In the wake of the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, school districts across the Houston area have released their plans and protocol in an emergency situation. They all stressed the importance of safety. Many districts discussed routine drills and training.
Houston ISD has an overall policy with each individual school making specific plans based on their needs. The school district is reviewing security, shelter-in-place and active shooter policies. Superintendent Richard Carranza has asked Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez and Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo for their latest plans on tactical responses.
Klein ISD has 48 officers who receive specialized active shooter training-it's so advanced that they even train other law enforcement. Plus, they train their staff and students. They take a run, hide, fight approach. Run if it's safe, hide if you can't run and if you have to fight, then fight. They also conduct drills and put that information in a database to track that all schools are conducting drills. They also have officers patrolling all the schools.
"Katy ISD Police Department, along with school officials in their 67 campuses, address various emergency situations and conduct the appropriate drills." They said they can't elaborate too much for security purposes.
Cypress-Fairbanks ISD continues to hold student and staff safety as our greatest priority. Campuses regularly hold a variety of security drills including lockdown drills and assessments to better prepare students and staff for active threats. The CFISD police department employs 90 officers stationed at and patrolling our campuses daily.
Our recent bond focused on enhanced security at all campuses including:
* Lockdown panic buttons
* Bullet-resistant glass at main entries
* Secured vestibules at main entries
* Emergency call buttons
* Card reader access
* New communication towers
* Front door video cameras and buzzers
* Additional digital cameras and upgrades
Goose Creek ISD
Over the last few years, we have invested millions in security fencing and security vestibules at each of our campuses. We have plans to add additional security measure, including upgraded intrusion alarms and additional card readers and call boxes.
Every campus has a security plan and security team, and the district maintains a district-wide safety plan. For obvious reasons, we don't disclose all of our security measures, but we hold lockdown drills and conduct security audits that help our campuses identify and correct any issues to further enhance the safety of our schools.
The unthinkable event that impacted Parkland, Florida is a tragedy that can not be put into words. The thoughts and prayers of the Alvin ISD community are with those impacted by this terrible loss. The education of our Nation's youth is sacred and parents should be able to send their children to school without the fear of such tragedy. The safety of our students and staff remains the most significant priority in our District. Alvin ISD is extremely committed to this responsibility and the district has made significant investments in security measures over recent years. Although Alvin ISD does not share the specifics of our security measures, due to the vulnerabilities this may cause, proactive training, preparation, along with the oversight and involvement of the Alvin ISD Police force remain critical components of the district's security measures. Please be assured that Alvin ISD will continue to revisit our safety processes and we affirm our commitment to providing every student with a safe and secure learning environment.
Humble ISD has an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) that is consistent with the guidelines of the Texas School Safety Center (TSSC) located at Texas State University. Each campus has a customized Emergency Operations Plan that takes into account its unique safety requirements such as building layout, location and population. Active response protocols meet or exceed the guidance of the Texas School Safety Center.
The Humble ISD Police Department utilizes Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT), which is one of the best research based active shooter response training programs in the nation. Additionally, the Humble ISD Police Department partners with local law enforcement to prepare for school related crises, including active shooter events.
This school year, Humble ISD increased the number of patrol officers to better serve our campuses and facilities. Humble ISD also holds table top exercises on active shooter scenarios with principals and school staff.
Spring Branch ISD
SBISD does not publish or distribute publicly the district's active shooter plans or procedures. SBISD Police do conduct campus drills, and SBISD Police officers are trained every year on active shooters. In SBISD, such active shooter training is mandatory. SBISD Police also conduct joint safety drills with other law enforcement agencies.
In addition, safety protocols are in place across SBISD, all schools have School Emergency Response Teams, and every school regularly practices safety procedures with students and staff through discussions and emergency exercises. As a prepared community, we remind students how important it is to take practice drills seriously.
Events such as yesterday's tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida cause us to reflect on our own schools and communities as well as review our plans and procedures in place to prevent or respond to such an event and to keep our students and staff as safe as possible. Conroe ISD is diligent in providing a safe learning environment every day. Over the past decade, the District has spent millions of dollars on a layered approach to campus safety including the installation of secure entrances and vestibules along with adding security cameras throughout our schools. Our campuses regularly review safety procedures, and periodically conduct safety drills which include lockdown drills. Conroe ISD is proud to have the third largest police department in Montgomery County whose mission is to protect the District's students, employees, and properties. The Conroe ISD Police Department also regularly provides active shooter training to our officers as well as other local law enforcement agencies to better prepare our law enforcement community for an integrated response.
One of the most important safety measures we as a District and community can take is being vigilant and reporting any suspicious behaviors or issues of potential concern. We encourage the reporting of suspected dangers to the appropriate authorities. Individuals may make anonymous reports to Conroe ISD's KidChat hotline at 1-888-KidChat (543-2428). The safety of students and staff is our highest priority.
Fort Bend ISD
Fort Bend ISD is deeply saddened by the tragedy in Florida. Safety is the top priority, and we are always working to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for our students and staff. Each campus regularly practices safety drills to prepare for various scenarios, and the Florida tragedy is a reminder that we must remain vigilant. Because we understand that our community members and parents may have questions, we are providing more information about our regular safety drills and procedures.
Fort Bend ISD has implemented Standard Response Protocols, which is part of a nationwide effort to simplify and standardize emergency response in schools. Students and staff are trained in accordance to this system and regular drills are conducted.
All FBISD campuses conduct a fire drill at least once a month. In addition to the monthly fire drills, all FBISD campuses conduct at least two safety drills each year for each of the following scenarios: Lockdown, lockout, shelter in place -- severe weather, shelter in place -- hazardous materials, shelter in place -- medical emergency
For the safety of our students and staff members, all FBISD campuses have exterior doors locked during the school day. All visitors must enter in the main entrance of each school, and go through a proper vetting process before they proceed.
Fort Bend ISD has a full-time emergency management coordinator who is responsible for ensuring all staff and students are prepared for any kind of emergency.
Our Fort Bend ISD Police Department undergoes extensive training for all kinds of scenarios, including active shooter situations. Every FBISD officer participates in active shooter training on an annual basis.
Our police department regularly coordinates with other jurisdictional partners to ensure the safety of our students, staff and community.
Safety and Security Improvements
In the last few years, FBISD has invested millions of dollars in safety upgrades and enhancements included in the 2014 Bond Program. In all, $27 million was allocated for vestibules at all campuses, security camera upgrades, additional card reader access points, video intercom systems and emergency generators. The third and final phase of design and construction of security vestibules is underway, and by the end of 2018, all FBISD campuses will have security vestibules at each entrance.
Keeping our students and staff safe takes all of us working together. Fort Bend ISD provides ways for students to safely and anonymously report illegal activities that take place on school property. If a student sees something, or if anyone or anything threatens them in any way, we encourage them to say something by reporting it to a trusted adult, or to call our Student Crime Stoppers hotline at 281-491-TIPS (8477).
We always have counselors available for students who are experiencing distress due to any situation, and we encourage students to reach out to an adult when they are in need of support or additional assistance. We also have reminders at all of our campuses that a talk line is available 24/7 (281-240-(TALK) 8255). Our staff members are trained in mental health awareness so that they can also help identify students who may be in need of assistance or support.
Fort Bend ISD is always working to improve school safety, and as the public learns about what happened in Florida, we expect conversations to continue -- nationwide and locally - so that we can do everything possible to protect our students and staff.
Pearland ISD has a plan in place. For safety reasons, I'm sure you understand we cannot share details of that plan. While we have a plan in place, we continually review our procedures to ensure that we are providing the safest possible environment for our students and staff. In regards to training, Pearland ISD works closely with the Pearland Police Department and they have provided active shooter training at campuses. Our schools also routinely hold emergency drills for lockdowns and/or evacuations with students and staff, often unannounced so to better emulate a real-life situation.
With parent communication in emergencies, Pearland ISD utilizes a variety of methods such as emergency text messages (parents must opt-in for these), social media, callout system, parent emails, and of course, local media outreach.
Pasadena ISD and the Pasadena ISD police department are committed to ensuring the safety of our staff and students. We have adopted the nationally recognized approach to handling a crisis based upon ALICE training - Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evaluate. Our campuses are continually participating in various drills so that all staff and students are prepared in the event of an emergency.
These drills include:
Shelters in place
Active shooter drills
Campuses are reviewing all crisis plans and security measures and continue to make safety a priority. Our responsibility to protect your child in our care is something we take very seriously. Thank you for entrusting us to create the safest environment possible. The entire school community including students, parents, and community members help do this; therefore, we have a "See Something, Say Something" webpage on our district website, where anyone can anonymously report concerns related to campus safety, student safety, bullying or any issue they feel warrants attention.
These resources can be helpful if you need assistance talking to your children about this tragic event.