SenseMaking and Prioritization
Implementing consistent security standards for all schools is a vital component of the security assessment or safety audit process. Attention must be given to investing in legacy facilities and to what degree new facilities are allowed to surpass older ones. Therefore, the standards defined by the district after reviewing these recommendations should be broken down into three basic categories:
- Universal Standard
- New Construction Standard
- Best Practice
Universal Standard – A criteria set for all school facilities used to educate students. These require universal compliance. These are best practices that have general acceptance and may be realistically implementable by all facilities.
New Construction Standard – A criteria set for new construction and/or renovations to be designed, or for those educational facilities that are early enough in the design process to allow implementation, as determined by the district, county or state. These are evolving best practices that have general acceptance throughout the industry for new construction.
Best Practice – General guidelines that may be used to address temporary or new security-related initiatives that are impractical to adopt as a Universal Standard.
Across these categories, further prioritization may be established by assigning High, Medium and Normal identifiers.
For example, something as straightforward as classroom door locking mechanisms is an example of how Security Standards for Schools may be implemented. A Universal Standard might be: “All classroom doors shall be equipped with a Life Safety Code compliant locking mechanism that can be locked from inside the classroom.”
The goal of this High Priority Universal Standard is to insure the classroom door is a final layer of defense during an active shooter type attack. A challenge is created when classroom doors are not consistent throughout all schools and some doors have large glass vision panels.
Our process provides a method to prioritize which doors are upgraded first.
- Classrooms that educate pre-K through first grade.
- Classrooms that educate students with special needs.
- Classrooms within buildings that have no access control and/or are unmonitored.
- Classrooms that do not have an alternate exit for escape.
Assessments (and Safety Audits) are completed with the ERIP app and ERIP Analytics provides custom reports detailing how many classrooms do not comply with the standard and the how many contain students with special needs.
At SafePlans we understand new security programs are an expensive investment. Let us help you comply with state laws, maximize your investment, and make certain each element makes sense.