New Year's is a time for fresh starts. It's a time to look back at where we've been, so we can make better decisions to get where we want to be. It's a time to make resolutions. Usually, we think of individual goals, like exercising more, losing a few pounds, or saving up for retirement, but organizations can benefit from New Year's resolutions too. Why not seize the opportunity to make your school safer for everyone?
Here are four school safety resolutions to get you started:
- Evaluate the speed and effectiveness of your school's emergency response plan.
Since 2001, we've seen more school shooting incidents than in the entire 20th century, according to a study published by Springer. That doesn't even factor in day-to-day dangers, such as weather disasters, bullying, cyber harassment, and more. Is your school prepared? Think about where you keep your safety protocols and whether they are easy to access in a crisis. Many schools are moving away from the old three-ring-binder system and digitizing their emergency plans. The right safety app can ensure that all staff members have accurate information for how to deal with any type of threat, made instantly available right from their computer, smartphone, or other mobile devices.
- Assess and upgrade your crisis communication tools.
According to a recent FBI study, approximately 77% of active shooters spend a week or longer preparing their attack, which may only last minutes. Quick and decisive action can save lives, but law enforcement response times can vary depending on where you live and other factors. It's crucial that you can reliably get the right information to the right people in an emergency. Don’t settle for being able to send your community a mass alert. Look for two-way communication solutions that allow you to stay connected with and track the status of students, staff, parents, law enforcement, and other first responders in real time until the situation is resolved.
- Minimize or even prevent threats through better safety drills.
Disaster can strike at any time. The best drills will help students and staff feel better prepared for a genuine emergency without scaring them. That's why many schools today are turning to safety tools like CrisisGo, which provide ready access to rosters and emergency checklists and enable staff to report their drill results right from their smartphone, tablet, or computer.
- Get everyone involved in improving school safety.
You've heard the saying: "If you see something, say something." But it's often unclear how best to report a threat or suspicious activity. Remove the guesswork for your community by giving them access to an easy, anonymous reporting app. Some apps can help your school gather the information needed to act immediately and continue to track these incidents to a clear resolution. Give your students voice to speak up safely when they see unacceptable problems, like dangerous drugs, weapons, bullying/cyberbullying, harassment, and violence.
Safety is too important to keep on the backburner. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of your current protocols, and make sure your crisis communication and response tools are up-to-date and effective. Start the new year off right by renewing your school's commitment to protecting students, so that they can focus on the real reason they're there: getting an education.
Do you want to take the next step in making your schools safer? Learn more about how our comprehensive safety platform can help you achieve your safety resolutions this year.