Reopening K-12 Schools

How do schools reopen in the fall with the ever-changing COVID-19 recommendations? The CDC provides some guidance.

We have been so impressed with school districts’ ability to adapt to the COVID-19 restrictions going on throughout Colorado. Currently, we are working with districts on continuing trainings for the next school year. We are also having discussions about what the school climate may look like in the fall. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the leading, national public health institute of the United States. They have provided a decision tree to assist administrators in making school reopening decisions regarding K-12 schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of course, districts need to take their local and state recommendations into consideration. This could be a useful tool for administrators looking toward the 2020-2021 school year.
Want to discuss with us? Contact us.

CDC’s Tool to Assist Administrators’ Decision-Making During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Dig Out from the Shifting Sands of Priority

A District Security Personnel’s Perspective

Since schools are temporarily closed in Colorado due to the spread of COVID-19, I’m thinking back to my career in K-12 public schools and what I can do with extra time on my hands. During the school year, I remember being very busy with day-to-day things that would come up and feeling like the things that were important were being buried under the urgencies of the day. As a year-round employee, I remember looking forward to Summer Break, or even the brief respite of Winter Break that allowed me to do things I knew were important.

So now, with time on my hands, unable to go to the office each day, what do I do to continue working on our district’s safety? I’m getting paid, I have a job, and I have some short, medium, and long-term goals I’ve been trying to make time for – what a great opportunity! Should I spend a little extra time forming my persuasive arguments for that grant request that would give me the resources to move a project forward? Yes, a resounding yes! After all, chances of getting limited school district funds allocated to this school safety project are slim, there are simply too many other priorities competing for the funds. Now that I have some alone time without the latest mini-crisis erupting at one of my schools, I can do some research, gather my thoughts, and make my best case why my district is deserving of these funds.

Could I also spend some time re-visiting the FEMA online safety courses I last took four years ago? Yes! I’m guessing they have been updated since I last took the course and I have the opportunity to follow the links to learn more. I am finally able to delve more deeply into these topics that might make a difference and will certainly make me more informed, perhaps even leading to better decisions the next time our district crisis team comes together to deal with any crisis: the broken water main, the science room mishap that became a HAZMAT release, the latest bomb threat, or the 100 white mice released at the high school as the Senior Prank of the year.

When was the last time I checked to be sure I had the right names and numbers in the Crisis Plan for the health department, or the disaster recovery company? I’ve got a little time, why not look it up, make a few calls, and be more prepared to call the indoor air quality firm to do air testing the next time a student spills a jar of mercury he found in his grandfather’s garage in the middle of the cafeteria at lunchtime? I can’t remember the last time I chatted with the SRO sergeant; I wonder how she’s doing?

Yes, even though I’m at home for the next few weeks with this social distancing, there’s still plenty of work I could get done. My binge watching of Better Call Saul can wait, I’ve got some work to do.

From Our Team

With the spread of COVID-19, we find ourselves in a difficult time. Our thoughts are with everyone who has been impacted by this situation. We will continue to operate in the best interests of our families, customers, and communities.

The health and safety of everyone in our SchoolSAFE family is our priority.

• To protect our team members, customers, and the communities we serve, we will temporarily close our offices through 04/06/2020.
• During this time, our offices will be professionally cleaned and sanitized.
• Our employees will be fully supported while our offices are closed.
• We will continue to offer our customers the option to communicate via email and other telecommuting methodologies to continue to make their schools safer.

We will keep you posted as we follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as local and U.S. government officials.

Thank you for being part of our SchoolSAFE community.

2020 Grant Funding

Funding is being allocated to improve school safety throughout the country.
What are you doing to improve the safety in your schools?

Here at SchoolSAFE, we pride ourselves in our ability to empower community partnerships. Throughout our trainings, we encourage school safety teams and public safety personnel to work together to improve their communications during an emergency.

An added bonus during these trainings occurs when ideas are shared and improvements are made between the professional first responders and those in charge at the school. Many times, discussions for improvement include the necessity of funding to accomplish what was talked about.

Because of the current climate in school safety, there are many opportunities to apply for funding. Improvements to schools in their communications efforts, controlled access, interoperability, and safety personnel are all included in the multiple grants currently open for application.

For example, here in Colorado, the SAFER Grant is available to provide hardware, software, and training for interoperable communications to K-12 schools.

Throughout the country, the Department of Justice has a nation-wide grant, due March 3.
We strongly encourage all interested groups to apply, it is worth the effort to potentially get funding to improve your school(s) and district safety measures. There are also classes you can take in your local communities if you need help in understanding how to effectively write for a grant.

Click the links to learn more.

Colorado
SAFER Grant

Nationwide
DOJ’s Bureau of Justice Assistance