Back to school security checklist
If September is for fresh starts and new school years, August is for planning. A lot can change in a year. Schools hire new teachers, teachers and students move to new classrooms, school buildings undergo construction. Before the new school year begins, teachers, administrators and parents should review old emergency plans and make updates accordingly. Share the below lists with the people in your community to make this upcoming school year one of the safest and most secure years yet!
- Ensure emergency protocols are in place and posted in each classroom.
- Go over basic emergency protocols with teachers and staff (i.e.: Evacuation, Shelter in Place, Lockout and Lockdown.) Answer questions when possible.
- Review key plan elements such as alert capability, relocation sites, and transportation elements to ensure they are in place.
- Develop a drill schedule for early and mid-year that practices the main protocols.
- If buses are used, schedule times for evacuation practice. Ensure evacuation is practiced from the buses at least 2 times per year.
- Make contact with local emergency services to request they attend a drill that would elicit their response. (Fire for Evacuation and Police for Lockdown.)
- Review basic emergency procedures to include Evacuation, Shelter in Place,
- Lockout and Lockdown. Ensure you are aware of the role you must play in each situation. Ask for clarification when plans are ambiguous.
- Check emergency supplies and ensure they are available and operating properly.
- Ensure you have access to any mass alert capability such as PA system or any emergency response APPs used.
- Plan a time, as early in the year as possible, to review basic emergency responses with children. Be sure to do this in an age appropriate manner.
- When age appropriate, ensure children know parents contact information to include phone numbers, home address etc.
- Consider a backpack emergency card with relevant phone numbers, medical allergies, and other information that could be used to help in an emergency.
- Ask the school about their plan to deal with emergencies and make sure they have a reunification plan in place.
- Update all emergency contacts. Consider authorizing a non-parent to pick up your child(ren) in case of emergency, and you are unable to be there.
- Have an age appropriate conversation with the child about maintaining safety and about age appropriate situational awareness.
SecureEd is a team of highly trained former US Secret Service Agents who design and train staff members on an emergency and critical incident response plan customized for their school, child care center, or business. SecureEd offers site assessments, emergency preparedness plans and critical incident training to schools and child care centers, corporate organizations and churches and faith based institutions. Learn more about SecureEd.
About Jason Russell, Founder/President/CEO of SecureEd:
Jason is the founder of Secure Education Consultants, LLC (SEC) and is its President and Chief Executive Officer. He is responsible for overseeing all company operations, product development, and quality assurance. SEC is headquartered in Grand Rapids, Michigan and serves 100’s of clients in over 30 states.
Prior to founding SEC, Jason served with the United States Secret Service as a Special Agent. During his tenure, Jason was involved in protective and investigative assignments as well as protecting the President and Vice President along with all living former Presidents. In addition to protection assignments, Jason served as the Secret Service Lead Instructor at the International Law Enforcement Academy, a Physical Fitness Coordinator, and on the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Jason began his law enforcement career with the Lansing Police Department (LPD). While with the LPD, Jason was recognized with a lifesaving award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Jason has worked on the US Marshals Fugitive Task Force, and various multi-jurisdictional enforcement initiatives.
Jason is a frequent Keynote and content speaker at conferences on the topics of emergency preparedness, active shooter response, and safety and security process. Jason additionally has taught criminal investigation and security courses as an adjunct professor.
Born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Jason holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Western Michigan University and his Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Security Management from Michigan State University.