Safe and Supportive Services serves school districts through engaging, coordinating, and expanding school-based behavioral and mental health services in collaboration with community partners such as the County of San Mateo, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, Human Services Agency, local law enforcement agencies, and other groups.

Upcoming opportunity: The San Mateo County Office of Education and the Coalition for Safe Schools and Communities in San Mateo have partnered with the Bay Area Urban Area Securities Initiative to host a day long School Safety Symposium. The symposium will include various prevention strategies for schools to prevent targeted school violence including anti-bullying curriculum, anonymous reporting programs, Student Threat Assessment protocols, digital safety and awareness, gun violence restraining orders and more. The event is open to individuals working in law enforcement, education, county agencies, and community-based organizations. Register for the School Safety Symposium here and view more details here


After School Programs

SMCOE supports students attending after school programs including the After-School Education and Safety (ASES) program and the Academic Center program, which promote academic achievement through providing a safe environment.

Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program

SMCOE supports foster youth at the county, district, and school site level, including the Foster Youth and Youth Experiencing Homelessness Executive Advisory Council meetings. Please see our Foster Youth Services Coordinating Program page for more information! Click here.

LGBTQ+ Programs

SMCOE supports schools and districts in starting and strengthening Genders and Sexualities Alliances (GSAs) to create a welcoming and safe school climate for youth who identify as LGBTQ+.

Mental Health and Wellness

District administrators and other school staff support student mental health and wellness through several programs, including School-Based Mental Health Collaboratives, Youth Mental Health First Aid, and the Parent Project.

Positive Behavior Supports

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a framework that supports schools in adopting and organizing evidence-based positive behavioral interventions and supports.

School Climate

SMCOE supports districts in creating a positive school climate through practicing restorative justice, embedding trauma-informed strategies into their schools, and developing a crisis response manual. SMCOE also sponsors events that positively engage students such as Camp LEAD and RESPECT! 24/7.

School Safety

Schools and districts across San Mateo County have adopted and follow the Big Five emergency protocols. SMCOE also provides several resources to support school safety, including an Emergency Management Resource Guide and Student Threat Assessment, Suicide Prevention, CSEC, and Student Sexual Assault protocols. Learn more about these resources here.

School Safety Plan

Each school in California is required to develop a school safety plan which is updated on an annual basis to help create and maintain a safe environment conducive to learning for students and staff. SMCOE provides resources for schools to create a school safety plan that adheres to The Big Five emergency response protocols.

Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) San Mateo County is a countywide program offered by the San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE) to encourage and enable school children to walk and bicycle to school by implementing projects and activities that improve the health, well-being, and safety of children and result in less traffic congestion and emissions caused by school-related travel. Funding for this program is made possible by the City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County (C/CAG).

Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE)

The Tobacco Use Prevention Education (TUPE) program provides funding from Prop 99 tobacco tax dollars for tobacco prevention education. The San Mateo County Office of Education provides services to districts such as technical assistance to help districts design effective programs and meet funding requirements; information and updates on trends in youth tobacco use behaviors; prevention and intervention curriculum and strategies; staff development opportunities; and access to California Department of Education and community resources.

Communities of Practice

Safe and Supportive Schools hosts a number of communities of practice. These meetings feature guest speakers, opportunities for community building and collaboration, and sharing of best practices. Contact Sheléne Peterson for location information.

School Counselor Community of Practice


September 9, 2021 - See video of this meeting here:
October 14, 2021 - See video of this meeting here:
November 18, 2021 - See video of this meeting here: 
February 10, 2022
March 10, 2022
April 14, 2022
May 12, 2022

Alternative School Counselor Community of Practice


September 23, 2021
December 2, 2021
February 24, 2022
April 28, 2022

Social-Emotional Learning Community of Practice


September 28, 2021
October 26, 2021 - See video of this meeting here: 
November 30, 2021
January 25, 2022
March 29, 2022
April 26, 2022


Project Hope SEL Symposium, July 29, 2021

When students feel connected to their schools, there is an increase in productivity, attendance, and wellness. Social-emotional learning builds that positive school climate. This community of practice is for educators wanting to learn more about how to embed social-emotional learning into existing curriculum.

Mary McGrath

Executive Director, Safe and Supportive Schools


Phone: (650) 802-5425

Jasmin Matsuura

Administrative Assistant III


Phone: (650) 802-5637