Newport News Public Schools (NNPS) conducted a survey to gather faculty, staff and community perspectives on desired safety measures. The survey comes as a result of a nearby shooting at an elementary school.
Based on the input received from surveys or direct communications, the following changes have been made to address school safety related concerns:
- Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events (CRASE) training was scheduled at the beginning of the school year for all NNPS schools.
- Technology improvements such as Gaggle (text) messaging, which allows for increased monitoring of student Chromebooks by sending a message directly to building leaders was implemented.
- Raptor emergency management system, which enables direct messaging to staff and families in the event of an emergency, is being piloted and will begin being implemented in other NNPS schools throughout the second semester of this school year.
- School resource officer (SRO) coverage was increased to include a designated SRO in all middle and high schools. Coverage at the elementary level will remain by request for the current school year.
- The allocation for high school security officers was increased to six security officers. They also added seven security officers to expand coverage in elementary schools and 19 security officers are currently assigned to middle schools.
- Video training has been created to demonstrate the steps of classroom, bus and quick scan searches.
- Increased random searches (a minimum of 3 random buses and a minimum of 5 random classrooms per week) in middle and high schools. NNPS added additional walkthrough metal detectors and wands which are currently used throughout middle and high schools. Additional searches may be conducted based on threat assessment or other factors.
- All security officers received refresher training in Safe Schools on how to handle high-risk, high-stress and crisis situations.
- Campus safety teams were created at each secondary school.
In responding to safety suggestions to improve entry point accesses, all NNPS schools were assessed for the following:
- Line of sight front entrance capability to include office location.
- Double vestibule access.
- Access door technology for all exterior doors.