School is back in session, and Washington Court House City Schools kicked off the year by participating in safety and security training.
“The safety and well-being of all of the students and staff in the Blue Lion family is a top priority in our district, so we were eager to be able to learn and implement these innovative practices in our buildings,” WCHCS Superintendent Tom Bailey said.
The entire staff participated in a variety of training exercises, including ALICE, emergency communication, active shooter, and overall security training.
“Each employee plays a vital role in our safety plan, so every teacher, custodian, food service worker, and bus driver must be well-versed in the process,” safety director Mike Skaggs said.
ALICE Training is the leading practice in school safety across the country, which teaches students and staff to alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate. Replacing the previously-common practice known as “shelter-in-place,” ALICE teaches a variety of tactics to give individuals the greatest chance at survivability in the event of an emergency.
WCHCS will also be utilizing new technology to bolster the Emergency Operating Procedures of the district. The Blue Lions will be using NaviGate Prepared, a K-12 school safety app designed to help staff respond safely and effectively during drills and emergencies. The various components of the app address different school safety needs, including step-by-step emergency response procedures and accounting for students, by name, during drills and emergencies.
The day’s various training sessions were led by Steve Powers, WCHCS technology director, as well as outside instructors Jack Anders, Miami Trace’s student safety coordinator, Chief Brian Hottinger, WCH Police Department, and Chief Deputy Andy Bivens, Fayette County Sheriff’s Office.
“We greatly appreciate Mr. Anders, Chief Hottinger, and Chief Deputy Bivens for coming in and sharing their expertise with the district. There is a wealth of knowledge in this community, and we were excited to bring it all together in a day focusing on the safety of our students,” Bailey said.
WCHCS is excited for these new implementations, but asks the community to be patient with the implementation.
“This school year, visitors will see some slight changes to our policies and procedures, but everything is done in the best interest of keeping our students safe. Please be patient with us as we implement these new-and-improved safety systems,” said Bailey.