School Business Affairs February 2020

16 FEBRUARY 2020 | SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS Collaborative Approach The proactive and preventa- tive, intervention, and reactive measures are all built from research-based best practices and the district’s individual needs assessments for safety and security and are sup- ported by the district’s con- nections to the community. These connections include (1) parent advisory committees, (2) an internal safe schools committee, (3) staff training from experts, (4) memoran- dums of understanding with local police, and (5) ongoing collaboration with students, parents, police, and community members. For example, as in many other school districts, Upper Moreland’s buildings are used after school hours for stu- dent and community events. Providing security for these events was cost prohibitive for nondistrict groups. Pro- viding after-school security for nondistrict groups was an unreasonable expense for Upper Moreland to assume; therefore, the district developed a hybrid model whereby volunteers from nonstudent groups were trained in security measures. These individuals serve as points of contact for safety issues and are stationed at accessible after-hours entrances to monitor activities and to ensure that the building remains secure. This safe schools model is not static; it is built into the district’s daily operating structure. In addition to regular team meetings involving internal and external stakehold- ers, the following activities take place district-wide to provide information, training, consultations, and recom- mendations on identified safety and security matters for the school environment: • Review and update the district’s multihazard emer- gency operation plan • Review and update off-site evacuation plans • Review and update the parent–child reunification plan • Conduct emergency drills and exercises, includ- ing an after-action review and corrective action recommendations • Develop and provide training as needed on school safety and security topics associated with current best practices and regulatory mandates • Complete site safety and security assessments of school buildings and facilities • Conduct incident after-action debriefings The supports developed in Upper Moreland’s model not only enable a shared responsibility for safety and • Crisis response teams at each building • Student assistance program and student services, including counseling • Rumor/safe schools hotline These measures may vary for other school districts according to their unique traits. The next ring in the model details intervention mea- sures that serve as a point of entry or first line of defense to reduce the risk of a threat: • Visitor screening • Alarms on exterior doors to prevent and restrict use from the main entrances • After-school security • Gates within buildings to restrict access • Reconfiguration of entry vestibules for safety and security • Cameras on the interior and exterior of buildings • Buses linked to the police department • Window shades and other visual obstructions • Door locks, buzzers, entry system modifications Finally, to respond to a threat, the district has the follow- ing reactive measures: • Emergency buttons that connect directly to 911 services • Ability to turn any hardwired phone into an intercom • Two-way radios connected to the police • Lockout swipe cards • Lockout plans • Lockdown plans • Go-buckets • Run. Hide. Fight. protocol • Reunification plans These measures are illustrated in the center of the model. RON ALVEY/STOCK.ADOBE.COM