Safety & Security in HEB ISD
Safety is of the utmost importance in HEB ISD.
All HEB ISD schools have customized safety plans and processes. These plans are developed in coordination with local law enforcement and national best practices.
The HEB ISD safety processes are comprehensive and address all aspects of school safety, including training, prevention & mitigation, and response.
Of special note are the school district’s collaborations with local police and fire departments. District staff and first responders work together through on-going training and through information sharing about potential concerns and developments in national best practices.
This page answers some of the most common questions about safety in HEB ISD. You can download the safety presentation below to learn more about the training and processes HEB ISD has in place:
HEB ISD's Safety & Crisis Management processes are organized by the district's Educational Support Services office. If you have questions about safety in HEB ISD, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
HEB ISD conducts frequent training for staff and coordinates with local first responders, so they may conduct coordinated training in actual school facilities. Students complete drills on each of the five actions of the Standard Response Protocol.
An August 2017 report by CBS DFW found that every HEB ISD school completed 100% of required fire drills. HEB ISD schools also practice response actions for other types of incidents, beyond what is required by law.
Safety training in HEB ISD goes beyond "normal school day" employees like teachers, principals, and school office staff. HEB ISD policy requires annual safety training for all job roles, including Extended Day Academy staff, workers at Pennington Field, substitute teachers, auxiliary services staff, district office staff, and more.
Prevention & Mitigation
HEB ISD's work toward prevention and mitigation of safety incidents is multi-faceted, wide-reaching, and grows as national best practices continue to develop.
Studies of safety incidents across the United States have consistently found that locked doors are a vital requirement that dramatically improves outcomes during a safety incident. All classroom doors in HEB ISD are equipped with a "Lock Blok" device. This device allows staff to keep doors locked but not latched; when safety response actions are needed, staff can immediately lock their door without opening the door or stepping into the hallway.
Throughout the district, more than 1,000 video cameras are installed, with views of building interiors and exteriors. These cameras can be monitored live by staff at both the school and district level. Footage is recorded to an archive system with features that allow quick access to past footage. Footage from these cameras has been successfully used in investigations by district staff and local police departments. In addition to normal monitoring throughout each day, all camera feeds are checked weekly for any potential problems.
Additional prevention and mitigation steps are too numerous to list completely, but include: annual safety audits, School Resource Officers at all secondary campuses, parking lot security at L.D. Bell and Trinity, locked exterior doors and background-check sign-in systems at elementary and junior high schools.
Note: At information sessions before the 2018 Bond election, we were asked why the Bond did not include specific preventative safety measures. Placing safety budget items in a bond election would make them contingent on passage of that bond. Whenever possible, HEB ISD includes safety needs as part of the Maintenance & Operations budget, reflecting safety as a top priority.
Standard Response Protocol
HEB ISD and the police and fire departments of the cities of Hurst, Euless, and Bedford use Standard Response Protocol. This ensures that our staff, students, community, and collaborating agencies have a shared vocabulary, so we can respond efficiently and effectively to an incident at or near a school.
The Standard Response Protocol outlines five immediate actions that can be used in response to an incident. Staff, students, and collaborating agencies train on these five actions:
- Secure - threat or hazard outside the building
- Lockdown - threat or hazard inside the building
- Evacuate - when students and staff need to move to a new location
- Shelter - severe weather or similar need for personal protection
- Hold - stay in classroom
Students, staff, and first responders complete drills and trainings every year for each of the five actions.
Note: Older materials may refer to "Lockout" instead of "Secure". "Secure" is now the preferred term, to avoid confusion between "Lockout" and "Lockdown".
Counseling & Mental Wellness
HEB ISD has at least one full-time counselor on staff at every elementary, junior high, and high school in the district. These counselors work with students on a wide variety of personal issues through appointments, walk-ins, and referrals from other students and staff. New professional and paraprofessional staff for schools complete multiple student wellness training sessions that include bullying prevention, suicide prevention, child abuse prevention, and more.
Students and adults at all campuses also have access to anonymous tip lines provided through Crime Stoppers of Tarrant County; tips can be submitted by phone, through an online form, and through anonymous online chat. Crime Stoppers also provides smartphone apps: go to 469tips.com, then click on "Get the Apps" for download instructions.
(photo) HEB ISD Safety Coordinator Robby Ball was recognized with the 2018 National School Safety Award, presented by the School Safety Advocacy Council.