There’s no question that many schools need to improve their safety plans. In 2018, 43 states proposed or enacted bills dealing with school safety, many of which focused on requiring a school or district to develop a stricter student safety plan. Of the 392 bills and resolutions proposed by state legislatures around the country, 87 were adopted and amended.
Whether your state has passed a specific bill or not, it’s a smart idea to create a student safety plan for your campus that’s more robust and far-reaching. A student safety plan should incorporate best practices and up-to-date technology to make your campus as secure as possible. But the question remains: what are common safety issues that aren’t addressed on your campus?
Let’s talk about five commonly overlooked safety issues on campuses today.
Safety Issue #1: Your campus still relies on outdated lockdown processes
Many campuses still require teachers or administrators to lock classrooms and building doors in the event of an emergency. During emergencies, however, every second matters, even those taken to manually lock a door—it can be dangerous and time-consuming. Instead, automatic digital locks are much more efficient. Doors across campus should be able to lock instantly.
Safety Issue #2: Students aren’t given channels to share their points of view about school safety issues
No matter how diligent your faculty and staff are, students often become aware of safety concerns that adults don’t have any idea about. No safety plan is complete without a method for students to share their concerns electronically. The lower the difficulty to share safety issues that worry them, the more likely they will do so.
Safety Issue #3: You don’t effectively communicate your plan to stakeholders
Schools aren’t alone in preparing for emergencies. Receiving input and sharing changes to your emergency plan with your crisis team is critical to its effectiveness. Build channels to share, adapt, and revise safety considerations with your local police, fire department, emergency medical services, and others.
Safety Issue #4: You have an incomplete communication strategy for emergencies
These days, just about every student, faculty, and staff member has a cellphone that can disseminate information quickly. To make sure these aren’t the only way that parents, guardians, and the community can learn about an emergency, you need a complete communication strategy. Creating a plan for sharing information via social media and through text is likely the most pressing of your tasks.
Safety Issue #5: A simple way to account for student whereabouts has not been developed
In an emergency, you need to be able to account for all students immediately. Without a plan for accountability, you could lose precious time combing the campus for students or checking every room to make sure everyone is accounted for. By automating your procedures for knowing where students are at all times, you can speed up your emergency and evacuation procedures.
When creating a complete emergency preparation plan, you’ll need ways to address these common safety pain points. ScholarChip can help your campus strengthen its security using these tools:
- Identity Management Platform with Smart ID Card
If you need to account for students’ locations, this solution can quickly detail where students are on campus. A Smart ID card gives students a unique and automatic identifier to track them as they move through campus. They simply need to swipe it in a card reader when they move from place to place. Furthermore, it slows down those with malicious intentions. Even students with Smart IDs can’t access certain buildings or rooms on campus without permission to be there.
- Automatic lockdown with ScholarChip’s One-Click Secure Door Access Instead of using outdated locks and keys, you can streamline your lockdown procedure with ScholarChip’s Secure Door Access. In connection with Smart IDs, students can enter only the parts of campus they’re supposed to be in during a given point in the day. The integrated system will lock every door on campus in an emergency—with a single click.
- Behavior Management and Intervention
One of the most significant problems with student behavior isn’t the behavior itself, it’s tracking those issues across time, school districts, and teachers. Furthermore, parents, guardians, and other stakeholders need to know about student issues if they’re going to help. ScholarChip’s Alternative Behavior Educator (ABE) not only tracks student behavior and notifies relevant parties, but also provides behavior-changing tools for students.
It can be daunting to develop or add onto the emergency plan at your school. But as more incidents occur and more legislatures require districts to submit updated plans, a complete plan is more important than ever. By considering if your school faces any of the problems mentioned above, you can determine the next steps to adding to and revising your plan.
ScholarChip offers a solution called Alternative Behavior Educator (ABE). This innovative program enables school leaders to identify, monitor, and improve student behavior throughout a student’s career, while giving administrators and teachers powerful data-driven reports that quickly flag at-risk students, help monitor and chronicle progress, and support decision-making tasks. The ScholarChip system incorporates the complete spectrum of behavior and integrates student rewards, interventions, and tracking with PowerSchool®, Infinite Campus, and other popular SIS platforms.
To learn how ScholarChip can help keep your schools safer and more secure, learn more about the many solutions ScholarChip provides, or get free recommendations, contact our school safety specialists today!