For most IT professionals working at K-12 schools, every day is challenging and even more so over the last 12 months. Porzio Compliance Services continues to receive inquiries from districts about what to do about these warnings.
Over the past year, we have been thrust into an environment where personal protective equipment, hand sanitizer, and social distancing have overwhelmingly eclipsed traditional pre-COVID-19 security measures. Prior to the pandemic, schools were enhancing physical security on a trajectory that was driven by incidents of school violence and the need to not only make our schools safe, but more importantly make our children and parents feel safe when entering our buildings or sending kids off to school for the day.
Whether the subject of your emergency preparedness efforts focus on schools, businesses, houses of worship, health care facilities or any other organization, planning for emergencies is a continuous process. Many organizations establish Emergency Operations Plans (EOP’s) or implement written response protocols to fulfill regulatory requirements or comply with laws related to their industry. While this is a necessary and worthwhile endeavor, far too many organizations rarely, if ever, revisit these plans to ensure that they are kept current and evolve with the ever changing threat environment that we live in.
The state’s administrators, teachers, and aides find themselves in new and unchartered territory trying to navigate an entirely remote learning environment. Basic educational strategies that assume a face-to-face environment are now unavailable, and teachers are using new technology and products with which they had little, if any, prior experience.
States across the nation are beginning to plan for reopening businesses, houses of worship, and other venues. In many states, however, schools have committed to concluding the school year without returning to face-to-face instruction and the use of school facilities.
A strategic and flexible approach is usually the most important aspect of conducting a successful investigation. Before asking questions, several key undertakings and decisions often need to be made. One is conducting a document review of information, such as employee and student records to glean as much information about the investigation as possible.