While the nationwide discussion of school safety appeared in front page headlines during the 2017-18 academic year, CRCSD worked quietly behind the scenes to implement new measures to increase security of CRCSD facilities by beginning installation of a push button lock system throughout the schools. Locks have been updated at six schools, and the goal is to start the year with the updates made to all high schools and several middle schools; the remainder of CRCSD’s 31 schools are on schedule to be updated by the end of the school year.
“Safety is our first priority and a locked door is one of the simplest, most effective things we can do to improve the safety for students and staff members,” said Superintendent Brad Buck. “I just want to be sure we are thinking about this in as inclusive a manner as possible.”
While classroom spaces are CRCSD’s immediate priority, other student occupied spaces that are not classrooms, like main offices and nurses’ offices, that have door handles which can be converted to the new push button style will also see the change.
“Through this process, we will be seeking input from staff in those spaces to see if they are interested in having push button locks installed,” said Buildings and Grounds Manager Jon Galbraith. “It may be optional for them as there is additional complexity that must be considered with installing push button locks in those spaces.”
In tandem with the decision and implementation of this new safety measure, CRCSD also convened a Safety and Security Task Force of administrators, community members, and public safety officials who worked behind the scenes to design a new and comprehensive Response to Active Threat Plan which was presented to the Board of Directors, which will be implemented this year to most strategically improve the security of our schools and significantly enhance the safety of our students, staff, and visitors.
While CRCSD had many security measures already in place for a variety of crisis situations and potential breaches of security, the new Response to Active Threat Plan offers a more robust and strategic approach specifically to active threats. The comprehensive plan is designed to:
- increase all staff members’ understanding of possible responses to an active threat and how to educate and support their students in the case of an active threat;
- improve processes around active threat drills; and
- develop and implement a communication plan to inform students, staff, families, and the community of how we respond to active threats.
As part of the plan, a new position of School Security and Crisis Response Supervisor has been recommended to the Board. The Supervisor would be responsible for collaborating with others to lead, organize, and maintain the safety and security efforts of CRCSD as well as planning for and addressing crisis situations.
“Ensuring a safe and secure environment is foundational to providing the most positive academic experience we can possibly offer our students,” said Superintendent Buck. “We are committed to providing resources to support the recommendations of the Safety and Security Task Force.”