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School Safety Failure in New Jersey Schools

NJSBA

 

Over the past 18 years we have worked with hundreds of LEAs in NJ. During that period of time we have observed a failure of New Jersey school administrators and school board members to address the New Jersey Department of EducationNJDOE mandates for School Safety and Security

In many cases these schools have been told by their legal counsel that they are compliant and yet when we audit these same schools they are not.

If NJ schools are to be safe they must comply. 

The following mandates are required for all schools and school districts in the state of New Jersey as of August 2011.

Minimum Requirements 

State of New Jersey [New Jersey Administrative Code 6A:16-5.1] – School Safety and Security Plans

  • District-Wide Planning Team
  • Bullying, Harassment and Intimidation
  • Gangs – Current/emerging gang activity (in consultation with local law enforcement and the county prosecutor’s office). Current/emerging bullying issues and threats.
  • Crisis Response Teams – Trained with practice sessions.
  • Incident Command System (ICS)
  • Conduct hazard analysis of site
  • Develop procedures to respond to hazards
  • Train students and staff – Document your annual in-service training of all staff regarding plan revisions, warning and response signals, evacuation routes, assembly areas, emergency procedures, communication protocols, and chain of command. Document your in-service training of all staff regarding emergency procedures and school security drills.
  • Conduct drills and tabletop exercises
  • Annual Review – Provide for an annual review of the plan, attachments, responses and needs.
  • Review School Security Incident Reports (SSIR).
  • Review Electronic Violence and Vandalism Reporting System (EVVRS) data.
  • Technological (i.e. cyber-security, internet predators, securing files, computer usage).
  • School climate & culture.
  • Crime and violence (i.e. weapons in school, fights, active shooters, intruders).
  • Establish procedures for assisting the special needs population (students and staff).
  • Establish and document procedures to account for students during a crisis.
  • Establish and document district-wide procedures and protocols for Health-related emergencies (i.e. pandemic, MRSA, flu-like illness).
  • Establish procedures to monitor school safety and security protocols for before and after school programs, nontraditional vendors, and other school facility users.
  • Establish and document Food Security/Bio-Security procedures.
  • Document the annual review and update of the plan by the 3rd week of October.
  • Document your annual consultation with identified stakeholders and district-wide planning team to assist in training, exercises, and necessary revision(s).
  • Districts are required to annually submit the NJ DOE Security Drill Statement of Assurance to their county office of education by June 30 of each year.

Quality Single Accountability Continuum (QSAC)

The Quality Single Accountability Continuum (QSAC) is the Department of Education’s monitoring and evaluation system for public school districts. The system shifts the monitoring and evaluation focus from compliance to assistance, capacity-building and improvement. It is a single comprehensive accountability system that consolidates and incorporates the monitoring requirements of applicable state laws and programs and complements federally required improvements. The system focuses on monitoring and evaluating school districts in five key components that, based on research, have been identified to be key factors in effective school districts.

More information.

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