For as long as most of us can remember, schools have always been considered a safe haven where caring, invested teachers have taught and children have learned. And even when the world outside was chaotic, schools seemed insulated from the turmoil.
Times have changed.
Childhood in the twenty-first century is radically different than childhood of any generation before. Technology has brought the world, for better or worse, to children’s fingertips – and at an alarming rate.
In fact, a 2015 publication, Teens, Social Media & Technology, from the Pew Research Center reported that 92 percent of teens say they go online daily, with 24 percent noting that they are online constantly. Three-quarters of responding teens own or have access to a smartphone. Of that group, 91 percent access the internet through their smartphone.
But the good news is that technology, as we are all acutely aware, also provides countless benefits. And one such benefit is how technology addresses school safety and security challenges.
Since the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook in 2012, almost 90 percent of school districts have made changes to their facilities or security policies to make schools safer.
In fact, a report by the Rand Corporation identified 12 school-safety technologies, including employing entry-control equipment, ID technology, video surveillance, and school-site alarm and protection systems. Other technologies identified were metal detectors and X-ray machines, anonymous tip lines, tracking systems, mapping schools and bus routes, using violence prediction technology, and social media monitoring.
Last year alone, sales of security equipment and services to the education sector reached $2.7 billion, up from $2.5 billion in 2015, according to data from IHS Markit.
As a result of these changes made by school districts, technologies, like those offered through our SafeSchools brand, have emerged to help schools with their mission of keeping schools safe and secure.
The SafeSchools suite of school safety and compliance programs was created by Vector Solutions, a leader in eLearning and performance support. SafeSchool’s education-specific brands for the K-12 and higher education markets include SafeSchools, SafeColleges, Exceptional Child, and TeachPoint.
Our award-winning suite of K-12 school safety and compliance programs includes solutions for staff training, incident tracking, SDS management and tip reporting to help give school administrators, teachers, students and their families what they most deserve: peace of mind.
The Staff Training System automates staff training with tracking and compliance reports, saving valuable time and money. It streamlines staff safety and compliance training with an automated system that grants access to hundreds of expert-authored courses or uploaded district-specific courses.
The Incident Tracking System helps streamline the management of incident, accident, and injury reports for employees, students, and visitors, in one convenient online system. Users can investigate incidents from anywhere on campus, while dashboards and administrative reports provide key data.
The SDS & Chemical Management System manages SDSs and chemical inventory online to ensure compliance with GHS through easily updated and organized physical binders, secondary container labels, and location posters with QR codes.
The Tip Reporting System lets users stay connected so they can prevent school safety incidents before they occur. The custom alert system keeps users connected 24/7, 365 days a year. Staff is immediately notified of every tip to easily track, manage and resolve incidents.
Like most areas of our lives today, technology offers an abundance of resources, tools and systems to mitigate and manage school safety and security. If your district or school has not conducted a risk assessment regarding emergencies, the time is now. By implementing and integrating procedures and technologies to help secure schools campuses, you ensure that schools can again be that which they were always intended to be: a sanctuary where students can learn – safely.