School Business Affairs February 2020

8 FEBRUARY 2020 | SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS SAFETY AND SECURITY School Safety—A Holistic, All-Hazards Approach Portland Public Schools worked with stakeholders to develop a comprehensive school safety and emergency plan. By Molly Emmons E ven as schools cope with the problems of lim- ited resources, multiple competing priorities, and complex community dynamics and expec- tations, school safety is at the forefront of the national narrative for public education. Portland Public Schools is a preK–12 urban school district serving more than 49,000 students on 87 cam- puses, making it one of the largest school districts in the Pacific Northwest. As have other urban districts, Portland Public Schools has considered how best to address the many questions about school safety, including not only the physical safety of its campuses, but also the psychological safety of its students and staff members. Taking a collaborative approach to examine these issues, district personnel built a holistic, comprehensive, all-hazards safety and emergency plan for Portland Pub- lic Schools. The plan and its safety practices have four key interlinking elements: • Physical environment Students attending Portland Public Schools participate in disaster response to a variety of emergency situations. COURTESY OF PORTLAND (OREGON) PUBLIC SCHOOLS