Prioritizing School Safety in 2024: 4 Key Areas of Focus Share Written By Chris Tags Emergency Response ReadinessPreventative SolutionsSchool SafetyVisitor ManagementVolunteer Management 2024-01-30 In the wake of the 2023 K-12 School Safety Survey, which captured the sentiments of 1,000 K-12 parents and educators, it's evident that safety concerns in schools are growing. The survey reveals that 67% of both parents and educators are more concerned about school safety now than ever before. As the need for heightened security and emergency preparedness becomes more pressing, schools are turning to innovative solutions to ensure the safety of students, staff, and visitors. In this article, we'll explore four key areas that schools need to focus on to improve safety: Emergency Response Plans, Visitor and Volunteer Management Systems, Surveillance Technology, and Active Shooter Preparedness Training. 1. Emergency Response Plans A robust emergency response plan is the cornerstone of school safety. It should encompass clear protocols for various scenarios, including natural disasters, medical emergencies, and security threats. Using an emergency management system can help schools prepare for, respond to and recover from any emergency and also eliminate compliance risks. Using advanced emergency technology such as wearable panic buttons, mass alerts and advanced reunification tools can help manage drills, instantly notify first responders, accurately account for individuals, and safely reunify families. Schools should regularly review and update their plans. Plans should be detailed, yet flexible enough to adapt to evolving situations. Regular drills will help students and staff become familiar with procedures. 2. Visitor and Volunteer Management Systems In addition to emergency response plans, schools should consider implementing strong visitor and volunteer management systems. These systems streamline the check-in process for visitors and volunteers, ensuring that only authorized individuals gain access to the premises during normal operations and emergency situations. Visitor and Volunteer Management solutions provide comprehensive screening, tracking, and management capabilities to enhance overall school security and safety. 3. Surveillance Technology The 2023 survey shows increasing reliance on technology for enhancing safety. Investing in advanced surveillance systems is important. High-definition cameras, integrated with advanced analytics, provide real-time monitoring and threat detection capabilities. Video cameras not only deter crime but also provide valuable evidence when incidents occur. Additionally, AI-powered surveillance can detect unusual activity and trigger alerts. 4. Active Shooter Preparedness Training Sadly, active shooter incidents have become a major concern for schools. Preparing for active shooter incidents is a sobering but necessary aspect of school safety. The Federal Emergency Management Agency - Active Shooter Preparedness report highlights the need for comprehensive preparedness training. Engaging in regular training exercises, collaborating with law enforcement agencies, and leveraging resources can empower school staff to respond effectively to active threats. Ensuring school safety in 2024 requires a holistic approach to security, emphasizing preventive measures, emergency response readiness, and positive visitor and volunteer experiences. By leveraging cutting-edge technologies and best practices, schools can create an environment that prioritizes safety without compromising openness and inclusivity. Let's work together to ensure that our schools are safe havens for learning and growth. School Gate Guardian’s suite of security products keeps schools and students from unwanted visitors, sex offenders and other threats. Learn how we can help keep your school safe and secure!