Brewster Bear Facts

How Safe is our School, Really?

Staff

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Is our school as safe as we think and hope it is? Here’s your chance to decide for yourself. Back in 2013, Homeland Security issued a list of recommendations for schools to use as guidelines for keeping their school safe. Take a look at their guidelines and see how we measure up.

ACCESS CONTROL

  • The facility limits building access points.
  • Designated access points are monitored to control facility access.
  • Signs direct visitors to designated building entrances and exits.  (See photo in slideshow)
  • Exterior doors to gyms, maintenance areas, kitchen, and delivery areas are secured when not in use.
  • Visitors are required to check in with the front office upon arrival and departure.
  • Visitors are provided with school issued identification badges when on school grounds.
  • Policies are in place for those with and without appointments or official school business.
  • Vendors and contractor personnel are escorted throughout the facility.
  • A key control program is established that monitors keys, entry cards, and duplicates.
  • Key control program is audited annually.

BUILDING EXTERIOR

  • Policies are in place that restrict access to bus-loading zones.
  • Bus-loading, unloading, drop off zones and fire zones are clearly marked.
  • School designates areas for use of parking lots (e.g., staff lot, student lot, visitor spaces).
  • Parking system incorporates an identification system (e.g., placards in windshields).
  • Appropriate perimeter barriers or gates are installed and secured when not in use.
  • Windows are locked securely.
  • Window hardware and frames are regularly inspected for security weaknesses.
  • Facility has visual surveillance capability (e.g., designated surveillance points, cleared lines of sight).
  • Clear zones adjacent to buildings are free of vegetation and other obstructions.
  • Barriers are installed to protect doors and windows from small arms fire and explosive blast effects.
  • School grounds are adequately lit.
  • Vandalism and graffiti is documented and removed.
  • Mechanical, electrical, and other equipment are surrounded by protective enclosures to prevent unauthorized access.
  • Access to the roof is restricted.  (See photo in slideshow)
  • Speed limits are posted.

BUILDING INTERIOR

  • School front office is clearly marked.
  • First aid/school nurse office location is clearly marked.
  • Critical utility systems and equipment are secured and locked.
  • A positive inventory is kept on chemicals in use or used in science classes or laboratory areas.
  • Custodial and storage closets are secured and locked.
  • The number of containers and trashcans in hallways, atriums, and lobby areas are minimized.
  • Unassigned lockers are secured.
  • Doors and stairwells are numbered.
  • Stairwells, hallways, and restrooms are adequately lit.
  • Smoke detectors have vandal-resistant features (e.g., tamper alarms or protective cages).  (See photo in slideshow)
  • Doors and locks are in good condition.
  • Easy access to fire extinguishers.
  • Adequate access to first aid supplies (e.g., automated external defibrillators (AEDs)).
  • Blast fragment retention film is on windows.
  • Security information and training includes training on how to identify suspicious packages.
  • Faculty and staff have been trained to appropriately respond to and report threatening/suspicious phone calls.
  • School maintains, reviews, and updates a code of conduct/school handbook.  (See photo in slideshow)
  • Students do not have access to the school without direct staff supervision.
  • Curricula and programs aimed at preventing harmful behaviors are implemented (e.g., social problem-solving, life skills, anti-bullying, mentoring programs, character education).
  • Photo identification badges are issued to all faculty, students, and staff.

COMMUNICATION SYSTEM

  • Systems are installed that provide two- way communication between faculty, staff, administrators, and security personnel.
  • Communication system is installed that provides communication with all people at the school, including faculty, students, staff, emergency response teams, and visitors.
  • A notification protocol is developed that outlines who should be contacted in emergencies and how.  (See photo in slideshow)

REPORTING PROCEDURES

  • School has a single point of contact for reporting threats, threatening behavior, or concerning behavior and is available 24/7.
  • There are multiple ways someone can reach the point of contact for reporting potential threats (e.g., email, telephone, online, in-person).
  • Reporting can be anonymous.
  • There are clear policies in place for collecting and acting on information about a threatening or potentially threatening situation.
  • Policies explain how information will be handled confidentially and appropriately.

SECURITY EQUIPMENT

  • Security camera tapes or recordings are retained for an allotted time period.
  • All emergency response equipment and supplies are checked on a regular basis.

SECURITY PERSONNEL

  • A school security director is designated to develop, implement, and coordinate all security-related activities.
  • School security personnel include an armed trained police officer or school resource officer.
  • School security personnel are stationed at a single school.
  • School security personnel are a visible and regular presence during school hours of operation.
  • School security personnel are deployed during normal school hours of operation and special events.
  • Security personnel check for unauthorized vehicles in parking lots or on school grounds.
  • Halls, common areas, and gyms are monitored for suspicious items (e.g., backpacks, briefcases, boxes).
  • Security personnel are deployed to assigned areas to regularly inspect sensitive or critical areas (e.g., auditoriums or under stages where items such as weapons or explosive materials can be hidden).
  • Faculty and staff monitor hallways, stairwells, and restrooms during school hours.
  • If the building is used after school hours, security personnel are present.

CYBERSECURITY

  • School maintains a well-trained computer security staff.
  • School faculty and staff are required to use passwords and unique login information to access electronic files.
  • Security plans for computer and information systems are established.
  • Faculty, staff, and students are trained in safe and secure computer use.
  • Cybersafety and cyberbullying programs are provided for students.
  • Video security system is adequately protected against hackers.

EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN

  • A comprehensive school emergency operations plan has been developed.
  • Plan takes into consideration numerous circumstances and criteria for response (e.g., lockdown, evacuation, shelter-in-place).  (See photo in slideshow)
  • Plan contains an updated map of the school’s floor plan that includes room numbers, evacuation routes, and utility shut offs.
  • Plan contains directions that provide for the needs of students, staff, and visitors with disabilities and other functional and access needs.
  • Plain contains action checklists for teachers, administrative staff, and other staff located throughout the school to follow during incident response.
  • Plan includes components for post-incident response/recovery (e.g., stress management, mental health services, infrastructure restoration, post-incident evaluation, business continuity plans etc.)
    School conducts regular exercises/drills of emergency plans.

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