Providing a sense of security at school gives students the ability to focus on their education. When school administrators prioritize student safety, the entire community benefits.
Limit access to buildings during school hours by restricting entryways and requiring visitors to report to the main office and wear visitor badges. Ensure that outside doors are locked and check them regularly to make sure they haven’t been tampered with or propped open.
1. Install Security Doors & Windows
School administrators must be willing to work within the community to communicate goals and encourage ongoing adoption of security programs. This will require removing roadblocks that prevent widespread adoption and communication of plans.
It’s also important to conduct fire and lockdown drills regularly to ensure that staff and students are familiar with the procedures. Adding a school resource officer can help because they are experts in safety.
2. Install Security Cameras
Schools can deter incidents, thefts, and crime by monitoring their grounds with security cameras. This provides parents peace of mind and endorses the school’s commitment to safety.
Installing cameras at various entry and exit points helps security staff monitor people coming in and out of the building. It can also help them identify unauthorized visitors in real-time. Using this information can shape security strategies that can be more effective.
3. Install Access Control
Schools should have a variety of security measures in place. These include school emergency plans, preparedness drills, and security measures such as access control solutions.
One of the best ways to keep unauthorized visitors out is by installing entry vestibules. These systems allow students, teachers, and other authorized individuals to enter quickly by swiping an ID badge or access card. These are also ideal for granting access after hours to specific areas or buildings.
4. Install Gates & Fences
Students should be able to learn without fear or distraction. Fences and gates help keep people off school property who shouldn’t be there.
This security tool is also important for boosting natural surveillance and establishing perimeters. Just be sure that your school’s fencing doesn’t obstruct lines of sight.
Incorporate designated student drop-off zones into your school’s fencing to discourage unauthorized vehicles from entering the campus. Establish community partnerships (like neighborhood watch programs) to enhance safety protocols for students outside the school’s premises.
5. Install a Visitor Authorization Process
A school security guard cannot monitor all entry points during the day. Installing a visitor management system can help schools screen and verify visitors, account for students during a crisis, and streamline family reunification after an incident.
Effective security strategies must be widely adopted by all stakeholders. Work to communicate goals, encourage adoption and promote methods for reporting. This requires training staff, removing roadblocks to adoption and distributing plans and protocols.
6. Install a Fire Drill Procedure
Students feel safer at school when they know administrators make safety a priority. That frees their minds to focus on their studies, sports and extracurricular activities.
Regular fire and lockdown drills encourage staff and students to practice methods of safety in times of emergency. These drills also help to assess occupant response, means of egress, and accountability.
After the drill, conduct a debriefing at the designated meeting location to go over observations. Use the information to improve next time.
7. Encourage Parent Involvement
Parents who are supportive of their children’s education tend to have a more positive outlook on school and pass this attitude onto them. To encourage parental involvement, schools can offer volunteer opportunities, host virtual family-teacher meetings, and make communications personal.
However, it is important to avoid over-involvement. Bombarding parents with every update can make them feel overwhelmed. Instead, give parents the ability to opt in to updates that are relevant to them.
8. Develop a Comprehensive Plan
Developing comprehensive plans can help schools in many ways. They allow leaders to communicate goals, encourage ongoing adoption of security programs, and encourage reporting methods.
However, a plan is only as good as the effort put into it. Training staff can help ensure that all security procedures are followed. It can also reduce mistakes in emergency situations. Data collection and analysis helps administrators discover underlying causes of violence, and identify the most effective prevention methods.
9. Train Staff
Schools should train staff members to become familiar with school security procedures. This will help them feel more comfortable and confident throughout the day.
Keep in mind that no single technology, school climate intervention or other strategy can eliminate the underlying cause of violence. It’s essential to measure and track school security initiatives to make sure they’re working. Tracking trends helps to identify areas where improvements are needed.
10. Encourage Community Involvement
Encouraging community involvement in schools creates a two-way process that benefits all parties. It also allows for more resources to support learning activities, such as mentorship programs, internships, scholarships and financial assistance.
XQ school Circulos leverages a place and project-based learning curriculum to connect students to their communities by linking them to local nonprofits that provide career opportunities. The result is improved academic outcomes and more engaged learners.