With increasing safety concerns across the country, PikMyKid & DPREP found an immediate need for a workshop that could make safety solutions accessible.
Their months of hard work finally came to fruition. Several district safety directors, administrators, law enforcement officers, and school safety champions gathered at the Sheraton Sand Key in Clearwater, Florida for a School Safety Workshop.
This highly directed workshop, focused on Florida critical issues, was an immersive, hands-on, ‘certificate course’ for School & District staff covering Behavioral Intervention, Threat Assessment and effective use of available School Safety Technologies. The interactive session also provided a forum for continuous feedback. It ensured participants took away a tangible action plan for their teams from the school safety workshop.
“My biggest weakness is reunification, I’m hoping to pull some best practices from this session…conferences like these, it’s nice when you can walk away with certain nuggets you can bring back to your community” Rick Francis communicates his goals for the day. Francis is the School Safety & Security Director for Seminole County.
The day was packed with safety solutions and training on the latest technologies used to combat dangerous situations. The workshop began with a session by Jeff Solomon, the Chief of DPrep’s School Division, who specializes in training educators and law enforcement on effective procedures to use when confronted with the worst a school can imagine.
Solomon urged those in attendance to be proactive and persistent with their training before an incident occurs. It also was the common theme of the entire safety workshop. An effective safety procedure is one that is memorable and trained on often.
JJ Roberts spent his session highlighting technology’s role in schools. He brought a different approach to the conference, with a background in engineering and process implementation. If a school thought they had covered all aspects of school safety, think again, said Roberts.
Safety seems to be an utmost priority for districts and schools across the country. Since the most vulnerable time of day for schools is always the dismissal time, a lot of focus has been on finding solutions for dismissal automation.
How are kids protected from being picked up by a total stranger amidst the chaos? How are parents notified that their child has made it home safe?
Many attendees at the school safety workshop were also intrigued by how technology could help consolidate communications with law enforcement.
“You look at 90 different schools in our district and you’ll find 91 different ways that schools are communicating with law enforcement… public safety needs to be able to go to one resource regardless of what school you are in,” said Lt. Troy Ferguson with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.
School Safety Technologies in Schools
Kidio’s Panic Button application provides one potential solution to this problem, allowing faculty to contact fire, medical, and law enforcement at a push of a button. Kidio’s dismissal platform, PikMyKid, also integrates elements of communication, emergency alerts, and further safety training resources.
“PikMyKid having student releases and emergency notifications is critically important. There has to be a blend between training staff and these smart technologies”
Solomon spoke highly of the collaboration between DPrep and PikMyKid, the first of hopefully many.
It seemed attendees were walking away from Monday’s event with a new perspective. “This conference opened up my mind and helped me to become more self-aware,” said Megan O’Connor of the Island School.
With the success of this event, PikMyKid plans to extend the safety conversation nationwide. School Safety officials can be on the lookout for similar future conferences. Nex sessions planed in North Carolina, D.C., Georgia, and Texas in the upcoming year.