Leadership magazine Sept/Oct 2018 V48 No. 1 - Page 23

needed to be closed and fences that needed to be raised. We strengthened policies to identify one entry point for each campus and a mechanism requiring an ID for every adult entering the campus. Upon entering cam- puses, IDs are scanned through a computer database that informs office personnel if visi- tors are listed on sex offenders’ databases or other custom databases. At all the middle schools, campus safety officers were hired and trained. Their main job is to monitor the campus and identify threats. Procedures requiring each of the classroom doors to be closed were established. Peep holes were also placed on the doors of classrooms so that students and teachers can see who is coming to the door. Additionally, each of the middle school campuses upgraded the surveillance equipment in order to get up-to-date infor- mation. These cameras can look at various parts of the campus simultaneously and can also help law enforcement with the investi- gation of an incident. 2. Develop Protocols for Communi- cation We found that communication is the key at many levels. Communication to staff must be clear, precise and transparent. Staff needs to know exactly what is going on so that they can make the appropriate decisions. If staff does not know the nature of the emergency, they can make decisions that can place s tu- dents in danger. Communication with law enforcement must also be precise. Law en- forcement responds quickly and assertively based on the information that they receive. Staff members should recognize their role and what needs to be said to law enforce- ment. Lack of communication can cause huge problems with identifying the perpe- trators and valuable time can be lost. To that end, protocols were developed and training has been given to insure that staff members are aware of how they must communicate incidents. Office personnel have been given scripts in order to know what to say to par- ents when they call. Also, a duress system was installed at all schools. A simple button was placed in all schools in the district at a relatively low cost. Pushing this button pro- vides access to a security company which in turn contacts emergency responders. People are trained to only use the duress system in the event of emergencies where they cannot call 911. Effective communication with parents was also crucial. By using mass communi- cation systems like Ed Connect, School Loop, and mass text applications, parents can be kept informed of the situation in order to reduce panic. In our case, we used multiple methods of communication to con- nect with all families. This included letters, emails, text messages and various opportu- nities for face-to-face meetings. We devel- oped template letters that principals were able to adapt in emergencies, which fit most situations. This allowed principals to quickly send out messages as needed. 3. District Campaign - See Some- thing, Hear Something, Say Some- thing. The ”See Something, Hear Something, Say Something” campaign will go to scale this year, but was implemented, in part, at many OMSD schools last year. It is a simple but clear message to students to emphasize their responsibility to report anything that they may consider dangerous and allow school officials to investigate. At the schools where this was implemented last year, stu- dents reported various potentially harmful situations to teachers, school administrators and other adults. Parents were also encour- aged to do the same. This school year, the campaign will kick off by having all schools open with signage at each of the campuses and will include an assembly letting students know the type of things that should be re- ported. It is designed to inform, encourage and empower students to take an active role in keeping their school community safe and prevent a tragedy. Videos were also devel- oped to present and reinforce this message to students, staff and community. 4. Other District Support The district office needs to be a partner in this work. Having district personnel help confront outside issues can be a big support to the site administrator. Managing angry parents or dealing with the media can take valuable time away from making sure the September | October 2018 23