Case Studies

Project Highlights & Examples


Project: Center for Safe Schools Funded by Pennsylvania Department of Education

In March 2010, Safe Havens was selected via a competitive bid process to conduct comprehensive safety, security, culture, climate and emergency preparedness audits for 25 schools in the School District of Philadelphia that had been classified as Persistently Dangerous Schools. The detailed reports of findings and recommendations was well received and the findings accepted without dispute by the School District of Philadelphia even though the audits were requested by the Pennsylvania Department of Education rather than the district. The Center then contracted with Safe Havens to conduct a five-day advanced train the trainer session on conducting school safety, security, climate, culture and emergency preparedness audits in June 2010, to produce a ten-minute custom training video on mass casualty incident mental health recovery training video, and to keynote their 900 person state-wide school safety conference in 2011.

Project: Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation, Indiana

The corporation selected Safe Havens to conduct security audits at 39 schools to aid the district in selecting access control and security equipment approaches for the facilities as part of a Safe Schools/ Healthy Students Grant funded by the United States Department of Education. During this project, Safe Havens recommended that the district apply for a Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools or (REMS grant) due to gaps in the districts crisis plans that were noted during the assessment. The district applied for and was awarded the grant by the United States Department of Education. Safe Havens was selected through a competitive bid process to assist the district and helped the district develop new four-phase school crisis plans including tailored ready reference emergency charts for administrators, teachers, custodians and school bus drivers. Safe Havens also trained a district team how to conduct annual hazard and vulnerability assessments and provided training on emergency management, multi-disciplinary threat assessment, bullying prevention, conducting school crisis drill and exercises and mental health recovery. Safe Havens also produced a series of custom school safety training videos including videos on school emergency preparedness, emergency preparedness for special needs students and staff and school transportation security and emergency preparedness. After completion of the project, the district was featured as a model program for its in-house hazard and vulnerability assessment process in a feature article in School Planning and Management Magazine.

Project: Hawaii Department of Education

The Hawaii Department of Education operates the nation’s only state-wide public school district. With a bid that cost less than half of the next lowest bidder, Safe Havens was selected by competitive bid process to assist the district in training an internal team to conduct annual school safety, security and emergency preparedness assessments for the 1,700 school facilities it operates in 2009. Safe Havens Video also filmed, edited and produced a custom ten-minute training video for the department. The training was so popular that Safe Havens was asked to return to Hawaii in 2010 to do additional training sessions for the assessment team and to train additional personnel due to the number of requests from district personnel who had heard about the training. In spite of the state’s historically low school violence incident rate (there has never been a school shooting in Hawaii), the district’s leadership team recognized the potential to use improvements in school safety, security and emergency preparedness as a tool to improve school climate and to in turn improve the ability of students to learn more effectively. Safe Havens then created a high impact custom school safety training web course that was designed to be completed in 12 minutes or less. The course was designated as mandatory for all 30,000 district employees and was designed to help create awareness and by in for safety, security and emergency preparedness issues.

Project: Lincoln County School District, Oregon

The Lincoln County School District (LCSD) is based in Newport, Oregon and serves a large section of the Oregon coast. The district released an RFP seeking to create video versions of each protocol in their emergency procedures. Safe Havens was the lowest priced bidder even compared with several local video companies with no school safety experience. Our approach included not only full service video production but a review of the emergency procedures as they were being scripted. We also conducted a thorough technical review of each video to check for content that might be inaccurate or cause confusion in a crisis. This is one step that many training video projects neglect to include. The project was a cost-effective partnership between the schools and Safe Havens and resulted in approximately 30 videos totaling more than two hours of content distributed via the web and DVD. This also included a video with crisis information for parents with subtitles in Spanish. Students, staff and volunteers served as the actors and we were able to incorporate footage produced by LCSD students as well. The videos produced during this project have been in use in the District since 2010 and each year staff review the videos in a secure online training portal, which helps track compliance.

See a video testimonial from Susan Graves, the Safety Coordinator at LCSD:

Project: Waukegan Public Schools #60, Illinois

The Waukegan Public Schools #60 (WPS #60) was awarded a Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (or REMS grant) to develop new four-phase emergency preparedness plans. Though the full budget allocated was provided in the bid, Safe Havens bid more than $60,000 below the budget amount and was selected for the project in 2009. During the two-year project, Safe Havens evaluated the district’s current emergency plans and policies relating to safety, security and emergency preparedness, conducted safety, security and emergency preparedness assessments at district schools, trained an internal team to conduct future annual assessments, trained the district’s plan development team and community public safety agency partner representatives on four phase school crisis planning, helped the team develop new integrated plan components including:

  • Plan component for the superintendent, department heads and cabinet officials
  • Plan component for building administrators and crisis team members
  • Plan component for school secretaries and receptionists
  • Plan component for school custodians
  • Plan component for school nutrition workers
  • Plan component for school bus drivers
  • Plan component for after hours events

Safe Havens Video also produced a series of custom school safety training videos and web courses tailored to the district’s needs. Safe Havens also implemented the Policy Awareness System or PAMS for the district to help them track receipt of new plan components and training completion for thousands of employees for of the National Incident Management System (commonly called the NIMS) for thousands of employees in the district.

Near that end of the project, the WPS #60 also asked Safe Havens to do two additional assessment projects including a red team test for ten schools and one support facility in 2012. During these tests, Safe Havens Executive Director Michael Dorn simulated being an intruder attempting to sneak drone firearms through the district high school metal detection and X-ray checkpoints, attempting to defeat access control systems, access sensitive information, simulate the thefts of district property and vehicles and to conduct passive non threatening simulated abduction of students from a representative sampling of elementary, middle and high schools.

Dr. Christina Conolly-Wilson, Waukegan Public Schools, Waukegan, Illinois

Presentations for Vietnam National University, Saigon-Vietnam

At the request of the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University in Saigon-Vietnam, Safe Havens Executive Director Michael Dorn and Chris Dorn presented to the college’s faculty and department chairs in 2006 and 2007. The presentations on school crisis planning, schools and terrorism, sexual exploitation of school children, school violence and bullying were both well received.

“I was truly impressed by Michael Dorn’s presentations on school violence, bullying, school emergency preparedness and schools and terrorism given at the University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University. The content was very relevant and useful as these topics are new here in Vietnam. Thank you ever so much for sharing with us such an excellent presentation.”
Phuong Nguyen, Ph.D
Country Director
Vietnam Education Foundation
Hanoi, Vietnam




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