CCS reviews district safety report at June meeting

By Megan Kelley
Clarkston News Editor
During its meeting on June 10, the Clarkston Community Schools Board of Education received a presentation summary on the district’s safety and security practices.
“If you guys remember a few years ago, we had Jason Russell here, he did an audit of all of our schools and he had a number of findings and we were working on implementing those and some other best practices that we’ve discovered,” said John Lucido, Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services. “But since the Oxford report was issued, we thought it would be beneficial to have SEC (Secure Environment Consultants) come back out. This evening, we have David Pass from SEC and he’s going to walk us through an executive summary of some of those findings.”
Pass, who is the vice president for SEC and also oversees its shield division, began the presentation by explaining how SEC does their site assessing, noting that they examine the facilities which includes surrounding areas, design features, existing technical and physical security measures and emergency equipment.
Pass went on to state that Clarkston Schools ranks high on the list when it comes to student safety.
“One of the things that’s really important for me to point out and you know, since I’ve been with SEC, SEC has probably assessed on 80% of the schools in the state of Michigan, both public and private. I have reviewed, probably close to 300 reports with schools in the time that I’ve been here and I would place Clarkston in the top 5% of schools that I’ve had the ability to review,” Pass said. “So, you’re doing some great work but as we know, in the safety and security world, you’re never done, you know, the needs change and there’s constantly work to be done in this area to improve.”
Some highlights Pass discussed were: continued commitment to training for active violence, improved three-layer safety envelope for physical facilities like windows and doors, development of critical incident maps for first responders, an added resource officer, the monitoring of live student use of district technology, additional social workers and counselors, added video cameras and handheld radios, and continuing the process of reviewing its policies regarding safety and security.
Pass then moved on to the executive summary report which was put together by SEC with the help of several district employees who SEC interviewed. In the summary of findings, SEC presented 27 findings and subsequent recommendations for the district moving forward.
These include recommendations like forming a consistent policy regarding classroom doors and locks, updating Emergency Operation Plans (EOP), written expectations regarding emergency plans, access to keys and key cards for law enforcement, placement of emergency kits outside of classrooms as well as inside, and continued training in threat assessment, emergency response and medical response.
Trustee Jaclyn Sivers spoke in support of implementing as many of the SEC recommendations as possible.
“I think it’s an absolutely necessary position to implement more than half of these recommendations that SEC has because these aren’t just one time, make the numbers larger on an outside door or put a placard or ensure that our cruisers have the mapping,” Sivers said. “The training and the policies and the protocols and the updated EOPs, including monitoring social media, and that open ended social media aspect, improving our technology and our AI scans; that’s a necessary part of our school district. Because as to what President (Greg) Need said; ‘our students can’t learn if our students don’t feel safe,’ and our parents are going to be anxious sending their students to school if our parents don’t feel that their kids are safe. So I think that’s necessary.”
According to Superintendent Dr. Shawn Ryan, since the report, the district is working diligently to implement as many recommendations as they can as quickly as they can which includes hiring a safety director.
“We are beginning immediately to work on the elements that we can. Some are very related to facilities that we can put these things into effect without a director. But my hope on top of that was that we would have a safety director who saw the beginning of the school year as well. So, I think it’s just going to be an ongoing thing and the stronger the team the better,” Ryan said.

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