Recent pressure from communities, lawmakers, and district stakeholders has led many districts to implement a proactive crisis prevention program. Here’s a look at how longtime PublicSchoolWORKS customer Strongsville City Schools has been working to enhance its crisis prevention program while continuing to rely on the StudentWatch Suite from PublicSchoolWORKS to ensure the health and safety of its school community.
Threat assessment and school safety consultation. Strongsville brought in a threat assessment and school safety expert who trained staff on how to identify threats and signals of violence and how to determine the seriousness of a threat. The expert also informed staff on how to develop an intervention plan to protect staff and students and address the issue or conflict that initiated the threat or signal.
Ongoing collaboration with local authorities. Strongsville relies on its close relationship with local authorities to maintain its crisis prevention program. The district collaborates with their local police and fire departments to conduct regular crisis drills. Strongsville also worked with the police department to conduct safety audits of each building to determine the safest locations for a secure vestibule to stage visitors, the central office, and the principal’s office.
Effective reporting and documentation. Strongsville uses the student safety reporting system from PublicSchoolWORKS that allows the school community to report school safety concerns, like bullying, discrimination, thoughts of suicide, dangerous or suspicious behavior, and more. Since reports are housed in one centralized location, Strongsville school officials can gather insight on what’s happening with students across the district so they can intervene, if necessary.
Proactive intervention. Strongsville also uses PublicSchoolWORKS’ student behavior management system to give the district a central data collection point for student behavior, including student referrals and documentation. School officials can identify if a student is being repeatedly referred and then investigate and intervene to get to the root cause of the behavior before it could potentially escalate into violence.
“If you want to be transparent and ensure safety of everyone, you want to make sure you have the knowledge and a pulse on what’s happening at the school and district levels, and PublicSchoolWORKS has been integral in helping us do this,” said Andy Trujillo, the director of student services for Strongsville City Schools and a former elementary school principal for the district.