Thursday, April 05, 2007

NJDOE School Security Conference

On Wednesday, April 4, 2007, Anthony Bland, Deborah Bleisnick, and Deborah Dunne from the State of New Jersey Department of Education Program Support Services presented a school security conference. The conference was held at Fairleigh Dickinson University's Wilson Hall in Teaneck, New Jersey. The services of this school security unit is to provide training and technical services, conduct site visits and assist with school safety and security information.

The agenda included:

  • School Security Unit Overview
  • Administrative Code
  • School Safety and Security Plan Development
  • School Safety & Security Manual: Best Practices Guidelines
  • S.A.V.E.

[Reprinted from the Event Powerpoint Presentation]

Administrative Code

6A:16-5.1 School Safety Plans

(a) Each school district shall develop and implement comprehensive plans, procedures and mechanisms that provide for safety and security in the public elementary and secondary schools of the school district. The plans and procedures, which shall be in written form, and the mechansims, at a minimum, shall provide for:

  • The protection of the health, safety, security and welfare of the school population;
  • The prevention of, intervention in, response to and recovery from emergency and crisis situations;
  • The establishment and maintenance of a climate of civility; and
  • Supportive services for staff, students and their families.
(b) The chief school administrator shall consult with law enforcement agencies, health and social services provider agencies, emergency management planners and school and other community resources, as appropriate, in the development of the school district's plans, procedures and mechanisms for school safety and security.
  • The plans, procedures and mechanisms shall be consistent with the provisions of this seciton and the format and content established by the Domestic Security Preparedness task Force, pursuant to N.J. S. A. App. A:9-64 et seq., and the Commissioner of Education.
  • The plans, procedures and mechanisms shall be reviewed annually and updated, as appropriate.

School Safety: Security Manual: Best Practices Guidelines

Background of the Manual

  • The New Jersey Domestic Security Preparedness Task Force (DSPTF) charged the School Security Infrastructure Advisory Committee with the task of compiling and disseminating to schools best practices.
  • The Department of Education serves as chair of the School Security Infrastructure Advisory Committee
  • The first generation of the manual was disseminated in the fall of 2004.
Purpose of the Manual
  • The manual provides the background information necessary for establishing comprehensive plans, procedures and mechanisms for responding to emergencies and crisis.
  • Adherence to the recommendation and procedures in the manual will facilitate school compliance with the requirements for emergency and crisis management plans, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 6A:16-5.1.
The team also reviewed pertinent topics within the manual such as understanding a needs assessment (strategy, factors, internal and external resources, student role potential) target hardening, access control, prevention and intervention and student curriculum and programs such as:
  • Social and Emotional Learning
  • Life Skills
  • Character Education
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Peer Mediation
  • Anti-Bullying Programs
  • Gang Awareness and Education
  • Appropriate Sexual Behavior and Relationships
  • Cyber-Bullying
Extensive time was spent reviewing lockdown procedures complete with a video clip showing a simulation at a high school involving students, faculty, administrators and law enforcement.

Additional insights shared by the Department of Education team included:

  • All hazards approach training
  • District wide planning teams including representation from the school, community, district and county
  • School team security membership criteria
  • Security vulnerability assessments
  • Communication protocols
  • Reverse evacuations (due to shootings, lightning, explosions or storms)
  • Primary and alternate evacuation route training
  • Drill scheduling at inconvenient times such as just prior to school, at dismissal, cafeteria time and during class exchanges
  • County Traumatic Loss Coalitions
  • Redesigning of protocols with emphasis on lockdowns and evacuations rather than just fire drills
  • Training of students and families in emergency preparedness
  • Table top, partial scale, full scale drills and evaluations
  • New Jersey National Incident Management System
  • Incident Command System (ICS)
  • Bomb Threats
NJ Department of Education
School Security
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New Jersey National Incident Management System Click here to visit site

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