Last week you received a report highlighting several of the areas of focus for the district to date related to safety. It has been a busy week of working on the safety plan so I wanted to send you another update on FISD’s progress in preparing for a safe and secure start to the 2018-2019 school year:
School Safety Advisory Committee: At our meeting last Thursday, the committee worked to finalize recommendations on the level of security at each campus, use of school marshals, unarmed security monitors at each campus, uniform communication plan for alerts about campus safety actions (protect mode, lockdown, shelter, hold, and evacuate) and began work on consideration for metal detectors. Last night, the committee had their third meeting and discussed metal detectors, visitation on campuses, social and emotional support, physical security (doors, vestibules, etc.) and the code of conduct/dress code. We have scheduled a fourth meeting to finalize recommendations on July 11th and will discuss additional considerations.
Alert Application Capability: Erich Kreiter has coordinated meetings with three vendors this week who provide an app for cell phones that allow teachers and staff to quickly alert administration and law enforcement about an emergency situation from their cell phones.
Social Media Monitoring System: Finalized plans to have this in place for the start of school.
Stop the Bleed Training and Kits: The District has coordinated training for mass casualty response with UTMB. This training will occur at each campus prior to the start of school. It focuses on training employees how to apply appropriate first aid for injuries that cause quick blood loss. UTMB is also donating kits that will be housed on the campuses and district facilities in multiple locations that have the required supplies needed to administer this level of first aid.
Enhancements to secure entry vestibules at each campus: The District is working on designs and costs to enhance the current secure vestibules at each school. We are currently in the design phase and want to be thoughtful in changes and implementation moving forward. Our tentative timeline for implementation is fall semester.
District-wide Security Training: I mentioned last week that Erich Kreiter, the Executive Director of Safety and Operations, will be conducting training for all employees and substitutes this coming fall. Dates are being set with principals for training after teachers return to campuses. The District is scheduling a preview of the training with Friendswood Police so we are all on the same page.
Social-Emotional Support: We are currently looking for additional ways to enhance the social-emotional support for students at each campus. This layer is one of the most critical layers for prevention of those acts that negatively affect school safety. Friendswood ISD has been known and recognized for its focus on character education. We will be exploring how to enhance this program and add to it. This was a focus of the School Safety Advisory Committee on June 27th. As a district, we are looking for ways to give school counselors more time to focus on social-emotional support and ways to utilize outside resources to supplement school programs. Diane Myers and the District Curriculum team have meetings set up through the remainder of the summer to meet with possible providers to consider a plan for outside help and resources for professional development and direct service to kids.
Also, this week we met with the director of Kids Hope, a program that is currently in place at Westwood/Bales that provides adult mentors for students who need them. Kids Hope is sponsored by local churches and includes training, background checks, and follow-up programs through the year for those willing to participate. I would like to expand this program across our other elementary/intermediate campuses. We may need your help to encourage your church to participate or to encourage mentors to step forward. Stay tuned for more.
Hope each of you has a great 4th of July holiday and can enjoy all of the festivities our community has to offer on this special day. Patriotism is one of the character traits we have adopted as a school district. It will definitely be on display this coming week down 518 and in the skies over Friendswood.