Noble Local Schools Safety Update
“We are NOT soft targets!”
Given the recent school shootings across the country, with the most recent occurring just last week in Florida, I hope this information serves as a reminder of the many things we have done in the NLSD to increase safety and security, including, but not limited to, permitting trained staff members to be armed throughout the day. Some highlights of our increased security measures are:
The NLSD Board of Education adopted policies and procedures for certain, trained staff members to be “armed” while at school. The Board approved these policies and procedures in August 2017 and was implemented beginning with the 2017-18 school year. Noble Local currently has 11-trained staff members who meet and maintain requirements established in law, and through our local safety committee, to conceal and carry while present on campus. We currently have plans to train 4-5 additional staff members this summer prior to the start of the 18-19 school year.
Among many requirements, qualified staff members must hold a valid Ohio CCW license, successfully completed a minimum of 24 hours of Active Shooter Training through the “FASTER SAVES LIVES” program (Faculty Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response), possess a notarized handgun qualification certificate, and must have had mental preparation in the response to active shooters/killers.
(**For more information regarding FASTER please see www.fastersaveslives.org)
To maintain certification, staff members must agree to regular and random drug testing, meet a monthly practice requirement, and re-certify with our Noble County Sheriff’s Department and OPOTA firearms instructor.
Because of this program, our NLSD Safety Committee meets monthly to discuss ongoing safety concerns and needs, as well as overseeing those who are permitted to be “armed” while on campus. Members of this committee include our “armed staff” as well as two, Board of Education members, our school resource officer, and Sheriff, Robert Pickenpaugh.
School Resource Officer:
Beginning with the 2017-18 school year the NLSD committed to collaborating with our County Commissioners and Noble County Sheriff’s Department in hiring our District’s first, full-time School Resource Officer (SRO). We are appreciative of these partnerships and are excited about the progress of our SRO program. In addition to being present daily, our SRO is actively involved in collaboration with other area SRO’s, is also involved with drug awareness activities, ongoing safety drills, and serves as a liaison to the Noble County Sheriff’s Department and other area agencies where appropriate.
Noble Local Schools installed numerous HD video/surveillance cameras during the 2016 school year giving us views of all main entryways, hallways, common areas, playgrounds, and other points of entry/exits. Administrative staff can view at any time from their desktop, laptop, smartphone, or other electronic device. The Noble County Sheriff’s Department also has access 24 hours per day, 7 days per week and has “live access” from their offices or from the road.
Each employee of the NLSD has access to the Navigate Prepared App where they can quickly access our “emergency management plan” and account for students during an emergency. This app also provides access to alert all other users via text or alarm of an emergency or potential crisis. Through this program, we were also able to incorporate 360-degree videos of each space, in each of our buildings, into our District Emergency Operations Plan. This information also allows “first responders” the opportunity to become more familiar with our buildings prior to responding to an emergency.
Other Security Measures:
Our district continues working to upgrade all of our exterior doors with electronic door entry systems, and has MARCS radios at each of our buildings. MARCS radios allow us to immediately alert “first responders” of an emergency and communicate details to them immediately. Additionally, telephones with “all call” ability have been placed in each classroom allowing individual staff members (classrooms) to activate the “crisis plan “independently and communicate more effectively both inside the school and out. Each building has increased their frequency of “safety drills” and now exceeds the minimum number required by law. Our District fully endorses and supports A.L.I.C.E (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate) as our training protocol for both staff and students.
(** For more information about ALICE please go to www.alicetraining.com)
Safety of our staff and students will always remain our top priority! We will continue to evaluate our current drills, policies, and procedures and revise when necessary to make sure our plans are up to date, and current, given the ever-changing climate that exists in our community, county, and even country.
It is our goal to protect our staff and students at any cost, and we will use whatever force necessary to protect them. We are not “soft” targets!