|The safety and security of students, staff and visitors in the Richardson Independent School District is paramount. RISD strives to ensure a safe environment for employees to work and students to concentrate on learning, developing and achieving academic excellence.
RISD administrators are currently trained in National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS) emergency management methodologies. RISD utilizes these and other best practices to create and maintain a safe environment, including coordination with local, state and federal authorities and other safety specialists to continually update procedures and guidelines.
The district utilizes a model which includes four phases of emergency management: Mitigation/Prevention, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery.
Mitigation / Prevention
Mitigation/Prevention efforts are ongoing and intended to:
- Eliminate hazards and vulnerabilities;
- Reduce the probability of hazards and vulnerabilities causing an emergency situation; and/or
- Lessen the consequences of unavoidable hazards and vulnerabilities.
Examples of these activities include:
- Creating and maintaining a culture of mutual respect and understanding at each campus. The more a campus embraces such a culture, the more likely an intervention will prevent a situation from escalating to an emergency level;
- Daily check-in and monitoring of individuals entering and exiting campuses;
- Ensuring district safety and security policies reflect current best practices and trends;
- Providing violence prevention curriculum to all campuses;
- Conducting staff development training pertaining to safety;
- Conducting safety audits of district facilities;
- Identification of at risk-students by teacher referrals at the elementary level and by student or teacher referrals at the secondary level;
- Full-day presence of School Resource Officers at every secondary campus, and availability to elementary campuses;
- Crime Stoppers Programs at the secondary level;
- Student Assistance Specialists and Teams available;
- Peer assistance programs (students helping students) at the secondary level;
- Reinforcement of mitigation/prevention protocols are accomplished through district staff development programs regarding classroom management and behavioral strategies;
- RISD’s Behavioral Specialist regularly updates teachers and administrators on effective strategies to manage classroom behavior and directly intervenes with students as needed.
Preparedness efforts are designed to facilitate a rapid, coordinated, and effective response to an emergency situation. This involves proper planning and effective execution when hazards cannot be mitigated or prevented.
Examples of these components include:
- RISD (district-level) Emergency Management Plan;
- Campus Emergency Action Plan that addresses specific emergency situations and is designed to establish awareness and emphasize clear objectives in handling emergency situations;
- The LES Program (Lockdown, Evacuation, Shelter-In-Place Program);
- General emergency planning and training, including conducting emergency drills;
- Emergency resource planning;
- Development of partnerships and coordination with local, state, and federal emergency agencies.
Additionally, emergency plans are regularly tested and modified as needed. Each campus will have a trained Campus Emergency Response Team with alternates. In the event of a major emergency, RISD has a District Emergency Response Team comprised of trained central administrators available to assist and support schools and facilities in response to emergency situations.
Response efforts include the implementation of well-designed emergency preparedness plans. The goals of emergency response operations are to respond quickly, effectively and efficiently to any emergency situation with the immediate goal of minimizing injuries and property damage.
District emergency response activities may include:
- Notification of all appropriate emergency responders;
- Activating an incident-management system;
- Communication with all appropriate central administrators;
- Engaging in light fire suppression (fire extinguisher);
- Implementation of Lockdown, Evacuation, Shelter-In-Place (LES) Program;
- Providing first aid;
- Performing light searches and rescues;
- Reunification of students and parents;
- Warning staff and students about possible hazardous emergency situations;
- Notification of parents and/or the community regarding situation or continued hazards, as appropriate.
Recovery efforts will begin immediately after an emergency situation has stabilized, with the primary purpose involving assistance to students and staff. The goal of recovery efforts is to return the campus or facility to a safe and normal daily routine and restore order as quickly and safely as possible. The district will implement recovery efforts following an emergency that involve both short-term and long-term components.
These activities may include:
- Aid in monitoring and availability of counseling for students and staff as appropriate;
- Conducting After-Action-Reviews with first responders and school staff;
- Use of best practice recommendations to revise plans and conduct additional training and drills as appropriate;
RISD will allow adequate time for recovery; however, immediate plans will be produced to resume classroom learning as soon as possible and restore damaged campuses and facilities.
Additional Safety Features in RISD
District Emergency Response Line
Student Services serves as the emergency response center for the district. After contacting the Emergency Response Line, building administrators (Incident Commanders) can focus their efforts on the emergency situation. Critical emergency incidents can be reported any time during the school day. A trained Student Services representative will be ready to assist by taking information and notifying the appropriate emergency responders and/or central administrators.
Police Officers in Schools
Full-time School Resource Officers are present in every RISD secondary school in the City of Richardson. Similarly, full-day Dallas police officers are also present in all RISD secondary schools located in the City of Dallas. All are licensed Peace Officers through the City of Dallas or the City of Richardson. In addition to providing a visible deterrent, officers establish and maintain lines of communication with staff and students, and are often in a position to address potential issues before they can escalate into something more serious.
Specially-trained canines are regularly utilized to assist in keeping RISD campuses safe and drug-free. “Sweeps” are conducted without prior notification or warning, and may include lockers, parking lots, and personal property brought on campus. Canine unit presentations are given to students as part of the drug-prevention program.
RISD is proactive in deterring weapons brought onto campuses. Portable metal detector sweeps are randomly utilized on secondary campuses to increase the safety and security of students and staff.
Specific questions regarding RISD’s safety & security procedures may be directed to RISD Safety & Security Coordinator Luther Robertson at firstname.lastname@example.org.