The Uvalde Foundation For Kids Asserts That Now Is A Critical Time In Our Nation To Reinforce School Safety Amongst Student, School Administrators & Their Families...
There are a number of steps that school administrators can take to reinforce the fact that schools are safe environments and increase student/adult comfort level following an event. Yes, this nation is struggling and has been for some time with school violence. That is Real! However, We believe that also reinforcing to your school community that your school is still a safe place for students to learn in; is important.
There are various parts to this reinforcement equation.. There is the healing (Response) & future preparation process (Response) following an traumatic event. All levels often serve as a catalyst for both individual & school community healing longterm. And, as shown briefly below, there is the PREVENTION ASPECT. (OUR FAVORITE FOCUS)
All part of what our team terms - Recognize - Intervene & Prevent!
Write a letter to parents explaining the school safety policies and crisis prevention efforts. CIte statistics that less than one percent of violent deaths are “school associated.” The idea is to be realistic while not creating a "panic." Use terms parents can relate to. You must balance thinking as an Administrator and leader & a human being, possibly a parent yourself.
Be a visible, welcoming presence at school, greeting students and parents and visiting classrooms. Don't do it once a week or month BUT DAILY. Patrol Your Zone, Includong BUILDING GROUNDS! That is your TURF as the students might relate. Engage EVERYONE, Including what we call, Student Ambassadors As Greeters & Helpers in this process. Remember it, "Takes a village."
Issue a press release about the school and district efforts to maintain safe and caring schools through clear behavioral expectations, positive behavior interventions and supports, and crisis planning and preparedness.
Conduct ongoing, NOT ONE TIME, Formal reviews of school safety policies and procedures to ensure that emerging school safety issues are adequately covered in current school crisis plans and emergency response procedures. (Such reviews should be conducted at least bi-annually.) We train in part using both CISM & ATSM Specific to school environments.
Review communication systems within the school district and with community 1st responders. This should also address how and where parents will be informed in the event of an emergency. Review in house & collaborative security response protocols and standards. Include Debriefing & Defusing Staging areas. Overall, COMMUNICATION & Consistency is critical HERE!
Connect with community partners (emergency responders, area hospitals, victim’s assistance, etc.) to review emergency response plans and to discuss any short-term needs that may be obvious in response to the current crisis. Prepare for the FUTURE! Don't Use STANDARD BLUEPRINTS of other school or district procedures. Use elements applicable to YOUR SCHOOL, Staff & Team and build upon these accordingly.
Provide crisis training and professional development for staff based upon needs assessment. Engage Peer to Peer Student Support Teams & Discussions. Engage your teachers. THEY KNOW STUDENTS!
IMPLEMENT & create ongoing developing, age appropriate violence prevention programs and curriculum currently being taught in school. If there is none - CREATE ONE! Be creative & engage students. Bring in outside resources, speakers & programs to assist. Emphasize the efforts of the school to teach students alternatives to violence including peaceful conflict resolution and positive interpersonal relationship skills. Cite specific examples such as multilevel Violence Prevention, anyibullying, or other positive interventions and behavioral supports.
The Uvalde Foundation For Kids
888 685 8464