Metal detectors, gated campuses, and a plethora of cameras may bring a sense of security to some of your stakeholders (parents and community members) but leave your students with hindrances in the SEL (social and emotional learning) process.
With school security plans that focus on SEL, students thrive, school safety wins, workplaces benefit, and the community is strengthened. All you need are the right upgrades.
An upgraded school security plan addresses prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery.
But does school security always equal school safety? As a school administrator, are you:
- Aware of the impact that your school security plan has on your students’ wellbeing?
- Leveraging a school security plan that works from the inside out?
- Using technology that involves the right team members?
School safety is not achieved with a single program or piece of security equipment. Rather, effective school safety starts with prevention, in that it:
- Provides for students’ mental health (daily)
- Integrates physical and psychological safety (in every aspect)
- Engages schools, families, and communities as partners
You know what works best, but your school security needs the resources—both financial and human—to implement and sustain the practices that will truly make every school area safe, from the inside out.
Fortunately, there are simple, accurate, and innovative all-in-one solutions to measuring those outcomes and ultimately, preventing incidents. Let’s delve into four signs to watch out for when evaluating the effectiveness of your school security needs.
#1. Your Visitor Management and ID Strategies Are Manual
An outdated system using generic tags for visitors and handwritten late slips or permission slips for students places your school at a disadvantage to truly know the population of your school in real time. In order to arm your staff with the best tools to prevent incidents on your campus, it is imperative that you know who is on your campus and in your facilities at all times.
It’s time to automate your visitor management system and identification strategies!
The Best Preventative Solution
Turn your attention toward leveraging a powerful, web-based system that automates visitor data collection, secures entries, and maintains historical information on all incoming visitors across your campus.
At a closer glance, you will find that an all-in-one digital Visitor Management upgrade provides you and your team with:
- Historical and real-time information on who is entering your campus—and for what purpose
- The ability to track staff or volunteer time and student late arrivals or early dismissals
- Accuracy of student pick-ups by authorized guardians
- Ease-of-use with complete SIS integration.
This all-in-one solution will help you turn your school security plan into an optimized school safety reality that is measurable and provides you with real-time data to help the right staff identify visitors and student behavior. Most importantly, you are setting up a positive school climate to help boost your student’s SEL—and opportunities for funding.
#2. Your Teaching Staff Takes Your School Attendance
Most likely, you are beginning to recognize how obsolete a non-automated school attendance system has become. If your teachers continue to take school attendance manually, classroom time and student behavior can plummet into uncontrollable levels, especially as classroom learning technologies evolve.
We’re all fully aware of the following school security needs:
- A greater hallway presence of teachers and security teams
- Quality classroom time and attention to detect behavior issues, for effective social and emotional learning.
How are these possible if teachers are managing attendance by hand and personally addressing disruptive late arrivals to class? This sets the tone for negative work productivity and the inability to accurately prevent and monitor student behaviors.
Let’s position your campus for success by automating the attendance process and enhancing student accountability.
The Prime Preventative Solution
If you are ready to increase the quality of classroom time, attendance rates, and accurate reports for the success of your security and teaching staff, a real-time school automation system is vital to preventing behavioral issues that can lead to future safety issues on your campus.
As with ID strategies and automated visitor management systems, smart card readers and smart IDs work together to help necessary staff understand your school population, gain accurate real-time reports, and reduce truancy. Campuses with growing populations exceeding 5,000 students, such as Westbury Public Schools, are reaping the benefits of smart card readers in every classroom, office, gym, and auditorium to keep more accurate statistics on seat time.
#3. Your School Security Plan Focuses on Reacting to Violence
If your staff manages behavioral issues by sight alone, then your security plan is doing more harm than good.
Recent studies on school violence incidents continue to reveal how outdated school safety plans focus more on reaction than prevention—exposing gaps in your staff and security team’s inability to make accurate, real-time decisions.
Critical Signs of a Failed Discipline System
It’s time to rethink your school’s approaches.
As you examine your school security and safety plans, take note of the following failed systems that many schools continue to use:
- Lack of access to qualified school-employed mental health professionals
- Adopting a managerial approach—rather than an educational approach—to behavior learning
- Lack of focus on relational aspects, limiting students’ need to feel cared for, respected, and valued.
Your school’s lack of innovative support and referral procedures are creating more issues than success.
What does a powerful school security risk management look like?
“The vast majority have a crisis plan on paper. It’s much more common that we find those plans are collecting dust on the shelf and they’re not a part of the culture or the practice,” said Kenneth Trump, a school security consultant. “I don’t believe we need to throw out the book of best practices on school safety. I think we do need to focus our resources, times and conversation back on the fundamentals.”
According to Kenneth Trump, every school should have crisis teams that review their plans regularly, and staff members who greet and challenge every person who comes to the door. They should have locked doors, safety drills, and parents who know where to find their kids, just in case the unthinkable happens. “Schools need counselors, psychologists and officers building relationships with kids, because they are the best line of defense,” he explains.
Many security consultants and lawmakers are actualizing the importance of preventing school incidences and meeting school security needs, which comes through the powerful solution of the ABE (Alternative Behavior Educator) system.
The Optimum Preventative Solution
ScholarChip’s ABE system gives principals, teachers, and administrators specific data-driven reports surrounding the behavior management of a student and flag possible at-risk students. The ABE will provide your school with a long-term, preventative, and reward-based solution that enables teachers—and parents—to work with school clinical staff, foster a learning approach to better behavior, and target each student’s social-emotional learning skills.
When your students are equipped with these skills, they’re better able to learn and contribute to a positive school climate—one of the strongest tools you can leverage in aiding the prevention and upgrade of your school security needs.
#4. Your Lockdown Procedures Are Not Automated
Are you expanding fear instead of building confidence?
Safety and learning go hand-in-hand. When your students feel that they are not adequately supported and safe at school, both physically and psychologically, they can’t learn to their fullest potential.
Remember, lockdown procedures are seen—and felt.
According to a government survey, two-thirds of school districts in the United States now conduct “active shooter” drills—and it often falls on teachers to make judgment calls between informing children and alarming them.
“I worry that students are unaware of events and that I’m breaking news to them. I worry that they will fear being at school,” says Meghan Everette, a K–6 teacher in the Salt Lake City School District.
The Government Accountability Office expanded studies further proved that the ineffectiveness and greater fear instilled are when lockdown procedures are not using an automated, real-time system. Without remote connectivity, IoT devices, and built-in intelligence, you are decreasing your staff’s efficiency to work together toward preventative solutions.
Emergencies require fast action. Fortunately, there’s a centrally managed solution that works in real time, secures your assets (students and staff), and earns their trust in your lockdown plans.
The Top Preventative Solution
Thankfully, innovation through secure door access and smart card reader technology provides a friendlier all-in-one solution that is easy to incorporate and use daily.
ScholarChip’s secure door access system leverages your community’s security and collective confidence in the event of an emergency by:
- Allowing administrators to set permissions, create groups, and define schedules through a system portal
- Providing the most accurate, real-time insight about your school population in public and restricted access locations
- Optimizing administrators’ ability to lock or unlock specific doors or the entire campus.
Now that you can further recognize the strong influence that automation has in promoting student and staff engagement, confidence, and prevention, you can firmly make the most crucial decision toward a positive school climate by consulting the experts.
A Measurable Solution: Partner with the Experts in Automated, Integrated School Security and Safety
Prevention, detection, and automation are the tools to an accurate, measurable school safety plan. Schools and classrooms are complex and demanding. They require sophisticated and sensitive policies and practices. Automating your school security needs is vital to spearheading such policies and practices.
Imagine making a positive impact for both students and staff by streamlining your school’s security process and staff work productivity and presenting each student with a friendlier security environment.
Many companies with safety enhancement solutions will find opportunities in schools seeking to upgrade their safety measures. Nonetheless, your greatest target must involve leveraging an all-in-one solution that empowers you to analyze behavior issues, save money, engage students, and involve the right staff, including parents.
ScholarChip’s overall school safety system integrates your school security needs into one scalable approach for the best school security and safety upgrade nationwide.
To learn more about how to prevent and intervene when dealing with school violence and securing a safe school environment, schedule a 1-on-1 walkthrough with one of our specialists today!