Welcome back to school!
There are so many aspects to safety. We touched on a few of the following:
-Google/YouTube/Facebook employees in which you are considering to hire. You never know what you might find!
-Fingerprinting companies: Accurate Biometrics (www.accuratebiometrics.com)
-Some of our Lutheran schools fingerprint ALL volunteers including those involved in VBS and Sunday School. This can be quite expensive but protecting our children is worth every penny!
-How often do you re-fingerprint? Again, this can be costly, but 3-5 years is a good time period for re-fingerprinting.
-This website can be a helpful resource: http://www.group.com/
Under "Children's Ministry" you will find a link regarding background checks. This website has partnered with a leading risk management provider to bring a more affordable background check with accurate results.
-St. Peter has a very thorough screening process. If you would like to view some of their requirements visit: http://fulllifeinchrist.org/get-involved/protection-ministry/
-Badges for all visitors should be mandatory
-Make special "church member" or "Bible Study" badges for returning volunteers to be kept in the office.
-Trouble with visitors coming back to the office to sign out? Ask them to leave their license!
-Staples sells Repositional Window Decals for any signage you are using around the building. This can also be posted on windows and is easily removable in case you need to communicate via paper message.
-Walkie talkies used to communicate in some schools
-If a walkie talkie system is not feasible, teachers should be expected to take their cell phones if they are outside in order to call the office or administrator in case of an emergency.
-We also shared some lock-down and emergency weather drills. If you are looking to improve your lock down procedure or any other drills, contact law enforcement officials in your town to have them walk through your building. They will offer suggestions that may be useful.
-Call your town's police station to add your school to a list which provides information regarding any suspicious activity occurring in the community. This is different from the registered sex offender list you may be receiving monthly.
-A few of our schools have purchased magnetic strips special for locking doors in an easy and safe way. Here is one example of this item: http://www.mastergrindingandsecurity.com/lockdown-magnets/
-Door knobs with push locks from the inside make it easy for teachers to lock their doors in case of an emergency. If you are concerned with children locking themselves in the classroom without a teacher, make it a policy that ALL staff carry their key (they should be wearing a badge too!).
-If your school tends to have more "traffic" within the building or is in a busy community, LobbyGuard Scout is a higher end visitor management solution for tracking visitors entering and leaving your building: http://lobbyguard.com/products/lobbyguard-scout/
-Make sure you contact your "relocation" area at the beginning of each school year in order to make sure they are aware that you will be using their facility in case of an emergency evacuation.
-Go to your county's regional office of education website for additional safety information.
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