Schools are always a key factor in the selection of a home, and the community where you choose to live. This applies to households with school-aged children, and without. School quality impacts property values, and the community at-large. An ever-increasing matter of importance is school safety. The Triad is home to a number of innovations and strategies dedicated to proactively keeping students and staff safe.
The City of High Point collaborated with Phoenix Academy to develop technology that directly links the Guardian – Shooter Detection System, which was developed for the US military, also referred to as “SDS”, integrated directly with its 911 call center. If a gun were to be fired in any of its three campuses, floor plans are displayed on-screen, at first responder dispatch, and on campus, instantly tracking the location of shots fired, simultaneously with an audio announcement, text and email messages to designated parties. On campus audio and visual indicators are engaged as well as access control and communication. With a backbone fiber internet, redundant/dedicated paths, cloud, voice systems.
With these systems fully operational, they took the next step and collaborated to integrate live video with SDS and Genetec. Another first for any education facility in the world. In the event of shots fired, or a qualified emergency, first responders have live video access into the schools. These are also integrated with door barricade systems and access control, further protected by bullet resistant glass systems. This security ecosystem is now available for the community at large.
The School Safety Initiative
The School Safety Initiative©, based in High Point, developed the Red Light – Lock Tight© and Run-Hide-Decide© or RHD© curriculum in concert with law enforcement, Phoenix Academy and security industry experts. Using age appropriate materials from the character education curriculum “The 7 Degrees off Change,” they have developed training materials on how to deal with active intruders, as well as all standard emergency processes in the K-12 setting. The curriculum provides critical data for senior administrators and policy makers, on-site staff training manuals with standardized forms, as well as graphics and materials for Pre-K through 3rd grade, 4th through 8th and 9th through 12. These programs are available to all schools. For more information go to www.schoolsafetyinitiative.com.
Triad Schools Steps To Safety
Guilford County School System
- Every school does a safety drill regarding an intruder in the building once per semester. The state requires at least one drill annually.
- Last year, there was a district-wide active shooter training conducted at a school with law enforcement.
- Each school’s safety plans are developed and reviewed by the district’s safety department and local law enforcement annually. By law, plans must be updated every two years.
Winston-Salem Forsyth County School System
- SROs are placed at middle and high schools.
- There are metal detectors for large events only.
- Schools also have security phones and locked doors.
- Schools coordinate with local law enforcement for drills, and have staff meetings to talk about safety with their principals.
- Counselors are on standby for distraught students.
- All schools have some kind of camera system in place.
Alamance-Burlington School System
- Middle and high schools have full-time SROs. Elementary schools have part-time scheduled resource officers provided by grant.
- There is a camera system in place at middle and high schools.
- All schools have a locked door system – an automated entry system, which is used prior to entering the school. Once the button is pushed, the individual is allowed to enter the building.
- Lockdown drills are an integral part of each school’s safety plan.
- Schools collaborate with local law enforcement to focus on the concept of safety.
- Schematic drawings and keys of school buildings in the school system have been provided to law enforcement in the event of an emergency.