District Safety and Security Enhancements
With the new school year now upon us, I wanted to take this opportunity to inform our school community about security enhancements and initiatives premiering this year.
Since the unspeakable tragedy at Sandy Hook, our district has continually worked to enhance our safety and security measures. This year we are introducing a number of new initiatives. Some of these initiatives – like our adoption of an anonymous reporting app – will be obvious to the community, while others might be more subtle, but all initiatives support one very important goal: prioritizing the physical and emotional safety of our students and staff.
In recent years the use of anonymous reporting apps has grown exponentially for the purpose of providing another method to report safety concerns at the earliest possible moment.
Madison Public Schools has adopted the See It, Say It, Send It anonymous reporting app for the district. This app gives students – and the entire school community – another tool to quickly and anonymously report safety concerns.
- What is the advantage of an app? Why can’t students/parents just call the school/cops with concerns?
- Will someone monitor the app all the time? Who monitors the app?
- Wait there are two new apps this year? What is the different between this and the new district Finalsite app?
- Who can use this app?
- Can I submit a tip online?
Although it is preferred to receive any tips or reports in person, doing so may be challenging for some students. The anonymous reporting approach provides students with an opportunity to share potentially critical information in a way that is comfortable for them. Students and parents can continue to call or meet with school officials to make a report, or in the event of an emergency, the police department.
The app will be monitored by Madison Public Schools personnel on school days, from 7:30 am-3:30 pm. An app user is asked to call or text 911 in the event of an emergency. If an app user makes a report outside of the school monitoring hours, a prompt will be displayed on the device screen with the main phone number for Madison Youth and Family Services (MYFS) during regular business hours, as well as an after-hours cell phone number monitored by MYFS.
Yes, we do have two new apps this year. The district mobile app is a mobile version of our main district page and has all the information you find on the website – news, documents, calendar events, etc. This See It, Say It, Send It is not connected to the district website. It can only be used to submit anonymous safety concerns.
With the recent physical contraction of the district, we now have a dedicated SRO at each campus: one for the Green Hill Road campus and one for the Route 79 north campus. Unlike prior years, each campus will now have one dedicated SRO on the premises for the entire school day for the full school year.
Law enforcement experts continually work to improve and modernize response protocols to violent threats. The current recommended response protocol is called the ALICE approach, an acronym that represents five different responses to violent threats. The administrative team was trained in this approach this summer and the entire MPS faculty and staff will be trained over the course of this school year.
This summer we have installed infrastructure and cabling to implement a system called, "Campus Shield", a pilot program at DHHS. With this technology, each staff member is assigned a “PAL”, which is a personal alarm locater. The PAL operates under radio frequency – the most reliable communication system - and functions as a personal 911 that will only be used in case of emergency.