What School Boards Need to Know About School Safety

Learn about the vital role school boards play in K-12 campus safety and how board members can effectively work with security directors and technology vendors to protect schools.

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Understandably, many school board members have limited knowledge about school safety, security, technology, emergency preparedness, and crisis management oversight. Such a lack of focus on school safety may result in the adoption of ineffective policies and procedures, the installation of the wrong security equipment, poorly maintained infrastructure, non-existent emergency planning, and more.

The consequences of these errors could range from a minor incident to a significant unmitigated disaster.

School boards must be well-versed in proactive safety, security and crisis management because they are the ones district leaders, parents and other members of the community will hold accountable when something goes wrong.

The presenters in this webcast will cover the roles and preventative oversight responsibilities of school boards before, during, and after a critical incident happens, as well as many of the questions board members should ask when addressing school safety and security in general.

The presentation will also cover how district safety directors, police chiefs, and other security executives can effectively work with their school boards, and vice versa, to develop a comprehensive, holistic strategy that also includes the critical role of vendors and mission partners.

Attendees will learn about:

  • The basics of school board safety oversight.
  • The importance of school safety committees, who should have a seat at the table, and how to develop key performance indicators (KPIs) for your committee.
  • How to vet vendor-provided subject matter experts and navigate the RFP process to serve district goals.
  • How school boards can promote and support the different yet interconnected roles of school safety and quality education.


John McDonald, COO, The Council for School Safety Leadership

John McDonald co-founded The Council for School Safety Leadership (CSSL) in 2022, and today serves as the organization’s chief operating officer. This new national school safety organization provides crisis management services for executive leaders. Within CSSL’s first two months, John assembled a network of national experts and hit the ground running by supporting executive school district leaders after a school shooting in St. Louis, which was the 7th school shooting John has responded to or provided support to during the past 14 years.

John earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice and Criminology from Metro State University in Colorado. His experience as a former police officer, proud Army National Guard veteran, and senior manager of U.S. investigations for a worldwide corporation have provided the foundation for a life’s work protecting the most innocent.

Melissa K. Randol, Esq., Executive Director of the Missouri School Boards’ Association

Prior to being named the Executive Director for MSBA in 2015, Ms. Randol served the Missouri School Boards’ Association for over 20 years in various roles, including General Counsel, Deputy Executive Director and state and federal lobbyist. She also serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Missouri School Boards’ Association’s FutureBuilders Foundation, Chief Executive Officer of the Council on School Safety Leadership, Executive Director of Missouri’s Center for Education Safety, and Chief Executive Officer of Service Connection.

Ms. Randol serves the education community in several leadership roles throughout the state and nation, including chair of the Missouri Education Roundtable, board member of the Jobs for America’s Graduate program, member of Governor Parson’s School Safety Task Force, officer in the Missouri Securities Investment Program, former chair of the Missouri Bar Committee on Civics Education and Co-Chair of the Local Leaders Partnership.

Johnathan Kassa, Vice President for Regulatory Compliance, The Healy+ Group
Jonathan Kassa provides national thought leadership and expertise in campus public safety policy and practices ever since being appointed executive Director of Security On Campus (Clery Center) in 2007. He led innovative national initiatives to increase community-oriented safety, security and victim advocacy in a career spanning over 25 years. He has dedicated his career to collaborative community-based solutions via the facilitation of promising practices and evidence-based solutions that embrace creativity, technology, flexibility, efficiency, transparency and accountability across systems.

Jonathan is Vice President for Regulatory Compliance at The Healy+ Group, a professional services firm specializing in Clery Act compliance consulting, organizational assessments for higher education police and campus safety organizations, after-action reviews and special investigations, expert consulting for civil litigation, and culture and strategy services. He also serves as a volunteer, twice-elected school board director for one of Pennsylvania’s largest school districts, leading innovative holistic solutions as chair of the Safe Schools committee, and vice-chair of Facilities & Operations. He holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Villanova University and a Bachelor of Arts in History from The Pennsylvania State University.

Francisco M. Negrón, Jr., Chief Legal Officer, National School Boards Association

Francisco M. Negrón, Jr. is the Chief Legal Officer of the National School Boards Association. A proud product of our public schools, Negrón is a leading national advocate for public schools, directing NSBA’s nationally recognized Legal Advocacy Program, which files more amicus briefs in the United States Supreme Court and in federal & state appellate courts across the country each year than all national education associations combined. Negrón also leads the 3,200-member Council of School Attorneys, the national network of lawyers representing K-12 public schools.

He received his Juris Doctorate from the Florida State University College of Law and also holds a bachelor’s degree in international studies from the University of West Florida. He is also a member of the Bars of the United States Supreme Court, the District of Columbia, Florida, and all federal circuit courts of appeals. Mr. Negrón regularly appears in national media outlets as a spokesperson for public schools.

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