Protecting our most precious assets: our students and teachers | BISC South Loop-protecting-our-most-precious-assets-our-students-and-teachers-Nord Anglia Education
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Nord Anglia
August 09, 2022

Protecting our most precious assets: our students and teachers

Protecting our most precious assets: our students and teachers | BISC South Loop-protecting-our-most-precious-assets-our-students-and-teachers-Untitled design 1

Protecting our most precious assets: our students and teachers As we prepare for the start of a new school year, parents and students may be apprehensive given what happened in Uvalde this past May. To put parents at ease, we have outlined what we have done and will continue to do to ensure The Village School is a safe environment for students to learn and grow.

 

Protecting our most precious assets: our students and teachers | BISC South Loop-protecting-our-most-precious-assets-our-students-and-teachers-Untitled design 1 copy

 

As we prepare for the start of a new school year, parents and students may be apprehensive given what happened in Uvalde this past May. To put parents at ease, we have outlined what we have done and will continue to do to ensure The Village School is a safe environment for students to learn and grow. 

 

Onsite Police and Security Guards 

Many parents may not realize The Village School has Houston Police Department (HPD) officers onsite every day during the school year from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Some of these officers are armed, and all have direct access to HPD resources in an emergency. We supplement their presence with 24-hour campus security officers and constables.

Because public roads run through our campus, we also have extra crossing guards and security officers, who, throughout the day, go from building to building to monitor activity constantly. In addition, our security personnel not only keep an eye on the actual campus; they keep an eye out on the streets as well. If they happen to see anything suspicious, they communicate it to the appropriate party immediately. 

 

Panic Button System

Each campus at The Village School is outfitted with a panic button to initiate an emergency alert. The system will dispatch police, fire, and emergency medical services (EMS), who will report to the school immediately to assist in any emergency response. 

 

Lockdown/Active Shooter Training 

In addition to participating in lockdown drills during the school year, all members of our staff complete lockdown/active shooter training during professional development in collaboration with local constables, HPD, and the Department of Homeland Security. The goal during these trainings is to simulate an actual scenario through engaging role-playing, including the simulation of gunfire. 

 

Other Measures

We can't rely on just one layer when evaluating and shoring up our security measures. Instead, we have to build upon those layers to provide maximum protection. There is no ‘one thing’ schools can do to keep our students and staff safe. School safety is a multi-layered approach that involves all stakeholders in the school community. At the end of the day, the people and policies are the most important things to promote a culture of safety in our school.

 

In addition to having a panic button system, HPD presence, and active shooter training, The Village School also put in the below list of safeguards:

 

  • Campus surveillance cameras are monitored 24/7 to ensure there are no suspicious individuals trying to access the campus. Currently, the school has approximately 200 cameras.
  • With the exception of the front of the Lower School, all campuses are surrounded by external gates with vehicle/pedestrian access that require a badge or remote entry to open. 
  • Students, in addition to teachers, participate in lockdown drills twice during the school year. 
  • All doors and access points on campus remain locked and are controlled via private security and local law enforcement. 
  • A school counselor is available at each of our three campuses. Students are highly encouraged to speak out and report any unusual activity on campus. 

 

We learned and will continue to learn a lot from the Uvalde tragedy and similar school shootings that have occurred in the past. We owe it not only to our Village students and staff, but to those broken communities to do everything we can to protect our students.

 

About the author:

Jeff Bond joined The Village School in 2010. He has held the role as Safety Lead since July of 2018 in addition to his title of Director of Auxiliary Services. In his role, Jeff works in collaboration with The Village School Leadership Team as well as the Nord Anglia Health & Safety Operations Manager to establish appropriate regulations, procedures and plans to ensure safe and secure school facilities. This includes risk assessment management, review of incident action plans for all planned or unplanned events, and ensuring that all policies, procedures, and standards are compliant and consistent with local, state, federal, and Nord Anglia Education requirements and best practices.