Everyone has some sort of New Year's resolution, even if we downplay it. Whether it's trying to eat more kale, watch personal finances more closely, or to actually get on that treadmill that's gathering dust in the basement, it has simply become part of our culture to think about what we want to improve to become better in the upcoming new year. New Year's resolutions often focus on what we know is challenging yet possible to achieve, so why shouldn’t schools focus on improving school safety for 2020?
And while teachers play an integral role in school safety, teachers are primarily going to focus on ways to improve instruction and classroom success, and their New Year's resolutions will match those goals. It’s school administrators and safety leaders who will need to take the charge on improving school safety in 2020, and it starts with taking a look at what your schools are prepared for and what they still need to cover.
Given the growing number of threats to school safety, it’s important to take a little time and stay informed about new safety threats and risks that you might not have considered, and the safety threats that are most likely to affect your schools. While many people immediately think of active shooter prevention as the top school safety concern, it's just as important to make sure your schools are aware of and prepared for the numerous risks to school safety that can pose a risk every month, week, or even every day. Some examples include:
- Fires and Evacuations
- Weather Events/Natural Disasters
- Fighting/Classroom Incidents
- Facility Safety
- Contraband on Campus
- Transportation Safety
- School Safety After Hours
- Medical Emergencies
- Missing Student/Student Abduction
- Social/Emotional Safety and Mental Health
- Sexual Assault/Abuse
When considering these different threats to school safety, it's important to have a plan in place for each potential situation, so your staff can navigate any emergency as best as possible. However, it's equally important to have methods and resources in place to regularly practice your emergency protocols and even identify safety risks to prevent emergencies before they occur.
With so many potential threats and variables that could occur in any emergency situation, it can be overwhelming to assess where your schools stand in their safety preparedness and what they still need to cover, which is why we’ve created this eBook to help school districts take a comprehensive look at school safety and begin analyzing how their safety plans and protocols can be adjusted and improved to meet all safety needs for their schools. And after you are able to determine what emergency situation you're prepared for and which ones you need to work on, your district will need to take safety planning a step further and work out the small, situational details so your schools aren’t scrambling mid-emergency to successfully resolve the situation. As you build out your emergency plans, take a close look at the potential variables that can create issues for your emergency response mid-stream. Many emergency response and evacuation variables will be unique to each school district, and even each school building, but the first step is taking stock of your plans, protocols, and resources.
School safety is never 100% complete, but by doing the research and developing a better sense of awareness for safety risks, your schools can be more strategic and informed when developing the safety of your schools. Download a copy of our "Planning for School Safety: Keeping All-Hazards in Mind" eBook and start working towards your school safety resolutions by gaining a better understanding of how to prepare for the common safety threats that schools face every day and week, whether it’s a new year or not.