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As we begin a new year, many school leaders are asking themselves if their school has the necessary resources (systems, policies, and procedures) implemented to keep everyone on campus safe in 2023. The answer should be a resounding “yes”, but unfortunately, many K-12 schools still fall short. In order for educators to get ahead of the curve in 2023, schools are starting to prioritize these three essential safety areas. 

Creating Safe Learning Environments 

In order to maintain the highest levels of safety and security on campuses, schools are starting to secure the edge of the perimeter of the campus first by screening vehicles driving on/off campus, and by screening visitors with contactless visitor management technology to detect any potential emergencies – as early as possible. This may include employing ALPR (automated license plate recognition) cameras capable of reading license plates (day or night) and implementing a Visitor Management solution that is capable of scanning official driver’s licenses to immediately run an instant national sex offender check –  at security checkpoints. According to 2022 sample data collected from over 1,000 schools in the United States and Canada, 1,400 sex offenders and unwanted people are on US K-12 campuses as visitors in any given hour during the school day. There are over 560 vehicles driving onto K-12 campuses every second at all US K-12 schools – without any form of screening.  With these alarming stats in mind, school administrators are  looking into deploying technology to keep up with modern-day safety demands  

Automating As Much as Possible 

But implementing a proactive screening strategy isn’t enough.  Did you know that K-12 schools in the US process 48 billion arrival, attendance, and dismissal instructions every school year? An estimated 1,800 hours of admin/front office time. Automated operations are key for streamlining tedious administrative tasks such as attendance tracking, late arrivals, early dismissals, and more. Schools should aim to implement systems that allow parents to easily update attendance information through a single unified platform—significantly reducing manual labor hours while providing real-time updates on student whereabouts, especially during an emergency and reunification. 

Communication is Still Key in 2023

Finally, having effective communication strategies helps bridge the gap between home and school life while giving parents peace of mind.   In particular, leveraging app push notifications, text messages, or emails can help quickly inform all stakeholders of changes (emergency and non-emergency) while enabling efficient two-way conversations between teachers and families—reducing opportunities for misunderstandings or miscommunication along the way. 

So when it comes time to evaluate your school’s performance come 2023—make sure you take into account not only safety measures but also automated operations and communication strategies too!

Wondering how your campus safety stacks up? Plot your school on our 2023 K-12 School Safety Quadrant.