February 17, 2017
When it comes to keeping students safe at school, there isn’t much that administrators won’t do. Even with all the preparation and regulations, however, no school is exempt from an emergency – but the good news is that you can take the necessary steps to ensure that your faculty, staff and students have the right information in the moment they need it.
As this semester winds down and you begin preparations for the next year, it’s a perfect opportunity to assess your school’s safety policies to determine if there are any areas for improvement and whether you’re meeting your desired safety standards.
When you’re taking a look at your school’s safety procedures, here are three key guidelines to keep in mind:
- Who is in charge?
Knowing who is in charge will help cut down on chaos and confusion in the moment.
- How will emergency events be documented and reported?
Having a procedure for the documentation of events before and after emergencies occur will ensure that you have the most accurate data.
- Who/what are your resources that you currently have on hand?
If you have a grasp of the resources you currently have ready, you can make justifications for updates, replacements or adding new resources.
Knowing the answers to these three questions is one of the easiest ways to check the pulse of your safety plans.
What about the Cost?
As with any major project, one concern administrators may have when it comes to overhauling school security is that of budget. Fortunately, the U.S. government offers many grants through several of its organizations designed to help schools update their safety. For example, the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency sponsor a grant program designed to help schools meet the standards of the National Preparedness Goal. Additional grants can be researched and applied for through the federal government’s website at www.grants.gov.
Put Your Plans in Their Hands
As you modify your school’s safety plans, you may be faced with another challenge: How to update your plans and ensure that all personnel receive them without unnecessary costs. If you’re still using plans that are housed in binders or printed on posters, it can be costly to update this information and reprint it. Instead, using a mobile safety application, such as SchoolDude’s CrisisManager, can eliminate having to pay for paper plans altogether.
St. Charles Parish Public Schools, a school district in southeast Louisiana, began using CrisisManager in 2015. Home to nearly 10,000 K-12 students and 1,700 employees across 28 building locations, the school offers immediate access to safety plans on their mobile devices via the app.
“With CrisisManager, we are able to make actionable safety plans quickly accessible via smartphones to all administrators, faculty, staff and parents,” said Kade Rogers, coordinator of safety, security and emergency preparedness. “Our approach to preparing for emergencies is multi-layered.”
With CrisisManager, you can easily update your plans and make them readily available to everyone who has access. From the app, anyone can report an emergency situation, and you can push notifications to let them know that it’s safe or to give updates on any situation, from bomb threats to a tornado. Putting your plans directly into the hands of the people who need them most can make all the difference in a crisis. For more information, we invite you to learn more at www.schooldude.com.