The Vernon Township Board of Education believes that school security is an issue that must be addressed in a manner that demonstrates a multi-tiered effort to ensure student and staff safety at all times. One aspect of that effort is to maximize the security potential of each school in the Vernon Township School District. Another is to be sure that the district is serving its clients in the area of mental health. Another has to do with infrastructure improvements that might lessen the change of a tragedy. Yet another has to do with training of staff members.
This policy is designed to ensure that all aspects of concern are properly managed via action of the BOE. It centers on the following:
- Mental Health
- Hiring of appropriate number of Social Workers, School Psychologists and Student Assistant Counselors.
- Contracting with Effective School Solutions to bring an in-district higher order of mental health care to students.
- Establishing cooperative arrangements with mental health providers to ensure students with challenges are treated while maintaining and educational program.
- Establishing a practice of consistent review of programs that might embellish mental health care for students and presenting these programs to principal’s for consideration in their schools.
- Delineating all mental health initiatives in curriculum so as to ensure board member awareness.
- School Security
- Ensuring that school visitors are screened via the Raptor software program.
- Maximizing video surveillance in all school buildings.
- Ensure that employees follow identification tag regulations in that these must be worn at all times.
- Utilizing a fob entry system for all employees and maintaining up to date employee records to ensure only current workers can have access to buildings.
- Addressing the topic of security with staff and community via assembly programs and single issue meetings.
- Using door monitor personnel wherever possible to enforce item one above.
- Revising the system of campus monitors so as to enable the concept of non-uniformed, retired police officers, carrying a concealed weapon as allowed by recent federal law revisions.
- Ensuring that all doors can be locked from the inside by teachers and staff.
- Consideration of deterrent safety features at the entrances of buildings.
- Consideration of structure changes to govern parent drop-off and parent
pick-up of students especially at the elementary level.
- Consideration of infrastructure recommendations put forth by consultants
when schools are assessed.
- Staff Training
- Enabling training programs that are brought to the attention of the BOE.
- Implementation of training programs put forth as a result of the school
- Ensuring training on protection of school from mistakes such as propping
a door open, not locking classrooms, keeping work rooms such as
electrical closet locked.
- The Vernon Township Board of Education directs the superintendent to put forth
regulations to this policy that enable the board’s multi-tiered action on school security to be implemented.
Regulations for School Security policy draft:
- Mental Health
- The superintendent will maintain a careful record of employee
mental health capabilities within the job description of staff members and recommend personnel resolutions when budget considerations are being reviewed.
- The superintendent will recommend policies that carefully outline
procedures in regard to referrals for suicide ideation, drug and alcohol use, school anxiety and related mental health issues of students.
- Monitoring and constant contact with Effective Schools Solution
administrative staff will be an expectation that must be fulfilled on a constant basis with expansion of services recommended as needed.
- Establish and maintain cooperative agreements with Psychiatrists,
treatment centers, hospital programs, residential and day programs
that treat students for mental health challenges.
- Inform principals and BOE members of in-school programs that
may designate programs that initiate rather than react to mental health issues. (Assets program, PBIS, Project Self-Sufficiency, Coalition).
- Maximize curricular activities that address mental health in a
manner that initiates rather than reacts to student challenges.
- School Security
The following relates to the potential of having armed guards in the
- The Vernon Township Board of Education will abolish the
position of Campus Monitor and create a new position of Campus RPO (Retired Police Officer)
- Via a vetting process in cooperation with the Vernon Township Police Department, the district will hire non-uniformed, weapon carrying, retired police officers to serve as Campus RPO’s.
- Employees under this designation must have twenty years of police/law enforcement experience and be retired in good standing.
- Coverage by Campus RPS’s will be for each school building during the school day and for another to cover after school activities at VTHS.
- The Vernon Township Police Department will set forth weapons and ammunition requirements in cooperation with the Security Coordinator. The weapons, ammunition and care of such will be the responsibility of the employee. The district will not purchase or own weapons.
- The Vernon Township Police Department will certify the abilities of each employee to carry and use a weapon. The VTPD will also provide necessary school related training such as active shooter drills. The district will be responsible for sensitivity training for employee interaction with students and staff.
- Employees of this designation will be required to have a special identification tag in addition to the regular employee I.D. which will only be displayed in emergencies.
- Employees will be subject to all background checks and drug testing required of general employees.
- Employees will work on a rotational basis at all schools to ensure familiarity with all district facilities.
- Employees will work a maximum of thirty-six hours per week.
- Shifts of 3.5 and 7 hours will be utilized depending on location.
- So as to ensure coverage in all buildings during the school day, extra employees will be hired as part of the rotational shift.
- The district will be responsible for insurance related to liability.
Adopted: May 2018