Highlights from the 2023 Campus Safety Conference at EDspaces

Student safety and school security met classroom design at last week’s co-located Campus Safety Conference at EDspaces.

Highlights from the 2023 Campus Safety Conference at EDspaces

Alan Walters, executive director of safety and risk management for the Georgetown County School District, discussed and reviewed actual cases where Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) have helped or hindered physical security.

During a session at last week’s Campus Safety Conference at EDspaces, held Nov. 7-9 at the Charlotte Convention Center, a presenter emphasized the importance of recognizing blind spots within an educational institution.

“I’m so used to seeing the campus and everything in it that I don’t think about what can hurt a child,” said Navigate360’s John White.

White’s statement highlights just one of the many reasons the co-located Campus Safety Conference and EDspaces work well together. School leaders must consider all aspects of student well-being, from whether an unwanted visitor can gain unfettered access to a school to whether equity-driven processes are followed in classroom design.

At this year’s event, CSC attendees had access to emergency prevention, response, and recovery sessions they have come to expect plus free access to all EDspaces sessions. These sessions offered insights into how the physical learning environment can meet the pedagogical needs and technology demands to support an educational institution’s mission of student success and well-being. EDspaces attendees were also welcome to attend any and all CSC sessions — and many did!

Nestled within the show floor, CSC’s own dedicated sponsor pavilion featured dozens of safety and security solutions providers, offering product demonstrations and open discussions regarding available and emergency technologies. CSC attendees also had the opportunity to walk the colorful EDspaces show floor.

Many conference sessions offered by both CSC and EDspaces shared a common theme: How student social-emotional well-being can be impacted by both psychical design and campus culture. In the EDspaces session, “Beyond the Classroom – Design Strategies for the Whole Student,” two architects and a social worker discussed how to renovate a school to nurture the whole student. During the CSC breakout session, “What Is Handle with Care,” a K-12 school safety and security director shared insight into a program that urges law enforcement and schools to work together to ease students’ trauma and improve social-emotional well-being despite challenges students may face both in and out of school.

The first full day of CSC sessions was kicked off by John Iannarelli, a retired FBI Special Agent who shared behind-the-scene stories about his participation in the response to the shooting of Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords and two school shootings. He spoke to a packed room about findings from the response as well as important lessons learned in the weeks and months following the incidents. Iannarelli also shared with attendees how to protect themselves and others should they ever find themselves in an active shooter situation.

While those who work in the campus safety and security space know active shooter preparedness is important, there are other incidents that are much more likely to occur in schools. Other CSC session topics included crisis intervention, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), emergency communications, facility risk assessments, threat assessments, and Clery compliance, among others.

  Some of the sessions were held on the show floor amongst the hustle and bustle of the tradeshow. Also held on the show floor was the CSC networking reception where like-minded attendees chatted and shared food and drink.

At the end of Day 2, more than 1,000 CSC and EDspaces attendees came together at the EDfest reception, held at the coveted NASCAR Hall of Fame. Attendees unwinded after two jam-packed, lesson-filled days and participated in various activities, including pit crew challenges and simulated races.

Did you miss out on this year’s CSC at EDspaces or want to attend again next year? The 2024 co-located event will be held Nov. 12-14 in Houston, Texas! We hope to see you there.

Campus Safety Online Summit Happening Dec. 6 and 7!

In the meantime, the Campus Safety Online Summit is coming up on Dec. 6 and 7. This two-day virtual event brings key stakeholders together to discuss the latest challenges impacting schools and campuses. Speakers are key stakeholders in the space who are passionate about sharing their insight and knowledge to help keep students, faculty, and staff safe.

For 2023, CSOS will have a “101” track and an “advanced” track. This change will allow for a broad variety of content and give attendees from all levels an accessible space to learn and network.

Visit campussafetysummit.com for more information and to register. The $99 registration fee gives access to any and all sessions as well as six months of on-demand access if there are two sessions of interest that are running at the same time.

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About the Author


Amy is Campus Safety’s Executive Editor. Prior to joining the editorial team in 2017, she worked in both events and digital marketing.

Amy has many close relatives and friends who are teachers, motivating her to learn and share as much as she can about campus security. She has a minor in education and has worked with children in several capacities, further deepening her passion for keeping students safe.

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