School Safety Assessments

School security and safety assessments help school officials identify potential vulnerabilities, as well as strengths relating to security and safety for students, staff and visitors. Safe Havens analysts have considerable experience in conducting security and safety assessments for public school systems, charter schools and independent schools.

We typically assess…

  • Evaluation of the neighborhood
  • Access points to the campus
  • Perimeter access control for building(s)
  • Visitor screening procedures
  • Security camera systems
  • Alarm systems
  • Interior access control
  • Management of space
  • Student supervision
  • School climate
  • “Body language” of the building
  • Body language of the staff and students
  • Bullying abatement strategies
  • Antiterrorism measures
  • Opportunities to increase the use of crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED)
  • How well the written policies, plans and procedures match actual practice.
  • Effective documentation of security and safety procedures
  • Opportunities to reduce civil liability
  • Emotional security measures

School safety, security, climate, culture, and emergency preparedness assessments can be an excellent way to improve school safety efforts while also enhancing the ability of teachers to teach and students to learn.  Safe Havens has a solid reputation with our clients for focusing on no-cost and low-cost ways to improve safety, security and emergency preparedness while helping schools create more pleasant, professional and effective learning and work environments.

Our analysts have coordinated or assisted our clients in conducting school safety assessments for more than 6,000 school facilities and have trained more than 2,000 school and public safety personnel to conduct their own school safety assessments.  Safe Havens analysts have also developed state-wide school safety, security, climate, culture and/or emergency preparedness assessment approaches for the states of Georgia, Indiana, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Maine and Wisconsin.

As the leading international non-profit school safety center, we are focused on helping school officials develop sustainable safety, security and emergency preparedness strategies that work in the unique environment of K-12 schools. The extensive experience our analysts have working with school systems across the United States, our work experience in more than two dozen countries, as well as what we have learned authoring and co-authoring more than thirty books on school safety give us a broad perspective on current best practices in school safety. Our analysts have published more books, produced more training videos, authored more web courses and have work experience in more countries than all the consultants for any ten school safety consulting firms in the world combined.

Our analysts are very skilled in helping schools to integrate the advantages of today’s exceptional security and emergency preparedness technologies while also understanding that students and staff must be an integral part of making these technologies reliable and effective.  Our personnel understand how and when security cameras, metal detectors, access control and visitor management systems are appropriate but they also understand how student supervision, human connectivity, communications and decision making can be improved to enhance school safety, culture and climate.  Safe Havens regularly works to help schools improve learning processes by creating school cultures that embrace safety, security and emergency preparedness practices that produce results.

Our assessments utilize evidence-based approaches to how the human brain works under the pressure of life and death stress.  Save Havens was the first organization to utilize scripted and video crisis scenarios to evaluate individual as well as organizational crisis decision-making.   Even the most highly developed school client organizations have found ways to significantly improve human performance under the stress school crisis situations through the findings of our structured emergency preparedness interviews with representative samplings of school staff.

These school emergency preparedness assessments are one of the most effective ways to identify significant gaps in crisis planning before an incident reveals them with chronic plan failure. These gaps are commonly not revealed during traditional school drills, table top exercises, functional exercises and full-scale exercises due to the inherent lack of opportunity for independent decision making for these types of drills and exercises. Chronic plan failure has occurred in a number of school organizations after they have expended millions of dollars on preparedness only to have plans with simple gaps that should have been identified.

The results of our assessments are typically presented to the client organization through individual assessment reports for each assessed building as well as a master strategic report for the district. Both types of reports will include photos taken from the assessments for illustration of key findings when appropriate.

While the individual school reports provide assessment findings specific to each school, the master strategic report provides an overall picture of the safety, security, climate, culture and emergency preparedness at the district level.  Our reports also include recommendations for improvement that need to be conducted at district level.

We can also present our findings in person instead of or in addition to written reports depending on the needs of the client.  We can also provide a companion video report with a concise and informative summary overview of the assessment findings for school superintendents, heads of school and cabinet or board members who may not have time to read a detailed fifty to one hundred page report.