School safety has always been important, but the recent advent of campus violence has brought the issue into the media spotlight, increasing scrutiny on campus security practices. So what should we be doing to make our schools as safe as possible? While there are no infallible plans, there are precautions schools can take to keep our students safe.
1. Designate a Single Point of Entry to Your School
Having a secure single entrance is one of the most important factors contributing to the safety of your school. The main entrance to your school should be the most scrutinized location when evaluating the current level of safety on campus. If your school has a buzz-in entry system, and/or video surveillance, that’s even better.
2. Have a (Strict) Visitor Policy in Place
Another important part of a secure school is having a strict visitor policy in place that your staff habitually enforces. The basics of a good plan is to make sure you know who is allowed to pick up your students, and deny leniency, no matter what. Your school can also determine whether contractors and volunteers need to pass a background screening prior to entry.
3. Use Visitor Management Software
Having software to check-in your visitors is exponentially more reliable and secure than manually-written log sheets. Automating that process, and moving it to the cloud keeps the visitor log, so you can see who is on your campus at all times. This is also helpful in the case of an emergency.
4. Enable Background Checks
When you use a visitor management software, there is the ability to run background checks against key government databases. This adds an additional level of security—and piece-of-mind.
5. Invest in the Right Auxiliary Tools and Supplies
With a proper visitor policy in place, some extra tools and supplies may be necessary to help increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the plan. Supplies like self-expiring badges, where the ink turns from black to red in 24 hours, and drivers license scanners help add additional safety measures and save your staff time.