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July's Blueprint for School Safety Success

Kelly Moore
July 13, 2023

As we discussed last month, July should be used to put all of your plans into motion. July is the time you should set aside to address any last minute changes, improvements and additions to your school safety program. As you do this, remember the three pillars of school safety and the four phases of emergency preparedness.

The Three Pillars of School Safety are:

  1. Policies and Procedures: To ensure you have the support of your administrators and school boards, make sure all of the components of your safety and security program have policies and procedures as the foundation. If they do not, you will need to create them and get them adopted prior to your implementation.

  2. Systems and Processes: These are the components of your safety and security program that are required to keep your buildings safe and your staff well trained and engaged in your safety program.

  3. People: Nothing within your safety program works without people being engaged in it and who actively participate in every aspect of your safety program.

The Four Phases of Emergency Preparedness are:

  1. Prevention/Mitigation: The process of taking steps to stop an emergency from ever happening, or decreasing the impact of an emergency should it happen despite all of your efforts at prevention.

  2. Preparedness: Determine roles and responsibilities for those who will need to respond and what will be needed to limit the impacts of the emergency.

  3. Response: Determining who will do what in an immediate reaction to the emergency.

  4. Recovery: The process of returning to a state of normalcy, or as close to normalcy as possible.

Why are these two operations frameworks so important to what you are doing in July? Well, because everything you are doing and preparing for the new school year will have to fit within the structures of these two frameworks. The frameworks above set the structure and foundation for the safety program you are building. By comparing what you are doing this month to prepare for next month, you ensure that you are on the right track and that you are covering everything you need to cover. So what should we be covering right now:

  1. Finalizing all of the items you identified in June that were trailed to July for any reason.

  2. Preparing and finalizing your Safety and Security Plans.

  3. Updating and adjusting your School Safety and Security Strategic Plan.

  4. Creating an inspection schedule for all of your safety assets; systems, training, certifications, compliance and reporting requirements.

  5. Preparing your Drill and Exercise Schedule for the entire school year.

  6. Finalizing your yearly training plans:
    1. Refresher training
    2. New Employee Training
    3. Current Employees who have new positions and responsibilities
    4. Remedial Training throughout the year for those who are not performing to standards
    5. Safety Team training:
      1. New members
      2. Refresher
      3. New roles and responsibilities
    6. Building Administrators’ Drills and Exercise training
    7. District Administrators safety and roles/responsibilities training
    8. Threat and Behavioral Assessment Team Training

  7. Regular Safety Committee meetings with your emergency responders.

  8. Purchases and funding plans.

  9. Any other plans, training, systems, and processes which are specific and/or required for you.

The bottom line is that the validation and verification of your school safety program require significant planning and attention throughout the school year. Therefore, it is crucial to schedule and plan as much of this ahead of time as possible to ensure a smooth process and overall success. Now is the time to do this planning, when there are likely to be the fewest distractions you will have at any given time during the school year.

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