School Business Affairs February 2020 SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS | FEBRUARY 2020 13 The specifics of emergency and security plans should not be made available to the general public. However, districts should publicize that they have worked collab- oratively with community agencies to evaluate, investi- gate, and initiate security procedures and protocols to maintain the safety of students and staff members. Exterior Measures The perceived difficulty of conducting a criminal act pro- motes deterrence. Keep school grounds organized and well maintained and implement “obstacles” to crime. • Clearly direct visitors to an identifiable main entrance. Provide signs that indicate where visitors are allowed and where they are prohibited. • Ensure clear sight lines by maintaining buildings, landscaping, and lighting. Trim trees and shrubbery to eliminate hiding places. • Provide fencing that limits access while allowing proper egress. Fence off areas that may create niches and blind spots. • Ensure that “outbuildings,” such as field houses and modular units, have adequate fencing and connections to main buildings. • Make sure that campus lighting is uniform. Eliminate shadows or glare. Lighting should enhance visibility, discourage trespassing, and prevent school vandalism. Site-Based Activities Consider the activities that happen on and around school campuses, including vehicular and pedestrian movement, traffic and crosswalk activity, and gather- ing areas that may make staff and students vulner- able to risk. Each school should have mandatory, consistent, and secure drop-off and pick-up procedures that are enforced by highly visible staff members in halls and on the grounds during arrival and dismissal. Additional mea- sures will help safeguard students and staff members: • Use traffic control devices such as stop signs and speed bumps or dips. Intentional or accidental high- speed vehicle approaches can be deterred by bollards and concrete planters. Boulders and earth berms can offer more aesthetically pleasing barriers. • Ensure that buses can drop off and pick up students directly from a designated, marked loading and unloading zone near a supervised school entrance. • Ensure parent drop-off and pick-up zones are clearly designated and separated from bus traffic. • Clearly mark parking spaces for visitors, students, and staff members, and separate those parking areas, if possible. Require parking decals to identify unauthor- ized vehicles easily. • Maintain space for emergency vehicle access and evacuation of buildings, play areas, and fields. Building Envelope Security Most districts have established security measures to con- trol building access at the main entrance; however, the entire building envelope must be hardened to eliminate unauthorized entry. Hardening includes securing air intake openings and installing a master shutoff for the school ventilation system. Those are two low cost–high impact preventive measures that promote building secu- rity. Additional actions can help secure the building: • Limit the number of entry points. • Use technology integration for keyless entry. • Always lock exterior mechanical equipment and other utility enclosures. • Restrict roof access by eliminating any potential climbing points. Secure roof hatches. • Protect basement windows with security screens or window well covers. • Place trash containers and dumpsters away from buildings. Including local first responders in these security assessment procedures can ensure that communication and emergency response protocols are in place. Many schools number their exterior doors and windows. The Center for Safe Schools ( ) sug- gests that the front of the building be labeled “side A,” and the main entrance should always be designated as No. 1, with other sides and doors labeled clockwise in sequential order. Use reflective Arabic numerals for exte- rior numbers so they are clearly visible from the street or closest driveway. Interior Measures Provide one designated entrance into a secure vestibule where visitors’ identities can be checked before they enter the building. Beyond that main entrance, districts can improve security within schools in several ways: • Relocate fire alarm pull stations so they are not in the secure vestibules where unauthorized people can access them. • Install ballistic or shatter-resistant glass during con- struction or renovation projects. • Install ballistic or shatter-resistant film to windows that are considered vulnerable—often the entry or first-floor areas.