Case Study [PDF]

The Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) is the nation's largest regional education agency. CPI has worked with LACOE to provide training programs that make a difference for staff and the over two million preschool and school-aged children in their care. Using CPI models, LACOE established and maintained comprehensive training as part of their School Crisis Response Plans.


Mark Scott has seen his share of crisis situations in his career as an educator. On three occasions, he was called into classrooms to deal with critical incidents involving students with handguns.

In each case, the methodologies and structure he learned from CPI allowed him to successfully defuse the situation.

Now responsible for coordinating training over a complex array of schools, many of which serve challenging at-risk populations, Scott and LACOE have made it a priority to implement ways to increase the safety, security and integrity of students, teachers, staff and parents on a daily basis.

“In reviewing the literature, it became apparent to me that in cases of violent incidents resulting in injuries, the most common factor was that staff was undertrained or mis-trained,” Scott says.

In response, LACOE has adopted policies based upon the CPI philosophy to systematize training and operational procedures. “We want as many people as possible to have this training in order to increase the likelihood that we'll have a safer environment in which to educate and care for our children.”

Scott indicates the CPI philosophy is much in demand throughout Los Angeles County because of its comprehensive, yet flexible and practical approach. “When you encounter something that is foreign, you have a greater sense of unease,” Scott advises. “With the CPI training, staff now feel more comfortable in matching techniques learned to classroom experiences—they find the tools to be accessible and feel validated by the training.”


Scott has seen first-hand the transformative impact of the program upon school staff. “The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive—I hear comments like, "Man, I wish I had received this training when I started in this field; it's opened my eyes about the preventative aspect of crisis intervention.”

Students have benefited from the training in unexpected ways, according to Scott. “Often a crisis emerges when students do not know what to expect from staff. The CPI model is designed to make staff behaviors more predictable. Standardized behaviors foster a more dignified treatment of students, parents, staff and others.”

Among the programs used most extensively is Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training. “The de-escalation components and the team intervention strategies have proved very effective in helping us prevent and avert a true crisis,” Scott added.

“The public should know that with appropriate training and reinforcement, our schools are safer and the likelihood is increased that our children will be well cared for in an environment that is conducive to learning and growing.”