Staples, Minn.,
15:46 PM

A Proactive Approach to Preventing School Violence

Sourcewell partners with organization to offer RIPL training to regional schools

An initiative designed to proactively prevent school violence is gaining momentum and is poised to soon have a ripple effect throughout Region 5 and beyond.

RIPL – or Relational, Impactful, Preventative Leadership – is equipping teachers and staff with tools to help better connect with students in meaningful ways and create strong relationships. The program also educates school staff on detecting early warning signs that may predict violent student behavior and suicidal tendencies. RIPL focuses on identifying opportunities to intercede and prevent violence before it's too late.

Sourcewell Director of Regional Programs Paul Drange says he immediately found great value and promise in what the program could provide schools and students when he was first introduced last year. Sourcewell is now partnering with RIPL founders to provide this training throughout Region 5 schools, the state of Minnesota, and throughout the country.

“We truly care about safety in our schools and the important relationships teachers and staff have with students,” Drange says. “We also believe preventative training is just as important, if not more so, than response training related to school safety.”

Scott Doss, a lifetime educator with over 22 years of administrative experience, and Ben Rudrud, a former police officer of 13 years, share ownership of National School Safety Consulting which provides RIPL training.

By bringing Sourcewell on as a partner, Doss says RIPL will be able to partner with an organization that believes in the value of providing high-quality education solutions and invests in the communities it serves.

“Sourcewell has a long track record of being innovative in their programs,” Doss notes, “and this is another example of them reinvesting in an initiative that will create impact and help save lives.”

Rudrud said RIPL training has been provided at several schools throughout the state and is as much about mental health awareness as it is violence prevention training.

“We truly believe that, through the RIPL training and our ‘Power of One’ message, this could be an impact for life to help address the daily difficulties students face in today’s schools,” Rudrud says.

In addition to staff training, RIPL also includes an observational study of a school district's culture and climate, which provides leaders with feedback to help make their schools safer. RIPL student assemblies focus on making good decisions and building positive, meaningful relationships with one another. During assemblies, students learn about the impact of hurtful words, actions, and bullying. Ongoing professional development for each district is offered to support the initial RIPL training and provide staff with the specific tools to help address mental health issues.

To learn more about RIPL, visit

About Sourcewell

Sourcewell (formerly National Joint Powers Alliance) is a self-supporting government organization, partnering with education, government, and nonprofits to boost student and community success. Created in 1978 as one of Minnesota's nine service cooperatives, we offer training and shared services to our central-Minnesota members. Throughout North America, we offer a cooperative purchasing program with more than 325 awarded vendors on contract. Sourcewell is driven by service and the ability to strategically reinvest in member communities.