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School Safety & Security

Combined Solutions Provide Comprehensive Security 

  Schools have moved away from an open front door environment where parents and delivery personnel can freely walk into a lobby. Administrators can now incorporate locked entrances where people can only enter the building after initially being vetted by staff. Implementing two-way intercom systems at the school entrance provides an important first layer of

The Critical Role of an Emergency Notification System (ENS) in Educational Institutions

  By Mark J. Fletcher Unfortunately, today’s climate, discernably marked by ever-increasing security threats in all environments, implementing comprehensive Emergency Notification Systems (ENS) in our educational institutions and facilities has become a necessity rather than an afterthought or luxury. This urgent need is particularly prevalent in faith-based schools, which face unique challenges due to growing

The Imperative of Situational Awareness Technology

  By Danielle Myers The safety of students and staff within educational institutions is paramount, and the integration of advanced technology has emerged as a critical component. Among the various solutions, situational awareness (SA) technology stands out as a game-changer in bolstering school safety. This innovative approach can combine real-time data analysis, sensor networks, communication

Classroom Lockdown Solutions

  By Rob Schorr and Paul Hevesy There are few topics in the news these days that are more important or emotionally charged than K-12 and specifically religiously oriented school security. This topic has generated a plethora of complex solutions. However, researched more thoroughly, many of the resultant system designs are certainly not for the

Pros and Cons of Bulletproof Windows in Schools

  To mitigate attacks that start outside buildings, schools are fortifying classrooms and entryways by adding bulletproof windows and ballistic-rated glass doors to protect students and staff. How effective is bulletproof glass for schools, and does it make sense to implement, given your school’s security budget? What Are Bulletproof Windows? Bulletproof windows, also known as

Securing Schools with an Invisible Fortress

  By Ara H. Bagdasarian As concerns about school safety continue to grow, schools are looking for new and innovative ways to protect their students from harm. One approach that is gaining traction is the concept of building an “invisible fortress” around schools. This involves using a combination of technology, design, and security measures to

Faster and Better-Informed Crisis Response Using Incident Command Systems

  We live in an age of random public violence. Our institutions like education are, quite literally, under fire. Schools have been seen to benefit by the implementation of Public Safety Software that can coordinate disaster response faster and more efficiently, and provide schools with the ability to document every step in fine detail for

8 Ways Access Control Systems Can Provide School Security

  By Thomas Carnevale Educational facilities require a secured learning environment. Implementing efficient education and school security systems is a top priority to ensure the safety of students, teachers, staff, and others within the school premises. This task requires a balance between creating a welcoming learning environment for students and implementing sound security solutions that

Locks Help Save Lives

  School shootings are incredibly tragic and life-altering, although, thankfully, statistically rare. According to The Final Report of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, “There has never been an event in which an active shooter breached a locked classroom door.” It’s important to carefully consider your options for securing your classrooms rather than purchasing cost-saving solutions

5 Key Indoor Air Quality Issues in Schools

  By Regina Vaicekonyte In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, many schools across the nation are now prioritizing IAQ and ventilation. The Center for Green Schools recently published a report detailing indoor air quality measures schools have implemented in response to the pandemic. The study found that among the 47 school districts and independent schools

Is Your School Fully Prepared for an Emergency?

  When it comes to campus safety, Christian and private schools must effectively address two main components of their lockdown and/or emergency response plans to keep their communities safe. The first is Procedures. The second, and often neglected yet most critical aspect, is Rapid Communication. The Value of Strategic Lockdown Procedures Procedures are comprised of

What School Leaders Should Know About Background Checks

  By Thomas Ahearn While all employers have a responsibility to provide safe workplaces for their employees and the public, schools have an additional obligation to protect what is considered to be a “vulnerable” population: school children. One way to do this is through background checks of teachers and other school workers. Each state has

Why Drug Test?

  By Wil Elder Preparing students for morally centered lives built on the principles of lifelong learning, testament to their faith, and resilience in the face of adversity might be considered common core values of the faith-based educator. Especially today, with societal shifts creating daily moral challenges, the importance of instilling those core values in

Safety Communication Tools   

  By Laura Ray Pre-pandemic, schools nationwide had very well-versed and practiced emergency communication plans. However, with the onset of the global pandemic, everything has changed in the operations of the education industry. If simple things have changed, like how you interact with students and staff daily, would it be safe to say that your

School Security: Implementing a Layered Approach

  By Terence W. Kirby If your attitude is, “It can’t happen here,” you are fooling yourself. Columbine and Sandy Hook are just the incidents we hear about. There are thousands more every year that do not make the national news, directly affecting both public and private schools, and many pose a threat to the

K-12 Safety Experts Share Tips for Creating Safer Christian Schools

  By Shannon Zaher Christian schools are blessed with a great sense of community and parental involvement that most other schools could only envy. However, when it comes to campus and student security, familiarity can have the negative side effect of creating a false sense of security. As most school leaders know, Christian schools are

Practical, Code-Compliant Classroom Lockdown Solutions

  By Kerby Lecka Although the COVID pandemic has dominated our attention in the K-12 environment, school security must still be on our radar. If there is a silver lining to the pandemic, it’s the fact that remote learning contributed to a reduction in school shootings in 2020. However, 2021 saw a return to the

What Are Your Options for Access Control?

  Feeling safe in your environment is a necessary requirement for growth and development. However, with the constant negative news cycle, it’s hard to feel safe anywhere, especially in school. Dozens of shootings have already occurred in schools across the country this year, and children are acutely aware of the danger. This environment not only

3 Ways to Make Your Social Distancing Signs More Effective

  By Amy Servi How can you make your school more safe and sanitary for all? One way is to make sure your social distancing signs and products are exactly where they should be to effectively reach as many people as possible. In this article, we’ll walk you through the all-too-common issues with current social

Ways to Make Standard Response Protocols (SRPs) More Effective

  By Lindsay Bragg Emergency response plans are a serious business. It’s critical to the safety and well-being of students and staff. As part of their emergency planning, many schools require staff members to attend regular training on safety and emergency protocols. It’s an important best practice. But did you know that most people forget

Modernizing Safety Operations on the K-12 Campus

  Independent school administrators consistently report student safety as their top priority, so one could be forgiven for assuming that implementations of digital-based emergency management systems would be underway at a majority of schools across the country. However, after a nationwide survey and interviewing hundreds of private and independent schools, we found only one in

Pandemic-Friendly Safety and Security in School Buildings

  By Erin Werra Two truths remain as educators continue to navigate the pandemic: change is constant, and so is their unyielding commitment to student and staff safety. Schools are (rightfully) in different stages of hybrid, virtual, or in-person learning. As we all move toward the goal of reuniting all students safely in classrooms, let’s

Access Control Needs to Be Simple to Be Safe

  By Paul Bodell Unfortunately, controlling access in schools is no longer an option. Administrators need to ensure that students, staff and authorized visitors can get into the schools and areas they’re allowed to be in, while at the same time making sure restricted areas are protected and any unwanted visitors are kept out. The

Access Control to Support a Touchless Environment

  By Rick Focke Protecting students and staff inside and on school property has been at the forefront of the security industry, as the entire industry has worked diligently to implement new policies and additional security technologies to prevent mass shootings, stop vandalism and bullying, and detect students who are vaping on school property. Overall,

On Cybersecurity: Browser Extensions

  By Daniel Guermeur Cybersecurity is hard to achieve. Computers are full of holes. Some websites open false security alert popups, tricking users to do something that will compromise their computer. Once it is infected, there are virtually no limits to stealing data with the possibility of impacting users and their organizations. Schools are primary

Staying Safe and Healthy with Social Distancing

  “Social distancing” is a relatively new term implemented by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) encouraging individuals to maintain two arms’ length, or 6 feet, of distance between one another. Some studies have shown this distance to be sufficient in stopping the spread of germs from person to person. Another form of social distancing

Visitor Management for a Safer and More Efficient School

  By Evan Starkey Today, school security and the safety of students and staff is one of the most important topics in our country. Recent tragedies have highlighted the need for schools to take a look at current practices and policies in place to help make their schools safer and more efficient in the future.

Teaching Students to Overcome the Fear of Active Shooters

  By Scott Coleman There is no question that active shooter incidents are on the rise in American schools. In 2018, twice as many students and teachers were killed in acts of targeted school violence than active-duty U.S. military personnel during the same time period. Meanwhile, mass shootings in other public environments have increased in

5 Ways the Cloud Is Revolutionizing School Security

  By Nigel Waterton For many school administrators today, risk assessments are necessary to examine how schools handle emergency response, security vulnerabilities, and incident management. Along with fostering supportive and creative learning environments, schools are responsible for ensuring the safety and security of students, staff, and faculty at any given time. Because of this very

5 Things to Remember in the Case of an Armed Shooter

  By Douglas Parisi The motivations, weapons, locations, and response to a hostile event are unpredictable. The most important aspect is having a plan of action in place. This plan is based on the aspects of getting away from harm, preventing an intruder from getting to your faculty and students and being able to protect

Delivering a Layered Defense Solution

  By Paul Messenger Not long ago, security concerns for most schools involved student conflicts, vandalism, theft and liability — now, the foremost concern is life safety. School shootings have become a major motivator for improving the security of school districts in the United States. Increasing outbreaks of active shooter and other security incidents in

Using Data Wisely in a School Environment

  By Lynn Wood While privacy issues are a concern for school-age children, there is a need for information to be collected about students in a safe and secure manner — and one of those reasons is security. The incorporation of data into a school’s overall security plan is essential — especially if access control

The Doorknob Dilemma

  Do your classroom door handles have locks on them? Are classroom door locks permitted by the fire marshal in your area? The answer to both of these questions is far from straightforward and the answer varies from school to school and fire district to fire district. Classroom door handle inspection is a standard part

Is Your Emergency Response Plan Backed by the Right Communications Tools? 

  By Chuck Olson A student pulls a knife in a classroom. A child has an epileptic seizure in the hallway. Parents in a custody battle scream at each other in the school office. Police announce there’s an armed suspect in the neighborhood. The National Weather Service declares a tornado warning. Keeping students, faculty and

Selecting a School Video Surveillance Solution

By Tom Cook A video surveillance system is a must for school systems of any size, but their needs will vary. It may be intimidating for schools to find the right comprehensive security solution. And while public school districts face funding issues for critical projects such as security, it’s often an even larger problem for

How to Run a Background Check on School Employees

By Robyn Kunz Everyone wants children to be safe in school, but people tend to focus on the threat of outsiders. But, in reality, children end up spending most of their time with teachers and school staff. Because children spend so much time with these people and often trust them, it’s vital that school staff

6 Steps to Increase School Security with Visual Identification

By Julie Kuepers With the recent barrage of school violence around the nation, school leaders have realized that the bar for security standards needs to be raised significantly. To maintain higher security levels in the classroom and within school walls, it’s integral to understand the security options that are available. In addition, when you partner

How School Security Can Be Improved Using Locks

School security is an increasing concern these days. You hear about it all too often in the news. A shady character makes his or her way onto school grounds and causes horrible tragedies. It happens so often now that most schools have a police resource officer on staff all the time, even elementary schools. However,

5 Considerations to Make When Building a Campus Security Plan

K-12 schools face a number of challenges, not the least of which is the basic principle of safeguarding students, staff and faculty from emerging threats. They must strive to strike a balance between building a safe and secure environment and maintaining a welcoming one. A combination of policies and procedures for stakeholders to follow can be instrumental in

Keyless Locks for Classrooms

The most common approach to school security has centered around protecting the perimeter. But as our nation has seen time and again, the best security systems and intercoms at the entrances to the school are easily thwarted by an armed gunman intent on getting in. Once in the building, the classrooms become prime targets for

Emergency Response Preparation

In the first 21 weeks of 2018, there were 23 school shootings where someone was hurt or killed. That averages out to more than one shooting a week. If you have a social media account, follow the latest news, or have been personally impacted by this pressing issue at the forefront of our nation’s attention,

Benefits of Remote Video Surveillance

School is the one place every parent expects their child to be safe. Children in private schools expect the security even more because they are paying for their child to attend the school. Security is necessary, and there is no compromise. Running a private school is not an easy task; it is just as challenging

Why Do Organizations Conduct Volunteer Screening?

It’s a basic fact: background screening is complicated. An amazing amount of data is available that may or may not reflect the most up-to-date facts about volunteers. Deciding which type of background screening searches a volunteer manager needs to run to find well-intentioned volunteer candidates can often seem like a daunting task. Every organization has

Why We Should Consider This Emergency Management Process for Ending School Violence

By Todd Piett The deadly school violence in Parkland, Florida, should drive school and safety leaders to consider multiple solutions to preventing another shooting tragedy. One solution is to leverage a multi-pronged approach: the emergency management lifecycle. 1. Mitigation The first step in an emergency management framework is mitigation – essentially reducing the likelihood that

The Growth of Biometrics in Schools

By Anne Marie Dunphy Although it seems futuristic, biometrics is not a new technology. The ancient Babylonians used fingerprints on clay tablets for business transactions, and the ancient Egyptians used physical characteristics to identify workers to make sure they didn’t claim more provisions than they were entitled – just like governments today are using biometrics

Access Control in the Eye of the Storm

By Jeffrey Coates When in imminent danger, use the simplest means of arriving at the desired result. Both my partner and I have worked in a tactical and, many times, violent environment for more than 35 years. Over the years, we have added many insightful lessons we were able to put away into our future

The Standards Are Coming

By Mark J. Berger Standards are our way of selecting products that we know will meet our needs as well as relevant codes and safety regulations. Standards must evolve to meet emerging needs. Classroom lock standards have evolved over the last 100 years, but there haven’t been too many changes in the last 25 years.

Preparing for Emergency Response

With the start of a new school year, it is an excellent opportunity for districts to review their school security. With students and staff returning to campus, now is the time to review the performance of security and safety changes made over the summer. It also presents an opportunity to seek out and identify additional

Video Security Systems: DIY with Your Own IT

By Michael Bailey Schools find themselves today at the center of a perfect storm, a collision of seemingly unstoppable forces. Growing security challenges, tightening financial resources and revolutionary technologies are converging. The rising threat to the safety and well-being of our students, staff and facilities is all over the news. Tax dollars, grants and/or fundraisers

More Schools Make Background Checks a Prerequisite to Volunteering

Shrinking budgets and other organizational pressures mean many schools increasingly rely on their volunteers to perform essential functions inside and outside the classroom, yet inconsistent vetting of these volunteers may expose schools to unintended risk – as recent headlines attest. While laws and policies regarding criminal background checks for school volunteers are different for every

3 Tips for Buying ID Lanyards for Schools

By Dan Ryan Let’s talk lanyards! These card accessories are a great way to carry and display an employee badge, ID card, badge holder, keys or some other kind of credential at job sites of all kinds, from office buildings to hotels. It’s not hard to see why lanyards are popular. They’re easy to use,

Lockdown as Part of Your Active Assailant Strategy

By Ron Baer Perimeter fencing, visitor entry vestibules, attack resistant doors, proper locks, secure key systems, and effective hardware all play an important role in a school’s Active Assailant Strategy including their lockdown policies and procedures. Each element must be carefully considered to ensure the safety of students, faculty, staff and extended campus users. While