Author: Nicky Jackson, Marketing Campaign Manager, MCA
Schools today face many challenges, one of them being school safety. Tragic events such as school shootings happen more often than we’d like to hear; lockdowns, accidents, threats and natural disasters happen more frequently. A safe learning environment is a top priority for educators, school officials, parents and students. Many educators worry about knowing who’s coming into the school, keeping an eye on hundreds of students, staying connected and keeping everyone informed, as well as providing “eyes-on-scene” from anywhere. With so many concerns and multiple students and adults to monitor it’s difficult to determine the best ways to keep them all safe.
Here are the 6 best tactics we found to enhance school safety in order to prevent and manage crises on your campus:
1) Inspect Your Campus for Opportunities to Improve
Surveying your facility is a crucial first step to enhancing school safety. You need to thoroughly check the ins and outs of your campus so you can discover areas that need improvement. We recommend checking the following areas every few months: fences, gates, locks, PA system, communication devices, cameras, lights, and emergency power supply.
2) Have an Effective Communication System
Communication is key to crisis management and resolution. Out of all the communication devices on the market, two-way radios are definitely the most reliable for schools in an emergency scenario. They continue to work despite overwhelmed cell phone networks and have text messaging capabilities if discreet communication is needed. And they work even better with a properly installed and configured distributed antenna system (DAS). Part of an effective communications solution includes mass notification equipment and software – to best alert, inform, and direct student and faculty actions.
3) Use Teamwork for Coordination
Forming an emergency response team will keep your school organized in the midst of a chaotic situation. Create a designated team of staff to each fill different roles in an emergency. Being coordinated in this way will ensure that you are able to respond as quickly as possible in the most effective manner.
4) Define and Make Your Plan Public
Create a policy that defines what emergency procedures will look like, then broadcast it to the entire school, including students. Knowing you’ve prepared a concrete, crisis management plan in advance will help your personnel, parents and students feel safer. In addition, make sure students are aware of the kinds of behaviors that are not acceptable at school and why.
5) Hold Drills to Practice
Once you have set policies and procedures in effect, it’s essential to see how they would play out in a simulated emergency. Frequent drills are the perfect way to practice your communication and teamwork, and to find out if any unforeseen obstacles come up. You may find that a certain employee doesn’t know how to operate their radio, for example.
6) Focus on Relationships with Students
Administrative professionals and teachers should make every effort to get to know their students. Showing all students that you truly care about them will go a long way. You don’t want any students to feel the need to get attention in a negative way.
By implementing each of these 6 easy tactics, your school will be on its way to becoming a safer environment that parents feel good about sending their students to. Safe learning environments are a fundamental foundation for student success.
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MCA offers a carefully researched portfolio of world class voice, data and video products and solutions, our team of certified professionals across the United States deliver a full suite of reliable technologies with a service first approach.
The MCA advantage is our extensive service portfolio to support the life-cycle from start to finish. If you would like to find out the best solutions for your unique situation call an MCA Representative today at 800-596-8205.