The start of the new school year is right around the corner and many teachers are beginning to prep their classrooms for their students. While learning is the primary focus of going to school, it’s not the only thing that should be taken into account when preparing for the year. All students should be able to depend on a well-rounded education and a place they can thrive academically and socially at their school.
A large part of providing a place where students can thrive is ensuring the school is safe from a wide array of threats. This past March, the Federal Commission on School Safety was created and charged with “quickly providing meaningful and actionable recommendations to keep students safe at school.” Recommendations will include effective school safety infrastructure, social-emotional support, and more.
Best-Practices For Safe Schools
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for school safety. Many aspects should be considered when determining safety procedures and policies including the school’s size, structure, and geographic location. Below are school safety best-practices to keep in mind as the school year begins.
1. Consider The Infrastructure
Schools are built for creativity, exploration, and interaction with community members. How can the organization of your building narrow the risks from an array of threats through layers of security?
Schools should have emergency plans for being able to protect children in classrooms (behind locked doors and away from large windows) as well as in large open spaces where they meet for assemblies and meals.
2. Communication Is Key
The ability to effectively communicate an emergency to the entire school is paramount in saving lives. An effective Public Announcement system with an alternative power source is key to being able to tell the entire school about threats.
Multiple communication devices are also desirable in the event of a threat. Panic buttons should be a consideration for immediate and concealed notification to authorities that there’s danger. Read our blog Panic Buttons To The Rescue to see how they effective they can be.
3. Staff Training
Training and procedures should be outlined in handbooks and practiced annually, if not quarterly. When planning safety procedures, remember the goal is to task one key person with one responsibility.
Teachers should be trained on all aspects of emergency response as well as on issues relative to the potential for violence such as bullying.
We are dedicated to helping local schools protect students and ensure everyone has a success year. Stay tuned to our blog for a coming case study about our safety partnership with a local school.