Elementary School Safety Program
ESSP provides instruction in bicycle and pedestrian safety, bullying, drug, tobacco and gang awareness and prevention, firearm safety, and building self-esteem. It also provides instruction in Internet safety, problem solving, media influences, conflict resolution, and juvenile law. These subjects are presented in every classroom, from kindergarten to fifth grade, over a 36-week school year. These subjects are presented in a literacy-based format that satisfies the District’s literacy requirements.
The goal of ESSP is to provide comprehensive safety education through positive police presence in every elementary school within the City of San Diego. The mission of ESSP is:
"The San Diego Police Department in partnership with the San Diego Unified School District is dedicated to promoting safety, health, education, cultural awareness, good character, and leadership skills. It is our mission to help young people improve their lives by building self-esteem, and developing good values and skills during critical years of growth."
The ESSP curriculum is summarized below:
- K thru 3rd:
Three core lessons: medication safety, pedestrian safety, and a story by “Officer Bill.” In a story that is read aloud, a young student is confronted with a variety of issues, including pedestrian safety, stranger danger, and conflicts. With the help of “Officer Bill,” the student successfully meets the challenges. After the presentation, the officer-instructor challenges each student to learn his or her home address and phone number. The officer-instructor concludes the story with a visit to a patrol car.
- 4th Grade:
Three core lessons: wheel safety for bicycles, skateboards, scooters, and roller blades; pedestrian safety; and preventing alcohol and tobacco use.
- 5th Grade:
Five core lessons: conflict resolution, gang awareness, juvenile law, drug awareness, treating people fairly to prevent bullying, which is associated with school violence.
In addition to the five cores, there are three elective lessons. These elective lessons are selected based on the needs of the school, students, and the surrounding community. Additionally, ESSP gives officer-instructors the flexibility to arrange topics in the order that best fits the needs of the school and the surrounding community. It also allows the officer to replace one topic with another to address a current event, such as a school gun incident.
Each elementary school that allows its students to ride bicycles to school qualifies for bike safety rodeo; “Kids and Skids, an interactive program demonstrating traffic safety for pedestrians; and bike assembly in partnership with the American Automobile Association.