Quakertown School District Committee Issues Security Recommendations
A committee consisting of almost two dozen Quakertown residents has issued recommendations for increasing security at Quakertown Community School District campuses.
- By Jessica Davis
- April 30, 2019
A committee consisting of almost two dozen Quakertown residents has issued recommendations for increasing security at Quakertown Community School District campuses. The recommendations, which included improving parking lot lighting and adding more counselors and social workers, were presented at a recent school board meeting.
The committee members met several times, researching and speaking with multiple district staff members while creating the recommendations, according to district officials. District officials and school board members will now consider the recommendations and what can be implemented during the next few weeks and months.
School Board President Steaven Klein said the board “believes strongly in community input for critical issues such as school safety. This committee worked very hard over the last year to deliver their recommendations. The more eyes we have looking at the safety of our schools, the better in my opinion. The goal is to make our schools safer for all kids.”
The committee’s recommendations were organized into four main areas: facilities and equipment, protocols and staff action, supports for students and community awareness.
Recommendations for facilities and equipment improvements included increased outdoor lighting intensity, improved traffic patterns at the high school, a risk and vulnerability assessment and providing training for the ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate) active shooter protocol and other safety procedures to food and custodial staff.
A fifth-grade health curriculum on the hazards of vaping and critical-incident protocol training for parents were among the protocols and staff action recommendations. Increasing the number of counselors and social workers and creating student safety advisory committees at each secondary school were part of the student supports recommendations.
The committee’s community awareness recommendations included an ad hoc parent safety committee for annual feedback on safety protocols, as well as community workshops for parents and other community members about security issues.
“When I joined the committee, in my mind, safety in school was about an active shooter scenario,” Community Safety Committee Chairwoman Diane Richino said. “While that is extraordinarily important, it’s also the least likely of all the things we’ve looked at to necessarily happen. While you want to prepare for that, there are a million other things we can do in the meantime that go a long ways to making a better school district and a better community.”
Any committee recommendations implemented would strengthen the security measures already in place in the district, which include school resource officers, the ALICE protocol, and the Raptor visitor management system.