Risk Management |
Article by Carlos Sanchez, Viewpoint School
From the July/August 2018 Net Assets magazine
Because school safety is a fast-growing concern, consider developing a checklist of known and unknown needs to address over the summer. No longer can any school think nothing bad will happen. Schools must prepare for all hazards and crises.
First, take stock of any construction that has started or will start in the summer. Remember: If the footprint of the campus changes, emergency preparedness changes. A new building, venue or remodel may present new challenges involving evacuation, security and emergency preparation.
Here are several key items on our summer checklist at Viewpoint School:
Are you located near other schools, and did any of them change their start or departure times? This may affect traffic coming and going to your campus. Reach out to the local schools and get copies of their master calendars. There are five schools within two miles of Viewpoint.
Have you tested your emergency notification system? Viewpoint School utilizes the Valcom Mass Notification system, which sends messages via telephones, LED signs and indoor/outdoor speakers. It is important to test the system during the summer when there are limited staff on campus.
Is your security staff internal or a contracted company? Summer training should provide ample time to review training procedures for events such as active shooter, medical trauma and verbalization/de-escalation, as well as policy procedures. Be sure your security team is aware of school policies, the mission statement and the vision to share the common goal of the school community.
Have you scheduled maintenance of electronic security equipment? Video cameras or alarm systems should be checked regularly. Most electronic equipment will not last forever, and video camera technology changes yearly with better quality and capture capability.
What is your visitor policy, and do you have a visitor management system?
Are you conducting monthly emergency drills, including lockdown drills?
Do you have or need EMTs or specialized trained personnel?
When did you last review your emergency plan and security plan?
Have you performed a security audit? Start your audit once school is underway for a real-time evaluation. However, never stop doing internal audits and reviewing security.
When employees return to campus and buildings are clean and ready for students, it is time to complete the final items on the safety checklist. One of the last things I do before students return to campus is walk and drive the campus. I drive through the drop-off and pick-up locations, making sure signage is viewable, speed bumps are in place, and traffic control devices are in place for parents dropping off their children on the first day of school. Then I walk the campus to ensure everything looks good, safe and ready for students. I move items out of the walkways, check lighting and make sure no hazards are present.
A safe environment creates a great learning environment. Each school is different and has different security needs, but every school needs a safe and secure campus.
Download a PDF of this article.#SafetyandSecurity#Facilities
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Gorgeous Campus Seeks Renaissance Caretakers: Recruiting Facilities Talent (July/August 2017)
A Delicate Balance: Should You Hire a Dedicated Risk Management Officer? (July/August 2016)
Who's Going to Maintain the Campus? (May/June 2015)
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