School safety seems to be the phrase everyone’s talking about these days, but the concept of building safety into the school day isn’t new. Educators have always sought to create a safe environment for students to succeed in learning.
Schools are feeling more pressure than in the past, however, based on a shift in the increased risk factors students are facing and greater expectations from the community. The sad reality is that some schools haven’t yet made the shift away from outdated systems that don’t have the capacity to build in the safety measures needed to meet these new expectations.
So what can an educator do? While school safety is a complex topic, if every educator takes a few small steps, we can make big impacts to make school safer. That’s why we’re sharing this list that our partner Pikmykid compiled of three quick tips every educator can do to make schools safer.
#1 Create a conversation with others to learn what’s working.
Though every school has their own challenges and needs, consistent practices such as arrival, lunch, recess, classroom time, and dismissal happen every day. Ask colleagues or friends from other schools what they’ve found helpful when it comes to infusing safety measures into each of those aspects of the school day.
Does your school send students home by bus and car line? Do students walk or ride their bikes home from school? Find out how other schools have implemented safety measures to reduce the risks involved in each of these challenging logistics. Then pick one and try it out!
#2 Plan how you’ll communicate clearly with everyone involved.
When everyone knows the plan, you’re much more likely to prevent information from falling through the cracks and causing accidents. With so many players involved in the school day, from teachers, school staff, and administrators to parents, students, and after school coaches, miscommunications can occur easily without intentional planning and a system that works.
By equipping all parties involved with accurate, clear, and timely information, you’ll be able to prepare each group to take steps leading to safety no matter what comes along. This is especially important when emergency situations happen.
Make sure to have a clear plan of how each person is meant to respond during emergencies and which system will be utilized to distribute instructions in the moment so people know what to do.
#3 Practice safety measures to build preparedness.
Nobody knows better than educators how practice and repetition lead to great execution. It’s the same when it comes to building in safety protocol during the school day.
When students are leaving school, having staff practice their key activities – like verifying the student is going home with the right person and communicating with their parents when they’re safely dismissed – will lead to the habit of it occurring every single day.
Practicing emergency procedures with staff and students can also help you work out the gaps and build in better safety practices for when they actually occur. When you go through safety drills beforehand, no one will panic wondering what they should do during the real emergency because they have already done it. Make sure to practice with the systems you’ll be utilizing during emergencies too, like apps and other software.
Technology and Safety
While this list is in no way comprehensive, these three simple steps can go a long way in building safety into the school day. We believe every educator can do something to make schools safer – and new tech solutions are making it easier than ever.
With affordable technology informed by safety experts, your school can utilize a platform like the Pikmykid school safety and dismissal platform to guide you in taking these steps and remove some of the burden of school safety from your staff.
Don’t wait until the fall to implement technology that could protect your staff and students. Show parents and your community how serious you are about building up your school safety in light of recent events. Investing in school safety will allow everyone to start the new school year with peace of mind.
To learn more about Pikmykid and how easy it is to set up with FACTS integration, request a demo.