Over the past few weeks, we have discussed some of the common missteps we see schools make when undertaking significant security upgrade projects. In our first post on this topic, we discussed our recommendation that schools avoid identifying security solutions before they have identified their security challenges. In the following post, we recommended that schools avoid employing a “one size fits all” approach to their security solutions. Unique challenges require unique solutions.
As we end this series of posts, our final guidance is this: Avoid viewing the completion of your security upgrade project as any type of finish line. Instead, we recommend you view the completion of your security upgrade project as a starting off point.
Although completing these projects are significant milestones, we recommend administrators immediately transition to identifying the additional follow-up actions that need to be taken to ensure your school receives the full benefit from these upgrades. We recommend asking yourself the following questions to help identity what those follow-up actions might be:
- Are there any adjustments to operating or emergency procedures that need to be made?
- Has an auditing and maintenance schedule been established for any new technology?
- Is there any training that needs to be conducted for staff or students as a result of this project?
Unfortunately, we too often see excellent technical or physical design features being introduced into schools without them being aligned with effective policy and procedures or supported by training.
Where we see this occur most commonly is in schools that have attempted to create secure entryways.
Often, we will find that the entryways have all the necessary technical and physical components to allow for the effective, safe vetting of visitors into the school. But in many cases, all those components, specifically the intercom feature, are not being routinely utilized. As a result, all the resources that were expended to create a safe entryway went to creating an expensive doorbell. Without training on how to use the new feature or make changes to your operational procedures, you risk losing the benefit of that specific upgrade.
The introduction of the “stuff” that comes along with security upgrade projects is not the endgame.
The endgame only comes when the “stuff’ is paired with policy and procedures and training.
As always, safety is our top priority. If you would like more information, please reach out to us at [email protected]