Tag Archive for: school safety

Observed every June 1-7, CPR and AED Awareness Week spotlights how learning CPR can save lives. In fact, according to the American Heart Association, it can double or even triple a person’s chance of survival. Just last month, a neighbor performed life-saving CPR on a 4-year-old boy with autism who wandered into his apartment complex and jumped in the pool. Kudos to the 12-year-old who witnessed the incident and immediately ran to alert his father.

So this week, we invite you to help us celebrate CPR and AED Awareness Week by learning Hands-Only CPR. It only takes two simple steps and adults and teens alike can easily learn.

  1. Call 9-1-1
  2. Push hard and fast in the center of the chest until help arrives

Wondering if you’re doing it properly? Make sure you’re pushing on the chest at a rate of 100-120 compressions per minute. Many people find that learning Hands-Only CPR is easier if they learn it to a song that shares the same number of beats per minute. Examples include: 

  • “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees
  • “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z
  • “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira
  • “Walk the Line” by Johnny Cash

Share your favorite song that helps you perform Hands-Only CPR by tagging us on social media.

And remember, CPR training is not mandatory for teachers in every state. Similarly, not all states have laws in place that require students to learn CPR before they graduate high school. So, it’s important to encourage your school community to get involved…especially when every second counts!

Our hearts are broken. We grieve for the families and victims of the tragic school shooting at Robb Elementary School and send our love and support from all corners of the country.

School safety is a process, not a product. It takes a village – students, parents, teachers, Student Resource Officers (SROs), custodians, lunch ladies, counselors—everyone has to be involved.

Safe and Sound Schools’ comprehensive school safety framework identifies six key components to school safety and security: mental and behavioral health; health and wellness; physical safety and security; culture, climate, and community; leadership, law, and policy; and operations and emergency management. But it’s not about being the expert in all six, but rather partnering with the experts like the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS). Together, we’ve developed a list of five questions everyone should ask about safety and security.

1. Does Your School Have a Current School Safety Policy?

Your school’s safety and security policy should involve an emergency operations plan (EOP) and security plan. Comprehensive plans—and the policies and procedures to implement them—form the foundation of school safety and security. Without proper policies and procedures in place, it is impossible to successfully use security technology and other security measures, regardless of how advanced they may be. Effective policies and procedures alone can mitigate risks, and there are often no costs associated with implementing them.

The PASS Guidelines include essential security-specific policies and processes, broken down by the five layers of school safety and security (district-wide, property, parking lot, building, and classroom/interior; see Guidelines for details).

2. What Drills Are in Place to Help Students and Staff Respond to Emergencies?

As the widespread success of fire drills has demonstrated, drills are critical to the success of your school’s emergency response both for students and teachers. The need for “lockdown” drills has grown due to the unique circumstances of an active shooter event. Whether in a school, business, or other public space, best practices now dictate having a lockdown protocol as the major component of an effective safety plan when escape is not possible. Schools should keep the age of their students in mind when designing exercises and training. The PASS Guidelines include recommendations for how to conduct lockdown drills, as well as tips on how to design a drill that works best for your school.

3. Does Your School Have a Team Assigned Specifically to Student Safety?

Your school should have a safety and security team that comprises, at minimum, the following key stakeholders to the K-12 environment:

  • security director;
  • school administrator;
  • security/systems integrator (or consultant);
  • IT director;
  • local police and fire officials; and
  • a school-based health care professional.

For larger or more complex projects, it’s best to have a hardware consultant on board as well.

4. Have School Administrators and Security Personnel Been Trained on Crisis Management?

Teachers and staff are essential to a successful emergency response. Staff should act on their own in an emergency when direction is not available, and—at a minimum—be trained on:

  • What to do in an emergency;
  • How to make independent decisions and act on them immediately;
  • What strategies and options they can use under various circumstances;
  • Who is responsible for what, and their individual roles; and
  • How to communicate with police, first responders, and others responding to the emergency.

5. Do Students Know How to Report Suspicious Incidents?

Ideally, a counselor or mental health professional has spoken with students about identifying red flags and what to do about it. Schools should also seriously consider anonymous reporting systems, which have deterred school violence in the past. The PASS Guidelines provide guidance on how to best implement anonymous tip reporting processes.


About PASS

First established in 2014, the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) brings together expertise from the education, public safety and industry communities to develop and support a coordinated approach to making effective use of proven security practices specific to K-12 environments, and informed decisions on security investments.

 

Here at Safe and Sound Schools, we’ve been keeping a close eye on Illinois’ Teaching Equitable Asian American Community History (TEAACH) Act. The legislation will require schools there to teach Asian American history in the US, and is now heading to the governor’s desk. Read on for more details.

Illinois is poised to become the first state to require that public schools teach their students the history of Asian Americans, who have endured an increase in anti-Asian hate crimes amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Illinois Senate passed the Teaching Equitable Asian American Community History Act, known as the TEAACH Act, by a unanimous vote of 57-0 on Tuesday. The legislation, introduced in January by Illinois State Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz, D-Glenview, passed the state House in April. The House has to approve a Senate amendment before it will head to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk for his signature.

The bill would require every elementary and high school in the state to devote a unit of curriculum to the history of Asian Americans in the United States, including in Illinois and the Midwest. School districts would have until the start of the 2022-2023 school year to comply.

Read this full article in US News: ‘Illinois Tackles Anti-Asian Hate With the TEAACH Act’

Did you know April is recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)? Observed by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, school communities, survivors, allies, and many others, this national campaign is an opportunity to address the issue of sexual assault, while educating, raising awareness, and empowering others to take a stand against sexual violence.

This SAAM, we encourage you to know the facts. Click here to access our Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention fact sheet where you’ll find quick facts, tips, and reporting resources to bookmark.

Remember that your voice has power. Use it to support survivors and bring awareness to your school community.

From contact tracing to diagnosing signs of anxiety in students, school nurses have taken on much more during the pandemic. Now, lawmakers in states like Texas and North Carolina are proposing legislation that requires more districts to employ full-time nurses in schools. This article details school nurses’ integral role in fighting COVID-19 and keeping our school communities safe.

Last September, as Covid-19 vaccine candidates were rapidly advancing, Katherine Park and six of her fellow school nurses in St. Louis County, Mo., envisioned school-based vaccination sites as an extension of the district’s pandemic response plan, which they had been working on for months. They reached out to the local health department, letting it know the district had buildings for use and more than 30 school nurses who could jump in on administering shots.

“Honestly, our health department here was kind of surprised that we even reached out to them,” said Park, who is also the interim director of health services at Parkway Schools, a public school district in western St. Louis County. “It’s almost like they had never really considered they could utilize us.”

Park said that many people don’t realize how much school nurses do to manage student health care on a daily basis, from administering insulin injections to giving seasonal flu vaccinations.

Read this full article in STAT: ‘A wild year’: School nurses greatly expand role with Covid-19 vaccinations, contact tracing

Parents are scared not just of the bullying in school but also of the harassment other adults could direct at their families on the way to school.

A New York City principal said the families of many of her Asian American students have been fearful as heightened levels of anti-Asian sentiment continue alongside the coronavirus pandemic and with violence toward Asian Americans gaining more national attention.

Racist incidents and attacks on members of the Asian community in public have, in part, persuaded some families not to send their children back to in-person schooling, administrators say.

The New York administrator, whose school has a Title I distinction — meaning it has a significant percentage of low-income students — said students’ “fear is real even if they are two blocks away from school.

Read this full article in NBC News: Amid attacks, school principals concerned over Asian Americans’ return to class

For community resources, information, and to report anti-Asian incidents in English and 11 Asian languages, visit Stop AAPI Hate.

Here are some links to resources for families and educators to discuss this issue with students from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP):

The inauguration of Joe Biden takes place this week. The President-elect recently proposed a $1.9 trillion stimulus package which includes new aid for K-12 and higher education. Here are the details on his approach, which has been called a “rescue plan” aimed at reopening schools.

(Updated 1/14) A new, $1.9 trillion stimulus package proposed by President-elect Joe Biden would dedicate an additional $170 billion for K-12 schools and higher education, as well as spending billions more to prop up the state and local governments that are critical to funding education.

Biden’s announcement comes less that a month since Congress approved a $900 billion Covid relief package that included about $82 billion for education. The December 2020 package provides:

  • $54.3 billion for K-12 schools, largely delivered through Title I funding. That’s about four times what schools received in the CARES Act approved in March.
  • $22.7 billion for higher education with $1.7 billion set aside for minority-serving institutions and close to $1 billion for for-profit colleges
  • $4 billion for governors to spend at their discretion, with $2.7 billion of that for private schools.Biden’s proposal would put another $130 billion toward K-12 schools and $35 billion to support higher education institutions. Another $5 billion would go to governors to use at their discretion for the “hardest hit” K-12, higher education or early education programs. The K-12 dollars would be focused on helping schools reopen, though the allowable uses would be quite broad, A portion would be used challenge grants focused on educational equity.

Read this full article in FutureEd: What Congressional Covid Funding Means for K-12 Schools

As schools grapple with reopening plans across the country, education leaders, teachers unions, and parents clash over what they believe to be the safest path forward. A recent study offers new insights about how school impacts public health.

Since the beginning of this pandemic, experts and educators have feared that open schools would spread the coronavirus further, which is why so many classrooms remain closed. But a new, nationwide study suggests reopening schools may be safer than previously thought, at least in communities where the virus is not already spreading out of control.

The study comes from REACH, the National Center for Research on Education Access and Choice, at Tulane University. Up to this point, researchers studying the public health effects of school reopening have focused largely on positivity rates. As in, did the rate of positive coronavirus tests among kids or communities increase after schools reopened?

Read this full article in NPR: Where Is It Safe To Reopen Schools? New Research Offers Answers

During the pandemic, most schools have been tasked with reaching students online.  However, finding way to engage, connect with, and reach students –especially those without reliable internet access or tech devices–has been an extraordinary challenge. Now, educators and local tv stations have teamed up for a creative solution to engage students at home.

Nearly every weekday morning, Valentin Vivar curls up in bed next to his older sister, Araceli, and switches on one of his favorite television shows.

The hourlong program, “Let’s Learn NYC!”, isn’t typical children’s fare. Valentin, 5, watches as educators from New York City public schools teach math and science, sing songs and take viewers on virtual field trips to botanical gardens and dance performances. Araceli, 17, is there to help out.

After the coronavirus pandemic shut down their schools in March, the siblings attended virtual classes from their apartment in Queens on Araceli’s iPhone. Their parents could not afford another device, and their class attendance was sporadic because sometimes both had school at the same time. Valentin, who needed speech therapy, was missing out on conversations with classmates, and he was struggling to pronounce words.

Then a teacher told them about the television program, and Valentin was hooked. He sounded out letters and words and formed strong bonds with the teachers he saw onscreen.

Now, Valentin “wants to read books by himself, and he’s writing new words,” Araceli said. “I really like to see him learn and grow.”

Around the country, educators and local television stations have teamed up to help teachers make their broadcast debuts and engage children who are stuck in the doldrums of distance learning. The idea — in some ways a throwback to the early days of public television — has supplemented online lessons for some families, and serves a more critical role: reaching students who, without reliable internet access or a laptop at home, have been left behind.

Read this full article:

New York Times: Teachers on TV? Schools Try Creative Strategy to Narrow Digital Divide