Welcome back to the new school year. We are off to a great start!
There are two new school safety initiatives that I want to make you aware of that will be ongoing this school year.
The first is the state $100 million school safety grant. This grant program requires a school safety assessment of every school building and up to $50,000 per building to meet those recommendations. Among the six approved categories of eligible minor capital improvements are entry control, electronic security and communication systems, barriers, perimeter security, illumination and building envelope. Examples include and are not limited to: Locks, ID actuated systems, duress alarms, intrusion detection systems, radios, mass notification systems, cameras, video servers, fixed or moveable barriers, fencing, security lighting, blast/safety film, reinforced doors, doorframes and windows, call buttons, door prop sensors, etc. It does not cover human resources (SROs, campus security, etc.)
Our district has begun the process of requesting an assessment of every building and is waiting for a state response.
The second school safety initiative that is occurring this year is in conjunction with Clinton County Emergency Management, the Clinton police, and the Clinton Fire Department. It is called the School Safety and Violent Incident Management.
This training involves table top exercises going through various scenarios. The goal is to improve incident management and response integration of school personnel and emergency responders to violent events in schools. The framework strives to improve time to neutralize the threat, medical intervention, survivability of victims, and reunification of students with parents and guardians.
I went through an abbreviated training in July. The structuring of roles and defined communication lines is the best that I have experienced. The training will not get down to the teacher/staff level, but involve central administration and building principals.
It is unfortunate that we as a society are at this point, but it is important to follow best practice and make our educational environments as safe as possible.