incident. We will always be grateful for the support John provided.

— Pat Sandos | Superintendent
Sheridan, Colorado

Our Team

Our founders, John McDonald and Melissa Randol, are nationally-recognized leaders in the school safety and school leadership space and have a council of crisis management professionals and trainers ready to help school leaders today.

John McDonald

John McDonald

Co-Founder, COO
Melissa Randol

Melissa Randol​


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