Summer school, meetings, camps, and sporting events are just some of the activities that will soon play out on campuses across Texas. As schools continue to open their doors to the community this summer, it is important to keep safety and security as much a priority as it is during the school year.
The best-laid emergency operations plans won’t work unless everyone plays their part. After the last bell rings and class is dismissed for the summer, follow these tips to ensure campuses remain safe, secure venues for the activities they will host.
Administrators must lead by example. If they treat security as a priority this summer, staff is more likely to do the same:
- Brush up on district and campus emergency operations plans.
- Provide the plans, along with training on processes and procedures to anyone that will be on campus, including summer staff and other organizations.
- Communicate district expectations for following safety and security procedures, such as visitor management and building security protocols. Make sure everyone knows how to report incidents or concerns.
- Continue to practice campus safety drills.
- Know whom to contact for every summer program, meeting, or activity being conducted in your district. Maintaining a contact list ensures you can quickly notify stakeholders if emergency conditions dictate scheduling changes.
Staff will be on site for every construction project, camp, and soccer match this summer. They are in the best position to monitor conditions and respond to emergencies:
- Stay alert to strangers, suspicious vehicles, and suspicious packages.
- Prepare for severe weather such as lightning and flooding, which can affect outdoor activities.
- Communicate changes in schedules or the use of school buildings.
- Post signs at event locations to indicate when you are off campus for activities or field trips, or when event locations change.
As you host summer events on campus, 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.
How to manage summer risks
Keeping your campuses safe represents a huge step toward managing risk during the summer. So, what else can your schools do to protect people and property?
Visit our risk management checklist for tips on avoiding heat illness, protecting unoccupied facilities, preventing tire blowouts, and stopping unemployment compensation fraud this summer.
Editor's note: This article was originally published in May 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.