Centralized Reporting for Streamlined School Safety

 

 

 

 

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During this event, Keven Barker, School Director for Ridgeline Academy, discusses the value of centralized safety reports, like referrals and facility requests, in order to streamline school safety. Keven will also be speaking about his own experiences using CrisisGo for reporting safety issues and responding to risks before they become a serious problem.

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Hello, everyone. Welcome to today's event titled "Centralized Reporting for Streamlined School Safety." I'm Greg Peterson content manager for CrisisGo and I'll be your moderator. During today's event will be focusing on the value of centralizing safety reports, like referrals and facility requests, in order to streamline school safety. If any of you have questions throughout the presentation, I welcome you to submit those via the questions panel. It's right there on the GoToWebinar control panel. We’ll be conducting a short Q&A session at the end of today’s presentation.

Our guest speaker today is Keven Barker. He's the school director for Ridgeline Academy in Arizona. He'll be speaking from his own experience using CrisisGo. Ridgeline Academy has not only been using CrisisGo to utilize safety reports to track safety risks and trends. They've also used CrisisGo to streamline their emergency reunification process, provide digital panic buttons for staff working with special needs students, and more. So, without further delay I'll let Keven take it from here.

Well, thank you very much Greg. Again, I'm Keven Barker. I'm currently the school director at Ridgeline Academy in Phoenix, Arizona. We're actually in a suburban setting but I started my career as a high school science teacher in South Los Angeles on a campus really plagued with safety issues. It was the entire community. While school safety was always on our minds there and an ever-present reality. It's certainly not a centralized issue.

So again as our campus is in a suburban community and still very much a concern even if we can't always see its effects in our day-to-day operations. So, getting started I guess I never did I think the part of my job. I would be thinking of ways to keep my teacher safe and supporting them and keeping my students alive because of some of the pressures in our community and certainly the recent events around the world and certainly here in our country. This is our reality as educators. We do have a duty to make certain that our schools are safe in the 20 years since Columbine there have been hundreds of school shootings a 143 dead and 290 injured. The Washington Post did a study in estimates that more than 220,000 students have been directly affected because they were in the building when those shootings took place. These numbers are only as up to date as of April of 2018 after this study concluded in the spring of 2018. there is an average of one school shooting per week. Again, more than 220,000 students have been directly affected because they were in the building when a school shooting took place. That's roughly half the population of Tucson, which is Arizona’s second largest city and its much larger than the roughly a hundred and eighty thousand people that inhabit Tempe. That's our closest University Arizona State. That's where Arizona state is located that's not to mention the students and teachers indirectly affected by school and community violence. I don't know about your campus, but our campus especially our educators were greatly impacted by the parkland shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School two and a half years ago. This school violence is a topic that's largely discussed in the halls of congress and in state legislators, but teachers rarely have a seat at the table.

It's important to consider that even given those incredible numbers 220,000 people affected. That number is incredibly small in comparison to the students affected on a daily basis with incidents occurring in schools with bullying, teasing, kids just not being able to cope with their own emotions anxiety the stressors of their lives both on and off campus people point to the testing culture social media there seems to be a lot of hypotheses about what's creating the situation but most solutions are focused on the end result, which is one that every educator wants to avoid in the first place. I guess as a side note. I always like to say that a school shooting is highly unlikely in our school building really any school building, but clearly it does happen and while that's certainly not our focus. We absolutely do everything we can to prepare for any situation.

I do feel it's our obligation as educators when parents drop off their most precious possessions every morning. I love every educator and child in my building and I'm going to do everything that I possibly can to make sure that each and every one of them goes home safely each night. At Ridgeline we decided that it was important to focus on where these school shootings or really just acts of campus violence start and I used the term violence very broadly here, but aggressive behaviors definitely have the ability to greatly affect our students. So, we here at Ridgeline really believe that it's time that social emotional learning mental health behavioral health are put on par with state testing. I know I'm not telling anyone hear anything that they don't already know but kids can't learn in an environment where they don't feel safe.

We've already started to find ways to help students develop strategies to handle emotions more appropriately develop educators to support students in those endeavors and really most importantly find real time ways to track our development in those areas. There's a sign on the door at my gym that says what's measured improves and I guess we just decided it was important to start measuring the right things or at least measure something a little different what we were measuring both here at Ridgeline and it seems like around the country. I didn't seem to be improving the things that we really wanted to see change in. We really believe that once someone is in our building with the intent to harm. It's too late. We need to stop the focus on how to keep students comfortable during a lockdown or during a school shooting and shift our focus to how to make sure that it never happens in the first place. No school shooting or lockdown for any serious community event is ever going to be comfortable for students. No matter what special item we have for them to occupy their attention or hug or eat in the event of that emergency. This is going to be stressful life altering. It's a great thought on the front end, but what if we could just skip the crisis in the first place and that's where our conversations really started and it's really for that reason that we found CrisisGo and we directed our use of CrisisGo and we really focused our use of CrisisGo in two main ways one is facilities reports and the other is student behavioral data. And again, I use behavioral in a really but a broad sense as you'll see in a moment. We're really trying to keep a finger on the pulse of our campus. It's a temperature check for us.

We see behavior is a form of communication and we really try to use CrisisGo to collect this communication and respond quickly and as proactively as possible. I'd like to emphasize that we're trying to be proactive in our approach to centralizing data to make our school environment more safe. It's really important to note that we're using these reports to track the success of our social emotional learning efforts and other efforts on campus and we're linking this really powerful platform in CrisisGo with the shift in a curricular focus here on campus. We're trying to marry the data points. We can access through CrisisGo with the implementation of our lessons on empathy thoughtfulness citizenship character. We just added a new course in our middle school focused on community-based learning. It's connectedness to our community and hopefully with that will come increased empathy. We have to teach our student population what it means to be a good human being.

This doesn't have to take away from core curriculum kids are always watching with their teachers are doing its modeling those behaviors and finding intentional ways to teach those behaviors and as I've already said a few times and I'm sure I'll say it again. We want to stop these behaviors that we're seeing or the violence before we even have to think about the worst case scenario. Really we want to be on top of these situations before any behavior that has harmful effects ever happens on our campus. And in order to do that. We really needed a tool to track that information and give us actionable data. What incidents are we seeing where we seeing them both grade level bands and physical location and why are these events happening?

How do we get the data to try and know where to help students or areas in our school where we need to focus And how do we identify particular students that are struggling the information that we can compile within the CrisisGo system and within the reports it drives almost everything that we do on our campus now.

We've talked a lot about why we focus on the data. I guess now we pulled up a screen where we can dig into how and where so this is just a snapshot and I apologize in advance these snapshots were taken both from the cell phone interface and also from the computer interface we access and use both but inside our campus every employee including substitutes, classroom assistants (we call them educational partners), duty AIDS, cafeteria workers. Everyone has access to our emergency management plans through CrisisGo and we continually discuss CrisisGo with staff members and make sure that we're getting consistent input from them as well as the actual actionable data from the reports that we'll be discussing in just a minute that's really helped us keep this tool both at their fingertips and at the front of their minds with in CrisisGo we've developed a suite of reports that we use on a continual basis to track our progress on a host of goals. Some of these reports were already accessible from within CrisisGo and we just added them into our interface and other reports we either crafted or had CrisisGo convert from pre-existing documents that we have here on our campus. So the first report that you'll see up at the top is the report, a bullying incident.

This particular report took a lot of staff training. I think bullying is a term that certainly overused in our community and I'm sure in many others but we wanted our teachers to take the time to really understand what constituted bullying and when they should use this particular report. Bullying certainly does occur on our campus and on every campus but this is a report that our staff knows should be used very rarely. Our state legislature has not defined bullying here in Arizona, but it does require that schools develop a definition. So we've adopted a definition on our campus that in order to be considered bullying the aggressor must have more real or perceived power than the target and that the behavior is repeated or has the ability to be repeated over time.

There's an understanding that bullying can involve physical behaviors verbal emotional social exclusion ignoring or damaging the targets reputation these behaviors can happen in person online through text messages, but the real issue is that there does have to be an imbalance of power and it's more often than not ongoing. If an aggressor will stop the behavior after request even from an administrator. We can realistically prevent bullying if you will, we generally tell our teachers to use this particular report after discussing an incident with us who is a team lead or after we instructed them to note any further similar incidents between Greg and Bryn as bullying. This reports kind of the last resort report for us the data in here can be incredibly powerful though it asks the teacher to identify exactly what's occurring between the aggressor in the target. How and through what means but most importantly where it's occurring. It also asks, if the behaviors are going so it gives us that check. I say that it's incredibly powerful because it lets us know that there are two students in need of assistance. But it also lets us know where and every campus has hot spots. And this was one way that we use to identify ours and I always like to ask you do you know where your hot spots are we're certainly still working to figure ours out but tracking information from this report and one other report is really helping us do that. That report although it wasn't next on the list. It's the next report that we’ll take a moment to discuss.

This is the Ridgeline discipline referral. This is an example of a form that we sent to CrisisGo and they converted it into a useful file for us. They even put in all the options that we wanted. We got drop-down menus where we preferred those radio buttons where we requested those it was really incredible how willing they were to customize this report for our needs. We took a look at it a couple times and they absolutely did all of the changes that we've requested. They're currently working on an option for us to submit feedback right back to the teacher so that we can handle discipline in real time, which is a phenomenal thing for us just to shorten that chain. We're happy to share this particular file with anyone on this call are really any CrisisGo user.

This is the version at the end that I would see however teachers have the option to report several different types of incidents. We like to provide names for the identified infractions because this is an item that we can sort by when we compile information into reports. We like to track these identified infractions to see what types of behavior students in our school struggle with or maybe just students in a particular grade level. We can even start to identify teacher development opportunities using this data. If an otherwise quiet grade level has a lot of disrespect to faculty or disruptive behaviors in one area. It might even alert us of an instructional or cultural issue in a given classroom. Again, we try to marry this information with other initiatives on our campus. We'd never assume that a handful of behaviors in a particular class are just the result of a teacher issue but it takes us back to that big question. What story is the data telling us?

It could also be the time of day. It could be a student in the class. There can be a lot of contributing factors, but it does let our team know that we have to get into that room more often and support that educator, especially at that time and it does let us know that we really need to take a look at something we can export these reports and sort them really by any criterion. It's a useful tool that goes right over into Excel and I like to caution our team that although these reports are incredibly powerful and they're super accessible. It's just one data point.

Another report that we use pretty often here at Ridgeline is the incident report. This is a report that gives useful and mineable information that doesn't necessarily need administrative action. This is used for maybe an injury on the playground and accident in the classroom. It's nice for us to have in case of parent calls. To give us an update after a trip to the doctor or you know, they're night at home. We definitely look a lot more prepared and connected but most often with this report teachers have already contacted parents the nurses already handled the incident. It's really just for our knowledge. It looks like in this report helmet had a little tantrum on the stage, but when he threw himself to the floor, he injured himself, we generally see a lot of playground reports that come in. We have some interesting ones that come in from the cafeteria and maybe an unknown allergy. Just this week actually our middle schoolers are on an overnight field trip to Prescott. We found out that a few of our students are allergic to horses. They haven't made it back from the trip yet. But these are the types of information that can be collected in real time through CrisisGo. The incident report can definitely alert us to issues with a particular student or a problem area on our campus.

Maybe the surface under the monkey bars isn't the safest again. This is only one data point but collecting this data over time and observing can really help us make better decisions about appropriate actions centralizing this information in one place on one report really helps our team and I guess we'll touch quickly on the facilities report. This one is often overlooked and it's so simple as you may recall from an earlier slide, we firmly believe that every person on campus is responsible for safety. And this is one of the easiest ways that everyone can help. Does the gate on the playground not shut properly. Is there a lock on a door that isn't functioning properly water on the floor in the hallway. We're all extremely busy and we may not have time to fix the issue ourselves. But this report allows every teacher to make sure that our facilities teams gets the information in the quickest way possible.

One thing that I forgot to mention is with each of these reports the CrisisGo group administrators can select which audience receives each report. So our incident report goes to a wider audience than our referral. It includes our nurse are amazing office manager who's probably going to be the person speaking with the parent who picks up the child and the information gets to her and it isn't affected by the game of telephone, you know, it pops up as a notification on her phone and she gets the same information that I do, the same information. the nurse does. We really all have the same information at the same time, which is incredibly helpful. This facility report still comes to me, but it also goes to our business manager. She's going to be the one who's seen the invoice and also our handyman. He certainly doesn't need to see referrals, but he does need to know in a lock isn't working on the kindergarten playground gate and our teachers use this for items that aren't necessarily related to campus safety but having ability to access and streamline this information in one place is still incredibly helpful for us.

We won't pull up the reports but there are a few other reports that that we do use. In Arizona, as I'm sure is the case in most states educators are in a must report situation. While this reporting in CrisisGo doesn't take care of an educators obligation, it does allow them the ability to document that they have alerted our administrative team. So educators can report suspected abuse or neglect. I think informing our staff that it's suspected is always really important. These documents are things that can be requested and we remind teachers of that with all of the reports referrals incident reports. We don't do that to scare them but we want them to be mindful of what they write when they make a particular report. Again, they have the option on these reports to submit suspected abuse neglect or the one of the other reports they have access to is the report harassment or discrimination.

This is generally used for teachers themselves, but it's important that everyone feels safe on a campus and we try to provide tools to our educators that support that endeavor. Again the reports that CrisisGo produce in the ones that we can mind give us the ability to really analyze our practices and measure what we're doing on our campus. It really does provide us with some really incredible decision making tools. The application allows us to put these out in Excel. It's very useful. We can sort it by really any area of focus. So maybe a student's name or a teacher. Maybe we want to look at a grade level. Maybe we want to identify some hot spots. We can sort by type of incident so we can compile this data and make the corrections that our students and our educators really deserve. It empowers our stakeholders to really make better decisions and improve conditions on our campus and safety for all of us.

I guess I really appreciate your time and attention today. I know we're all busy, but I wanted to make sure that I gave you time to ask questions that you may have about our procedures or even provide us feedback. We recognize that we're always a work in progress. And that's one of the ways that in using CrisisGo we can identify where we need to make that progress. So what questions can I answer to help you make your campus a safer place?

Hey Keven, if you don't mind for a second we're going to just give you a quick break catch your breath get a drink of water if you need. Thank you so much for sharing that was a really powerful message and very impressive with you guys have done there and just wanted to quickly touch on some of the things that CrisisGo’s platform can do to cover your school safety needs especially in regards to safety reporting and some of our key features include detailed safety reports that can be easily sent to your safety team from a smartphone or computer, a centralized console to investigate and track safety issues, as well as a specialized student safety app that allows them to anonymously report bullying and other safety issues as well. And while safety is an important part of what CrisisGo does our platform covers the entire cycle of school safety from emergency prevention to crisis response. And now that Keven ‘s had a couple of minutes to catch his breath, I think we actually do have some questions here if you're ready to answer them.

Let's see here. First question is how do you define hotspot based on frequency of location or level of risk of location etc?

Yeah, I think both of those are important. So a hot spot, one of the we talked about it a little bit in the presentation, but we really analyze the surface underneath our monkey bars. We had we had a couple broken arms that were occurring really in the same place. So that was a hot spot for safety purposes. Another hot spot that we identified was our middle school hallway. We were having a lot of issues especially during transition and even with educators present, so we were making changes to practice but we were still seeing reported incidents both from students and from educators that were happening during that time. And so we made some changes to our transition procedures. But yeah, certainly we look at where incidents happening what types of incidents are happening and by sorting by location it does really help us drill down to the cafeteria during our middle school lunch is not really a safe environment. So we need to take some active steps there. So yeah a hot spot both types of incidents and also frequency of incidents.

Wonderful. The next question is what led you to build these reports in a tool like CrisisGo?

We really just I would say the biggest things were the feelings of staff members around safety and surrounding safety. We did have a really good emergency management plan. But the emergency management plan comes into play too late, you know that we're dealing with an incident that's already happening. And so we really wanted to find a tool that could help manage that which CrisisGo does really effectively but also would allow us with information to make sure that those incidents never happened and that was something that we found in CrisisGo as well. And then we work with our staff members really all of them all of our educators all of our educational family members. What is it that we need to measure what would help us make our campus a safer place and certainly things like facilities came up, you know. The kindergarten the lock on the kindergarten gate we put that in that's a real life example where a lot of people had walked through that gate. I had not so I didn't realize the lock was broken and so two or three weeks went by and now with the use of CrisisGo those things don't happen as often every educator has the ability and really that responsibility to report those types of facility issues to us quickly and they can take pictures video anything that they want and that those in so the reporting has been very powerful.

Wonderful. Next question is while speed is important in response to emergency. How is speed and mobility of use important in prevention tools and resources?

That's a great question. So I think that the quicker you can identify an issue or a hot spot the quicker you can address the necessary changes to actually drive that prevention. And so what we've done is we make sure that as we're receiving these reports that we're compiling them in a useful format and really reviewing them often as a safety team, a a campus safety team, just to see where we're struggling and so getting that information here in the administrative office is really important, but it's really important to give that information back to educators in a quick useful way so that they can also understand where a hot spot might be they noticed and by the monkey bars when students are using them they know to check the kindergarten gate and if we can make sure that our educators are as up to date and is knowledge as possible, you know knowledge is power, speed in that is extremely important.

Excellent. Next question is do you have any advice for how someone would achieve this type of reporting without a system like CrisisGo?

We tried. We really did try before CrisisGo clearly, you know, the referral was something that we sent over and we compiled it inside our student information system, our SIS. We spent a lot of time building ways to track and manage these types of reports and we were somewhat successful. I would say the nice part about CrisisGo is that it is so fast and we'll go back to the example of like an incident that happens on the playground the ability for a teacher to get that information to our business managers or the office manager the person that's probably going to be handing the student after the child is priceless. I mean, it's something that you just can't replace. Parents always have a question about what happened And if only the teacher knows the nurse got just a you know, a little snippet in a report. We can't really share that information as well as they want to know right then in that moment. And so being able to give that parent that peace of mind right in that moment is something that I can't explain how powerful it is. So, you know, we made the decision to get that report to our front office person. And so she knows when parents are picking up their kids. She knows exactly what happened where it happened how it happened and she can really put parents at ease or at least give them the information that they need right there.

Great. We have one other question submitted. And if anyone has any more questions, please just submit them via the questions tab, but the last question is you mentioned actionable data. How does CrisisGo help you obtain actual data versus you know, regular data?

So it's actionable data from the standpoint of we are able to compile data that we need for decision making and decision making just right there in that moment. So for example changing the surface underneath the monkey bars that was something that after just receiving several incident reports. We went we checked it out. We spent a lot of time there and then we took action on that. Same thing with the middle school hallway. Sure, we're collecting all this data but than what are we doing with it. And so being able to sit down with the safety team sit down with the educators who are right there on the front lines. We were able to make really good decisions about what would fix that data but more importantly we're able to track the results afterwards. So we make some shifts. We make some changes. We add in a course. We you know, there's lots of things that we're doing and we're just using CrisisGo to check what decisions we should be making on the front end and then evaluate those decisions on the back end.

Wonderful. I don't see any other questions. So there's nothing else you have to say Keven. I just want to thank everyone for attending and participating. If you'd like to learn more about CrisisGo, please visit our website or reach out to us. We’ll be sending out an email later this week with a link to this recording in case you'd like to share it with your colleagues and friends. Enjoy the rest of your day, and thanks again for attending.

Thank you so much.

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