Schools remain operational throughout the summer, playing host to a variety of events and activities. As schools open their doors for these events during summer months, it is important that campus safety and security remains as much a priority as it is during the school year.
A key step to take during the summer and all year is to familiarize yourself and others with the district and campus emergency operations plans. In conjunction with the plans, training and resources should be provided to ensure an efficient response to a potential incident. With everything related to campus safety, awareness is key.
In the midst of camps, meetings, sports games, and other activities hosted at schools during the summer, there are many visitors entering and leaving the campus during the day. It is important to keep everyone aware of expectations during this time as well as the status of the facilities if there is a change. The visitor management and building security expectations practiced during the school year can be adapted to summer schedules.
Below are some tips that will help everyone stay organized and safe while providing a fun atmosphere for school children to enjoy summer activities.
- Continue to practice campus safety drills.
- Remain alert to the presence of strangers, suspicious vehicles, or suspicious packages on school grounds.
- Stay weather-aware and be prepared to take precautions for severe weather in particular, as lightning and flooding can affect many outdoor activities.
- Communicate district expectations to report unsafe conditions and keep the grounds safe and know who the contact person is for safety concerns.
- Know who to contact regarding changes in schedules or their use of school buildings.
- Post signs at summer activity locations to indicate any time they are off campus for field trips or alternate activities, or when the intended location of a training or activity was moved to a different room or site.
- Know who to contact for every summer program, meeting, or activity being conducted in your district to ensure rapid notification should emergency conditions dictate changes to existing summer schedules.
As you host summer events on campus, it is critical to always think of safety first. For more information about emergency operations planning and school emergency management, contact TASB Emergency Management School Safety and Security Consultant Melanie Moss.
Editor's note: This article was originally published in May 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.