School official offers tips on making facilities safe during KASB, USA-Kansas Fall Regional meetingScott Rothschild
To ensure schools are safe and secure, school leaders must develop working relationships with their local first responders.
“That is the most important thing you can do to have a successful program,” Michelle Jones, communications director with the Manhattan-Ogden USD 383, told a roomful of education officials during the KASB, USA-Kansas Fall Regional tour in Manhattan on Thursday evening.
Jones said school officials should invite first responders into their buildings so that emergency workers become familiar with the layout of the facilities. Emergency responders also must be involved in the various emergency drills conducted by schools.
Jones advised school leaders to make sure maps of their facilities are up to date, that there are designated primary and secondary evacuation routes and to place numbers on all exterior doors so that emergency responders can be easily directed.
She recommended that school officials take “baby steps” when conducting drills but to make sure every drill is a learning experience and provides ways toward improvement.
So far, the meetings that have been held in Pratt, Haysville, Greenbush, Lawrence, Emporia, McPherson and Manhattan have produced wide-ranging discussions that have focused both on making school facilities more secure and meeting the emotional needs of all students.
The regional tour continues in Garden City, Oct. 16; Colby, Oct. 17 and Beloit on Oct. 18.