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Illinois Association of School Business Officials UPDATE Magazine / Winter 2019 / v.27 / i.02
RISK MANAGMENT ISSUE
How to Best Invest Your
Security Dollars Does your portfolio reflect the security mix that will keep the learning environment safe? Consider these guiding principles and warnings before discussing new security investments. Cover Story By Paul D. Timm, PSP
LEGISLATIVE ISSUE / SPRING 2020
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What's On The Horizon?
Legislative Issues Impacting Your District
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PREPARE, PRIORITIZE, PREVENT: CYBERSECURITY BEST PRACTICES
Take these proven steps to assess your districtâ€™s cybersecurity program and strengthen your defenses amidst the growing cyber threats. By Ben Bayle
FROM-THE-OFFICE What You Don’t Know Could Hurt You! 09
FROM-THE-FIELD Leading Through Our Shortcomings. 11
FROM-THE-PODIUM Planning for the Unknown: Your Risk Management Strategy. 07
Focus in on the leading risk exposure issues that drive up liability losses for school districts and gain tips for how to minimize your risk exposure. By Michael J. McHugh
SCHOOL BUSINESS 101 What four SBOs didn’t know when it comes to risk management. 19
IS SCH IS YOUR YOUR SCHO SCHO SCHO OOL OL
Develop the right plan to ensure the safety of your district by meeting with first responders, evaluating your current situation and involving your community. By Cindy J. Dykas and Edward L. Wright, AIA, LEED ®AP BD+C
ENVIRONMENT: One Districtâ€™s Journey
New Trier Township HSD 203 has embraced a three-tiered approach to school safety, with a focus on addressing the needs of individual students, improving emergency procedures and physical and technological security measures. By Christopher T. Johnson
ON THEIR LIST Tap into the power of collaborative leadership in this book review from Anthony Ruelli from Glen Ellyn SD 41.
The Final Word Julie-Ann C. Fuchs, Ed.D. Associate Superintendent Kaneland CUSD 302
Julie believes that district risk management requires a team of people, including the director of buildings and grounds, benefits coordinators, school resource officer and all administrators in order to help keep the students, staff and community safe.
THE MAGA ZINE Illinois Association of School Business Officials
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UPDATE Editorial Advisory Board
Check out www.iasbo.org or the latest Calendar of Events included in the UPDATE mailing for full seminar listings including location and PDC sponsorship and register for professional development today. December 2019
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12:00pm Lunch & Learn Webinar: E-rate - What's Next?
12/23/2019 - 1/1/2020
Illinois ASBO Office Closure
Online AAC #1566 - Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss Crucial Issues
Online AAC #1560 - Responding to Crisis: Attending to Mental Health & Wellness
Online AAC #1390 - Leading Professional Learning Communities
Facilities Operations Program: Essentials of Grounds Operations
Arlington Heights O'Fallon Peoria Naperville
Time for a Technology Refresh?
1/15/2020 1/16/2020 1/21/2020
ISDLAF+ School Finance Seminar
Online AAC #1806 - Book Study: Building a Culture of Trust
Delegate Advisory Assembly
10:00am PDC Networking Meeting
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Online AAC #1807 - Discipline at Work: Strategies for Behavioral Challenges
Online AAC #1681 - The School Leader as Coach and Evaluator
Online AAC #1566 - Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss Crucial Issues
Online AAC #1886 - What Went Wrong: How to Avoid Special Ed Litigation
Online AAC #1444 - Manage Your Time or Time Will Manage You
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Online AAC #932 - Culture Counts: What Effective Leaders Do to Build Leadership
PDC MEMBERS Ryan Berry Legal Issues Yasmine Dada Principles of School Finance Todd Dugan Technology James T. Fitton Budgeting & Financial Planning Raoul J. Gravel III, Ed.D. Communications Stephen R. Johns Ed.D. Planning & Construction Stacey L. Mallek Accounting, Auditing & Financial Reporting Patrick McDermott Ed.D., SFO, RSBA Public Policy, Advocacy & Intergovernmental Relations Thomas M. Parrillo Purchasing Sherry L. Reynolds-Whitaker Ed.D. Human Resource Management Brian Rominski CPMM, CPS Maintenance & Operations Anthony Ruelli Leadership Development Michael J. Schroeder Transportation Lyndl A. Schuster Ed.D. Sustainability Steven J. Smidl Special Education: Administration & Finance Mark E. Staehlin Cash Management, Investments & Debt Management Justin D. Veihman Risk Management Laura L. Vince Food Service BOARD & EXTERNAL RELATIONS MEMBERS Dean T. Romano, Ed.D. President Terence M. Fielden SAAC Chair STAFF MEMBERS Michael Jacoby Executive Director / CEO (815) 753-9366, firstname.lastname@example.org Susan P. Bertrand Deputy Executive Director / COO (815) 753-9368, email@example.com Craig Collins Statewide Professional Development Coordinator, (630) 442-9203, firstname.lastname@example.org Rebekah L. Weidner Senior Copywriter / Content Strategist, (815) 753-9270, email@example.com Tammy Curry Senior Graphic Designer (815) 753-9393, firstname.lastname@example.org John Curry Senior Graphic Designer / Videographer (815) 753-7654, email@example.com Laura M. Turnroth Communications Coordinator (815) 753-4313, firstname.lastname@example.org
Illinois ASBO Board of Directors Dean T. Romano, Ed.D. President Mark W. Altmayer President-Elect Jan J. Bush Treasurer Cathy L. Johnson Immediate Past President 2017–20 Board of Directors Mark R. Bertolozzi, Kevin L. Dale, Eric DePorter 2018–21 Board of Directors Seth Chapman, Ed.D., Angela M. Crotty, Ed.D., Adam P. Parisi 2019–22 Board of Directors Maureen A. Jones, Tamara L. Mitchell, Nicole Stuckert
Illinois ASBO Board Liaisons
Terence M. Fielden, Service Associate Advisory Committee Chair Lisa Yefsky, Service Associate Advisory Committee Vice Chair Deborah I. Vespa ISBE Board Liaison Perry Hill IASB Board Liaison David Wood Governmental Relations Specialist Calvin C. Jackson Legislative Liaison
All materials contained within this publication are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, displayed or published without the prior written permission of the Illinois Association of School Business Officials. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. References, authorship or information provided by parties other than that which is owned by the Illinois Association of School Business Officials are offered as a service to readers. The editorial staff of the Illinois Association of School Business Officials was not involved in their production and is not responsible for their content.
For a Complete Listing of Winter Events Visit: www.iasbo.org/events/calendar
PERSPECTIVE / Board President
FROM–THE–PODIUM Planning for the Unknown: Your Risk Management Strategy Welcome to the Winter 2019 UPDATE! To begin, thank you to all the authors who have shared their time, energy and expertise to make these articles available to us as resources to improve our risk management strategies and better protect our districts and the kids we serve. It is this level of commitment and sharing with our colleagues that truly sets Illinois ASBO apart as a leader in professional development. “Is it safe?” This memorable quote from the 1976 film Marathon Man was one of the first things that came to mind as I began thinking about this edition of the UPDATE Magazine. “Is it safe?” How do we best invest in the security of our buildings? How do we safeguard our district from hidden risk? How do we protect against the ever-growing number of cyber-attacks? “Is it SAFE?” Answers and best practice solutions to these questions are addressed within the pages of this magazine.
Dean T. Romano, Ed.D.
ASST. SUPT./BUSINESS SERVICES GENEVA CUSD 304
We have nearly reached the midpoint of the year. In my last “From the Podium” I posed the question: “Who do you want to be one year from now?” A moment for CLARITY… We have nearly reached the midpoint of the year. In my last “From the Podium” I posed the question: “Who do you want to be one year from now?” I encouraged you to think BIG, because you’re worth it. I also encouraged you to purposefully set aside time to find your personal and professional clarity. If you have already been able to set aside that time, CONGRATULATIONS! I hope you are already experiencing the rewards of that exercise. If you have not already been able to find that time, you can still put yourself first and set aside a time on your calendar. You will be amazed at what you will accomplish as a result of investing in YOU.
I hope you find value in the CLARITY conversation throughout the year. I am so excited to begin hearing about the amazing stories that are happening within our membership for those engaging in this experience. From weight loss, to project achievements, to vacations, to professional growth, to relationships and even new family additions, finding your own CLARITY can make things happen!
ILLINOIS ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOL BUSINESS OFFICIALS
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PERSPECTIVE / Executive Director
FROM–THE–OFFICE What You Don’t Know Could Hurt You! Is there ever a day in the life of a school business official, facility professional, transportation director or any other business office employee that is free from unexpected issues or events taking place? Not in my experience. With that in mind, what do we do to protect against the unknown? Who do we partner with to secure that unknown future and keep our organizations operating at peak performance every day? That is what this issue of the UPDATE Magazine should help you explore. Whether securing your facilities, protecting against cyber-attacks or understanding the implications of putting busses and kids on the road for hundreds of miles every day – you need to know what protects you and where you are open to risk.
Michael A. Jacoby, Ed.D., CAE, SFO
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR/CEO ILLINOIS ASBO
Risk management is not about knowing; it is about softening the impact of the unknown. You see, risk management is not about knowing; it is about softening the impact of the unknown. In other words, absolute security and protection is never possible, so you do things to make the disaster manageable. Believe me, if you ask school leaders what keeps them up at night, it is not how so and so teacher is going to impact their students tomorrow. It is about the security and welfare of the whole school population.
For the sake of the students, faculty, parents and administrators in your district – read this issue of UPDATE and then be sure you have a solid risk management plan that lets you sleep at night!
Given the magnitude of school district operations, the other angle on this issue is the physical, mental and emotional health of school leaders. If you are up at night filled with anxiety about tomorrow or just coming to work every day fearful of what may befall you – how can you be healthy? That kind of stress is a killer!
GIVE ONE DAY TO IMPACT EVERY DAY One Day of Service. Lasting Community Impact. Network with a purpose and kick off the Conference at the 2020 Legacy Project! Join your colleagues for a day of volunteering in Peoria for a great cause. Build relationships with other Illinois ASBO members while improving the community!
SAVE THE DATE Tuesday, April 28, 2020
PERSPECTIVE / SAAC Chair
FROM–THE–FIELD Leading Through Our Shortcomings Risk management is to decision making as hot fudge is to ice cream. Sound application of “learned” risk management skills always compliments decision making. Risk management is best defined as a decision maker’s ability to apply past shortcomings or regrets to future endeavors while calmly steering the whole towards success. Decision makers will apply varied levels of responses to managing risk that will range from “risk aversion” to “unguarded risk.” The level of each response will depend on the individual decision makers underlying confidence in safeguarding a risk. Experience teaches decision makers that many risks are hidden, unknown or often underestimated.
Terence M. Fielden
DIR./K-12 EDUCATION INTERNATIONAL CONTRACTORS, INC.
One basic problem with decision-making responsibilities is that we tend to downplay our shortcomings in risk management or ignore shortcomings all together. The hardest thing that we all must confront as a decision maker is that we are not perfect. Those who serve under our supervision count on us to make sound decisions and prevent trouble. SIMPLY SAYING
The hardest thing that we all must confront as a decision maker is that we are not perfect. We take that responsibility to heart. Achieving perfect metrics is not always possible and we need to prepare to implement adjustments to stay the course in a steady fashion. How we react to risk management shortcomings will ultimately impact the future careers of those we teach as well as have implications for the individuals who will serve under those we train. The real challenge for decision makers is not to over-correct when there is a miscalculation. Errors and mistakes are going to happen. I have even made one or two myself in my chosen profession.
I think that the real challenge with managing risk is being able to step back, admit that a correction is necessary and then explain the entire picture to those we supervise. Take a real risk and teach through the shortcomings you encounter. Read the articles contained in this issue with an eye toward where you can improve and better teach those counting on you.
AND SHARE INNOVATION Take your facilities to the next level with new, innovative solutions and best practices. Experience a wide variety of breakout sessions, networking time with facilities professionals from across the state and a packed marketplace of service providers ready to provide solutions for your district.
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Thursday, March 5, 2020 | The Westin Chicago Lombard
Cindy J. Dykas
Christopher T. Johnson
Chief Technology Officer DeKalb CUSD 428
Business Manager, CSBO Worth SD 127
Asst. Supt./Finance & Operations New Trier Twp. HSD 203
Has been involved in educational technology for almost 20 years including large fiber rollouts, construction, design and implementation of the IlliniCloud and multiple data centers. In Ben's time as CTO, DeKalb CUSD 428 has been recognized as a Google Reference District for their 1:1 implementation. email@example.com
Is a member of Illinois ASBO, SSSBO and ASBO International. She is starting her seventh year at Worth SD 127 and prior to that worked at Orland School District 135 for over ten years.
Oversees business, collective bargaining, facilities, technology and other district operations. He has worked in public education for 20 years in various capacities and is an active member of Illinois ASBO and other professional organizations.
Michael J. McHugh
Paul D. Timm, PSP Vice President Facility Engineering Associates
Principal DLA Architects, Ltd.
Area Senior Executive Vice President Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
A past Chair of the Illinois ASBO Risk Management PDC and recipient of the Calvin Jackson Career Impact Award, Michael has spent the last 38 years working closely with districts on insurance and risk management. He is a K-12 Niche Leader and four-time Risk & Insurance Power Broker. Michael_Mchugh@ajg.com
Is a board-certified Physical Security Professional (PSP), author of School Security: How to Build and Strengthen a School Safety Program and a nationally acclaimed expert in physical security. Paul is an experienced Crisis Assistance Team volunteer through the National Organization for Victims Assistance. firstname.lastname@example.org
Edward L. Wright, AIA, LEED ÂŽAP BD+C
Has been working in the construction industry for over 20 years. His expertise has been educational architecture for over a decade and he has assessed millions of square feet of schools. Ed knows the nuances of building codes and building systems, thanks to his early experience in construction. email@example.com
PREVENT: CYBERSECURITY BEST PRACTICES
UPDATE Magazine / Winter 2019
By Ben Michael Bayle J. McHugh
CHIEF SENIOR AREA TECHNOLOGY EXECUTIVE OFFICER VICE PRESIDENT ARTHUR CUSD DEKALB J. GALLAGHER 428 & CO.
At this point, almost all of us have been impacted by a cybersecurity breach... If it wasn’t Equifax, Capital One or Pearson, then it was Target. With FERPA (Family Education Rights and Privacy Act) guidelines and the signing of Illinois HB3606 (Student Online Personal Protection Act of 2019), we need to ensure the protection and access to our district data. The K-12 Cybersecurity Resource Center, which tracks national incidents that impacted school districts, posted on their website on August 2, 2019 that the “…total number of incidents experienced in 2019 exceeded the total for all of 2018.” That was with one quarter of the year still remaining. These are staggering numbers, but not surprising. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center (MS-ISAC/CIS) have been warning, informing and working with state and local governments for years. What the data is showing is that there is an increase in threats against local agencies including school districts. In a July 30 press release on ransomware, DHS stated “The growing number of such attacks highlights the critical importance of making cyber preparedness a priority and taking the necessary steps to secure our networks against adversaries. Prevention is the most effective defense.”
WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? There are several reasons that make districts targets for cyber threats. It could be that the district becomes a target of internet activism due to a publicly trending negative report. Internal users may both intentionally and unintentionally misuse their credentials or access to core services. Students could even play a part by triggering an attack to get out of testing, changing grades or to get even. Most districts are ill-equipped to prevent attacks. This can happen for many reasons but the most common are:
Not enough dedicated IT staff.
Misconfigurations due to lack of PD and time.
Not enough PD for all district staff.
Lack of policy and procedure, enforcement and substandard funding.
Identifying Your Network Security Team
Without appropriate staffing, it is nearly impossible to be proactive against cyber threats. Most staff members do not have time to look at the logging, build policy, test and implement solutions while maintaining other critical day to day operations. How can this be solved? 1. Help staff the department. This might be a slow process but building a network security team is vital to this process. The solution should not be added duties to an overutilized FTE. Depending on the size of the district, part of the solution should be hiring new FTEs. A short-term solution would be choosing one or two current FTE’s who show an active interest or skill set. You have to free them up from daily operations to concentrate on building a solid security foundation. They will also need backing from you when a policy needs to be created or changed. 2. Get help from outside organizations. If you do not have staff that fit the need or FTE costs are prohibitive, looking at organizations outside of the district to assist is the next step. Work with your IT staff to coordinate finding a Security Operation Center (SOC) and an information security analysis team that can provide assistance in these situations.
Building Professional Capacity in All Staff
The lack of professional development for all staff, not just IT, can also hamper a district’s operations and will cause lapses in security measures. All Staff Onboarding There should be active PD embedded in the onboarding process of new employees in relation to district IT policies and procedures, password protection such as two-factor authentication (2FA), identifying phishing and social engineering. These lessons should be embedded with other mandated annual compliance requirements. If your district is lacking any of these PD experiences, work with your IT staff in order to help facilitate or build policies.
UPDATE Magazine / Winter 2019
Professional Development for IT Staff There has been a steady rise in sophisticated phishing attempts leading to identity theft, privilege escalation, social engineering, financial losses and a loss of trust from the communities served. If your IT staff do not have enough PD, it can lead to poor implementation, misconfiguration and the lack of collaboration with peers tackling the same issues. Substandard funding can also impede the efforts to protect your district. If the IT staff does not have a strong external support group that they can bounce ideas and issues off of, they will need training. Some excellent organizations in Illinois they can join include the local Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) and the chapter group of the Illinois Educational Technology Leaders (IETL). They have a strong membership with experience that can help guide your technology leader in the right direction. Learning Technology Centers (LTCs) also offer PD opportunities throughout the state.
MS-ISAC, which is grant funded by DHS, has free
services that state and local governments can sign up for. Signing up with MS-ISAC will give you insight and guidance into the current and future threat landscape. A few of the services to take advantage of from MS-ISAC are: • Common Vulnerabilities and Exposure (CVE) releases • Vulnerability Management Program — Scans outside facing IP ranges owned by the district and gives you feedback as to what is observed and possible issues • Malicious IP addresses and Domain Names Observed • Monthly Situational Awareness Report • Center for Information Security Configuration Assessment Tool • Anomali Threatstream • Nationwide Cyber Security Review (NCSR) — Annual Self-Assessment Framework
ARTICLE / Cybersecurity Practices School District Best Liabilities
Review Current Cybersecurity Frameworks
Having a framework to build a foundation of policy and procedure to protect your assets is a must. The following frameworks can help you guide your district’s next steps towards prevention:
do what it is intended to do. The same can be said for your Antivirus or endpoint protection. Checking current policies from your core infrastructure against best practices and making any necessary changes, helps in the mitigation process and does not carry any additional costs.
• The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework • CIS Nationwide Cybersecurity Review (NCSR) • CIS Top 20 Critical Security Controls (previously known as the SANS Top 20 Critical Security Controls)
Internal Managed Network — Segmenting the internal managed network to assure the correct devices are on the correct network and placing barriers or access control lists to prevent malicious internal devices from communicating does not have an added cost.
These frameworks, reviews and guidelines will highlight weaknesses in your cybersecurity posture. As a beginning step, concentrating on the first six of the 20 CIS Critical Security Controls will help prevent the majority of threats districts face. Only after these reviews are done and policies are enforced should you purchase a new security product.
Backup and Recovery — Having good backup and recovery policies and procedures in place is becoming increasingly important. Ransomware-related infections and threats are rapidly increasing because of poor backup and recovery practices.
Check Your Core Infrastructure
Firewall and Endpoint Protection — An appropriately sized, configured, maintained and managed firewall should
Centralized Logging — Along with event management, this is important to piece together a complete analysis. There are open source centralized loggers that can assist in this analysis. Know where your data is located and who you are sharing it with.
BUDGETING FOR CYBERSECURITY Let’s talk money. All budgets are tight, but a cyber-attack far exceeds the cost of prevention. Radware’s 2018/2019 Global Application & Network Security Report states that the cost of an attack has increased by 53 percent, or up to $1.1 million. An unrepresented cost is the loss of trust from the community a breach will cause. What should you buy right now? Nothing. Start with building a cybersecurity budget with past to present purchases, including annual renewals, as a baseline. Next, conduct a thorough review of your current implemented threat prevention products.
Core Examples of Centralized Logging
Data Analysis • The Trusted Learning Environment (TLE) from CoSN has framework on how to do this. Similarly, Access 4 Learning (A4L) offers the Student Data Privacy Consortium (SDPC) which is being offered by the LTC. • Inventory of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) ○ Typically, this is your student, HR and finance systems. ○ Who has access and when? § Is the access the users have too broad? Reduce human error and customize security access. § Do you have substitutes and teacher candidates with internal and external access to these systems? ○ Are you exporting any of this data? § Map out who you are exporting to and what those data sets entail. Ensure that the transferring of the data is done securely. ○ This is not just an IT issue. Stakeholders from all departments need to be a part of this process. § The curriculum team needs to assist in assuring that teaching staff are not entering PII of students and families into systems that have not been vetted through the TLE or SDPC. § The digital curriculum contracts/End User Licensing Agreements (EULA) that are signed need to be managed and checked to assure student data privacy.
Asset Management • Inventory of the devices the district owns. • Inventory of the devices that are guests on your network. • Mobile device management for BYOD. Core Services Uptime and Change Management • Network • Server • Storage Indicators of Compromise or Threat • Incorrect Password Attempts on Core Services • Endpoint Protection • Firewall • SIEM • Email Anomalies • Network § Do you have increases in inbound or outbound bandwidth after hours? § Do you have a device that is suddenly more active on the network? • Security Camera System § Are cameras recording motion outside of normal operating hours? • Door Entry System § Is anyone accessing your buildings after hours that should not be there? • Voice Over IP (VoIP) § Logging of calls sent and received that can be exported if needed.
PREPARE, PRIORITIZE, THEN PURCHASE The time is now to enhance your district’s cybersecurity. After identifying your network security team, building capacity with the team, providing all district staff with professional development and reviewing current frameworks, you are ready to implement or purchase security tools to get you to your prevention state.
UPDATE Magazine / Winter 2019
PERSPECTIVE / On the Profession
SCHOOL BUSINESS 101 What risk management issue caught you off guard when you were first starting out in the profession? risk management plan addresses items which are liability or safety (and by “ Our extension liability) related. Several items I have added over the last two or three
years include short band radios for buses and offices, work cell phones for admin and director staff, annual trainings and inspections for safety purposes for fire alarm system, asbestos, elevators, boilers, bleachers, etc., work stemming from the Water Quality Management Plan and other safety/liability plans and work related to student or staff safety, such as fire alarm system repairs/replacement, intercom systems, fire extinguishers, etc. We are also getting ready to add SRO funding to our plan.” DR. DANIEL L. OAKLEY Superintendent, Fieldcrest CUSD 6
I knew risk management because that was also part of my responsibilities at “ Generally, the university level. At the school level, what was new was the whole issue of risk management and the TORT fund. One of the things I inherited when I got the job 15 years ago was the TORT fund lawsuit. We got sued because we were using it for what we called our risk management plan and some of the things were kind of questionable, such as paying salaries specific to loss prevention. I wish I would have known how to use the TORT fund to properly fund risk management.”
PATRICK MCDERMOTT, ED.D., SFO, RSBA Asst. Supt./Business & Finance, CSBO, Freeport SD 145 storage tank removal and remediation costs was the first thing I dealt with “ Underground when I started 22 years ago. I had no idea what a “super fund site” was, how we could possibly be eligible for some funding to help with remediation costs and how long the potential liability lingered on even after you had cleaned up the site. Another big risk management expense/remediation cost (especially for older buildings construction before the early to mid 1970’s) is asbestos abatement, including removal/remediation and the tracking and filing of your asbestos management plan.” CURTIS J. SAINDON Asst. Supt./Business, CSBO, Woodridge Elem. SD 68 think worker’s compensation is something that is a much larger issue than many districts “ Imay pay attention to. We’ve had a few claims and following up on how you calculate their
short-term benefit is difficult. Our vendors are often doing it how they view as correct, but I don’t always agree with their methodology. When you get into any worker’s compensation or employer issue, you realize it is complicated and fraught with legal pitfalls: what you can and cannot say, how you support your employees but also encourage them to come back to work, do you continue benefits during unpaid leave, etc.” JUSTIN D. VEIHMAN Chief School Business Official, Palos CCSD 118 www.iasbo.org
By Paul D. Timm, PSP
VICE PRESIDENT FACILITY ENGINEERING ASSOCIATES
HOW TO Best Invest Your Security Dollars Letâ€™s begin by talking about investment strategies. Penny stocks? Usually a bad investment. Financing a brand-new car? In most cases, a bad investment. Buying a rental property? Usually a good investment. Quality family time? Almost always a good investment. What are the best ways to invest in a safe learning environment? Ask teachers, vendors or board members and, in all likelihood, there will be no shortage of opinions. Answers will range from purchasing state of the art video surveillance cameras or contraband detection systems to hiring additional security personnel or mental health professionals. Before discussing specific investment strategies, consider the provided guiding principles and warnings.
GUIDING PRINCIPLES & WARNINGS • DO choose measures that protect people first. Invest in effective security education, systems that improve access control and communications and emergency preparedness initiatives. • DO undertake a collaborative effort and make decisions with accountability. Organize a safety planning team comprised of key stakeholder groups — especially students. Give every reason for students, teachers and parents to make personal investments in your security initiatives. • DO NOT invest reactively. Emotional responses to situations or events often produce regrets. Instead, be thoughtful and measured in your safety considerations. • DO NOT invest in trendy items. For example, stay away from products such as classroom barricade devices, clear backpacks and bullet-resistant desk calendars. With good intentions, school administrators have asked students to bring cans of soup to throw at an intruder. Others have equipped every teacher with a baseball bat to swing at the bad guy. Stop the madness! These items tend to introduce more risks than they address.
DO NOT PERMIT EMOTIONS TO INFLUENCE DECISIONS. ALL SCHOOLS FACE AGENDAS, PARENTAL PRESSURES AND VOLATILE PUBLIC RELATIONS INCIDENTS.
UPDATE Magazine / Winter 2019
START WITH GOOD TRAINING
The value of security products and systems is determined by the people who use those measures. An electronic access control system, for example, is rendered valueless if a credentialed employee permits a non-credentialed individual to “tailgate” into the building. Michele Gay, who lost her daughter Josephine in the Sandy Hook tragedy, is the co-founder of Safe and Sound Schools. Her advice is clear: “The greatest investment I see our schools making in security, is investing time to train staff — and in some cases, students and parents — to properly use what they already have... Schools that spend dollars on equipment (updated doors, locks, cameras, buzz-in systems, visitor management, etc.) and then invest the time to train and familiarize staff and community stakeholders to use it, maximize their financial investment and increase the value of these tools by building buy-in and positive participation of parents, students and community members.” School Safety Advocate at A3 Communications and former Campus Safety Director of the Year, Kevin Wren, echoes Gay’s advice: “The number one security measure that schools need to invest in is their people. There must be consistent policies and procedures based on best practices for all-hazards. Time must be invested in making sure that all stakeholders are trained on a regular basis to recognize and respond to a multitude of situations that may arise. Any investment in physical security must be used as a supplement for existing faculty and staff, not as a replacement of the need to conduct all-hazards training for employees.”
ARTICLE / Investing Security Dollars
PRIORITIZE ACCESS CONTROL & COMMUNICATIONS
Invest in physical security practices and systems that best protect your most important asset – people. Your first budget dollars and planning hours should be focused on improving access control and communications. ACCESS CONTROL BEST PRACTICES • Commit to operating as a closed campus. Secure all exterior doors and require all visitors to enter the facility through a secured vestibule. • Implement sound visitor management practices and test them periodically to ensure effectiveness. • Utilize classroom locking mechanisms that secure from the inside. If you currently have locking mechanisms that only secure from the outside, consider retrofitting/ replacing them. • Secure all vacant rooms. • Do not trade security for convenience. • Routinely survey students and staff to find problem areas.
COMMUNICATIONS BEST PRACTICES • Optimize public address (PA) systems to achieve comprehensive interior and exterior coverage. Pursue options to enable all staff to make PA announcements via telephone. • Label and/or program all telephones with emergency dialing instructions. • Require all administrators and key personnel to carry twoway radios. • Place panic buttons in strategic areas. • Routinely test all communication systems. • Add high school students to your notification system. • Routinely survey students and staff to find problem areas.
TAKE A COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH
The active shooter threat understandably occupies the primary place in school emergency preparedness initiatives. Be certain, however, to undertake an allhazards approach. From severe weather threats to human-made disasters, school preparedness efforts should be comprehensive. Solicit assistance from
emergency responders and preparedness experts and involve your staff by disseminating a “Staff Skills Survey & Inventory.” Schools are required to store first aid kits and automatic external defibrillators (AEDs). Be proactive by acquiring additional supplies, such as trauma kits, flashlights and bullhorns.
PURSUE MISSION-MINDED GRANTS
Pursuing grants can be challenging, if not daunting. Many schools never apply for grants and those that do apply are often unsuccessful. Bruce Canal, the Business Development Manager for Axis Communications, researched existing grant program opportunities and issued the following summary findings: “Many school districts with lower Average Daily Memberships (ADMs) typically do not receive government or private organization grants. Why? Government or private grants have been disproportionately distributed to the large or extra-large public K-12 school systems.”
Small school districts encounter several impediments that keep them from applying for grants: • They lack staff with the experience or time to complete the application process. • Fees to enlist the help of professional grant writers put the project over budget. • Matching grant programs can require money up front that the school district does not have. As a result, larger school districts with full-time staff or contract grant writers seem to be the grant recipients more often than smaller districts. www.iasbo.org
MOST COMMON REASONS SCHOOLS DO NOT RECEIVE GRANTS & HOW TO RESOLVE THEM Problem
The application is completed incorrectly.
Complete the application by the numbers. Do not deviate from the form and complete it point-by-point in order. Applications are scored based on responses to the questions.
Submitting the application after the strict deadline.
Start early and submit early. Application deadlines are unforgiving. All applications must be postmarked (digital or in an envelope) by midnight the day of expiration. Start early and submit early. Remember that once submitted, the application cannot be edited.
The application does not answer the imperative questions requested by COPS.
Answer the questions in clear and concise terms utilizing a timeline for the evaluator to understand. Do not put the effect before the cause.
Plagiarizing from another application with no distinction between the two applications.
Reviewing a former winner of a grant is an excellent idea. However, make sure you do not merely copy and paste the answers. Many times, evaluators see the name of a school in the application that does not match the name of the submitting school district. The result is an automatic denial.
Applications that are poorly written and not understandable.
Use proper grammar and give detailed explanations without being overly verbose.
UPDATE Magazine / Winter 2019
Even with larger ADM schools applying and receiving the lion’s share of the grants, many applications are denied by the issuing agencies. According to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and, specifically, the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), which has become the best known if not longest running grant program, many school districts and/or public safety agencies that have applied fail to receive the grant. In fact, according to the DOJ, a large percentage of school districts and partnering public safety agencies are denied grants. This means millions of dollars are left on the table and not distributed.
WHAT IS ON THE HORIZON?
In the first week of July, U.S. Representatives Ted Deutch (FL) and Roger Williams (TX) introduced a bill entitled, “School Violence Prevention and Mitigation Act of 2019.” The bill establishes federal grant programs for public schools to identify and address vulnerabilities in the security-related infrastructure. Practically speaking, monies would be allocated to assist schools in paying for security assessments. In fact, the bill authorizes $2 billion over a ten-year period. Schools would first identify vulnerabilities and then address existing gaps. The program would pay for 100 percent of the independent security assessments and 50 percent of the costs for physical security improvements recommended by those assessments. Schools would be required to install, at minimum, one panic button that could be utilized to alert local law enforcement agencies in the event of an emergency.
ARTICLE ARTICLE / Investing Security Dollars
AVOID REACTIVE DECISIONS & TRENDY GADGETS
Let’s revisit the principles governing risky investments. Do not permit emotions to influence decisions. All schools face agendas, parental pressures and volatile public relations incidents. The temptation to placate certain stakeholders or acquiesce to big personalities can be strong. Stand firm. Careful and collaborative decisions do not have to be laborious and time consuming. Gather relevant information, empower trustworthy individuals and make wise decisions. Fear is perhaps the most dangerous emotion. Wellintentioned entrepreneurs have introduced a host of products designed to improve classroom security. Classroom barricade devices have now even made a legislative impact in the state of Illinois. Buyer beware.
Lori Greene is the Manager of Codes & Resources for Allegion. She is a member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the International Code Council. Greene asserts: “Many classroom doors have existing locksets that provide the needed level of protection but may not have the optimal lock function to address today’s security concerns. For example, the traditional classroom function is very common in existing schools but requires the teacher to open the door and insert a key in the outside lever to lock the door. To reduce the teacher’s exposure to danger, the door should be lockable from the inside. While it might be tempting to invest in retrofit classroom barricade devices to facilitate this, most of these devices do not comply with the model building codes, fire codes and accessibility standards.”
Many existing locks can be updated using code-compliant conversion kits that change the locking method and add a locked/unlocked indicator. These kits can often be more affordable than purchasing barricade devices. Building codes have been successfully protecting students, staff and visitors for more than 60 years. Codes ensure that room egress will never require special knowledge (removal of a barricade device) so that people cannot get trapped and will always have a means to get out. Similarly, codes ensure that teachers and first responders will always have quick access to a classroom.
“A grant submission is an investment in your school. It will almost never be free and it is an investment of funds, talent and time... You must have a clear mission in mind before you start the process.”
— Bruce Canal, Business Development Manager, Axis Communications
ASSESS YOUR SECURITY PORTFOLIO
Let’s evaluate your investment strategy. Does your portfolio reflect the security mix that will keep the learning environment safe? Remember the guiding principles and warnings issued above. Your safety and security program depends on good training. Prioritize security measures that protect people the most – access control and communications. Be comprehensive in your emergency preparedness efforts. Commit to undertaking a collaborative approach. Pursue grants with a mission-minded strategy. Avoid reactive decisions and trendy gadgets. Get bullish. The time for wise investing in a safe learning environment is now.
Top Liabilities for School Districts and Tips for Mitigating Your Risk
As a school district administrator, you wear many hats. Depending on your districtâ€™s size you could be in charge of transportation and/or food service, the human resource specialist and the head of buildings and grounds. All of those responsibilities bring to light various insurance exposures that your district has. What weâ€™ll focus on here is the leading risk exposure issues that drive up liability losses for school districts. The data in this article comes from a nationally known third-party claims administrator that handles general liability and automobile liability claims for public school districts. The data focuses on the top five sources of claims based on frequency and severity in 575 school districts across the Midwest, ranging in size from small to large.
UPDATE Magazine / Winter 2019
By Michael J. McHugh
AREA SENIOR EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT ARTHUR J. GALLAGHER & CO.
AUTOMOBILE LIABILITY The number one source of claim frequency and severity involves intersection accidents with district vehicles. It should come as no surprise that bus accidents at intersections are the leading trend for auto claims. This can be attributed to distracted driving. There are three types of distracted driving: 1. Visual Distraction – This is the result of a driver looking away from the road due to something like a traffic accident.
2. Manual Distraction – In this case the driver takes their hands off the steering wheel to do something like eating/drinking.
3. Mental Distraction – This is when the driver’s thoughts are engaged in something other than driving, such as personal issues.
It is very important to remember that texting on your phone, which is illegal, is an action that involves all three types of distracted driving. All of these actions distract us from driving safely and greatly increase the risk of an accident.
STRATEGIES TO HELP COMBAT DISTRACTED DRIVING FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES AND BUS DRIVERS:
R Train drivers to avoid reaching for a dropped object
R Drivers should be trained in student management and
R Avoid having drowsy drivers by making certain
R Have bus drivers learn their routes thoroughly to limit
without first pulling off the road to stop in a safe area. employees are awake for their shifts and physically capable of driving a vehicle.
R Student conduct on a bus poses a significant risk for driver distractions. Discipline policies need to be in place and followed on a consistent basis.
R Get parents involved. Set expectations for student
behavior on the bus before the school year begins.
R District must have steps and consequences for poor
student behavior. Fighting or bullying should have severe consequences such as removal from the bus for an amount of time or even permanently if needed.
R Using security cameras on a school bus can be a
deterrent against bullying or bad student behavior. Video footage can be evidence of student misbehavior.
GENERAL LIABILITY While transportation drives the automobile liability exposure school districts have, they also bear a significant exposure under the general liability. The four leading exposures that lead to losses for school districts under the general liability are as follows: 1. Athletic Events 2. Slips/Falls 3. Assaults/Fights Arising Out of Lack of Classroom Supervision 4. Sexual Misconduct Many instances of claims at athletic events involve spectators slipping on bleachers due to debris, water formed through melting ice, uneven ground by the steps leading up to the bleachers, jagged edges or endcaps missing from bleachers causing the railings to break. Another area of exposure that school districts face every day is sexual misconduct allegations made against students, teachers, administration and staff. This is a very serious problem and must be dealt with immediately no matter how “minor” the allegation may seem. In Illinois, failure to report any mental or physical abuse to the proper authorities can, and will, lead to loss of certification and probable criminal charges.
LOSS CONTROL RECOMMENDATIONS PRIOR TO ATHLETIC EVENTS TO REDUCE YOUR DISTRICT’S EXPOSURE TO POTENTIAL LOSSES AND RESULTING LITIGATION:
R Prior to the event inspect the bleachers for any defects or debris/water accumulation.
R Make certain that the maintenance staff are properly trained on hazard recognition.
R Make certain the district buildings and grounds
team have a program in place to deal with snow/ice management and resulting water on your floors. This is especially important on game days.
R Slips and falls on district premises can lead to
expensive lawsuits being filed and key personnel losing valuable time if they have to take part in depositions. A district should make certain their buildings and grounds staff are trained on hazard recognition. Make certain they walk the grounds on a regular basis. They should be looking at sidewalks, parking lots, playground surfaces and lighting fixtures. If they spot a hazard, they should immediately report it to the main office and take the proper steps to correct the hazard.
RECOMMENDATIONS TO HELP MITIGATE YOUR DISTRICT’S EXPOSURE TO SEXUAL MISCONDUCT:
R When districts administrators are visiting the schools, they should be asking questions. Odd behavior from a staff member could be a sign of something inappropriate going on.
R Make certain to implement common sense rules on interactions between students. Inform all district personnel if they see or hear a rumor that they should immediately report it to the district administrators. Conversations and meetings should be thoroughly documented.
R Get relevant personnel involved – maintenance staff are literally the “eyes and ears” of the district. They know everything that goes on daily.
R Implement a policy for students disallowing social media and texting during the school day. School email only. R Make certain it is stressed to staff that there is a no tolerance policy when it comes to a potential sexual misconduct issue.
UPDATE Magazine / Winter 2019
ARTICLE / School District Liabilities
SCHOOL BOARD LEGAL LIABILITY One of the emerging risk issues that continues to drive a school district’s insurance costs up is School Board Legal Liability claims.
insurable and uninsurable exposures present in a claim. The cost to educate is generally viewed as part of the cost of doing business for a school district. A district is responsible for meeting the educational needs of each and every The original purpose of a School Board Legal Liability policy student. We are seeing a proliferation of disputes between was to protect a school district and their board of education parents suing districts alleging that their child’s Individualized from any issues that would arise from their hiring/firing of Education Program, or IEP, does not meet their child’s needs. personnel or the promotion/demotion of personnel. This is The costs to educate a special needs child that needs to called Employment Practice Liability coverage. be privately placed can be cost prohibitive. These cases are also typically difficult to defend and win as the child and Typically the School Board Legal Liability policy is written on parent are considered sympathetic witnesses who are often a “claims-made” basis which means that a claim must be given the benefit of any doubt over a school district. Many filed during a current policy term, or a retroactive date must times if a district loses a case they could be directed to pay be maintained to file a claim for a matter that originated in one the parent’s legal fees in addition to any costs associated policy term, but did not come to light until a later policy term. with the settlement itself. This is often the driving force behind filing litigation in which damages may otherwise be nominal. Roughly 15 years ago the insurance industry, due to competition, elected to expand the School Board Legal Similar to IEP claims, Employment Practice Liability claims Liability policy to include coverage for special education are also very challenging. When an employee is terminated, issues (i.e. due process/IEP). When this occurred the claims their claims for damages will include their lost wages as well history for this line of coverage continued to escalate each as the economic impact on the benefits of the employee’s year. This resulted in deductibles increasing from an average pension. If the terminated employee can demonstrate that of $1,000 per claim to over $25,000 per claim for a district. their pension has been decreased because of termination they will seek damages up to perceived lost pension In a School Board Legal Liability claim, we are insuring for benefits. This can be cost prohibitive for a school district. wrongful acts. This sometimes leads to a fine line between
TIPS TO HELP REDUCE YOUR EXPOSURE TO SCHOOL BOARD LEGAL LIABILITY CLAIMS AND THE RESULTING COSTS:
R Make certain to promptly file a claim with your insurance carrier. Failure to do this in a timely manner can raise your costs and in some instances lead to the carrier denying coverage.
R When confronted with a claim, ask your legal counsel to develop a budget. What will be the costs to go to trial? This will help you make an informed decision on whether to go to trial or attempt to settle.
R Attempt to keep emotions in check. Many times a district does not want to settle a “nuisance” claim because they want to set an example for all to see. When this occurs, the only people who win are the legal firms. Eventually after thousands of dollars are spent in legal to defend, a settlement will eventually be made and surprisingly it will be close to what the plaintiff originally wanted.
R When dismissing an employee, follow your district’s written termination plan. Many claim settlements are made because a district did not follow their own written policies and procedures.
As you have seen the many hats you wear as an administrator can lead to numerous issues or problems for your district. By implementing, or reviewing, your current district policies and procedures against the recommendations discussed in this article you will cut down your exposure to potential litigation. www.iasbo.org
IS YOUR SCHO SCH OOL SCHOOL SAFE? Follow the Dots to Develop the Right Plan to Ensure the Safety of Your District
UPDATE Magazine / Winter 2019
By Cindy J. Dykas
BUSINESS MANAGER, CSBO WORTH SD 127
Ed Wright, AIA, LEED ®AP BD+C ARCHITECT DLA ARCHITECTS, LTD.
Safety and security are a major topic in today’s schools, but what is the right answer (or is there a right answer) to making our students and staff safe? Reacting to an event and rushing into measures that involve the safety and security of our students and staff, just to do something, is one of the worst mistakes a district can make. A large amount of money, resources and time can be thrown into a reactionary plan that ultimately may not work for your district. Every school district is different, so you first need to understand your facility(s), your finances and your community, before you know the right direction for your district.
MEET WITH FIRST RESPONDERS
One of the first things to do when evaluating your facilities is to meet with the first responders such as the fire department and police department. These are the men and women that will be on the front lines in the event of an emergency and should play a role in your district’s crisis plan. It is important to have these groups in a room together when these discussions are happening. Security measures can often be at odds with Life Safety Codes, which for example, help exit the facilities in emergencies such as fires. Your architect can often assist with identifying the building codes as you weigh the trade-offs of your plan.
EVALUATE YOUR CURRENT SITUATION & NEEDS
Next, consider the type of safety training solution your school organization has adopted. Many school districts are moving beyond simple “lockdown” procedures and incorporating more proactive strategies for dealing with an aggressive intruder or active shooter threat. Training options include ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate), “RUN-HIDE-FIGHT” and countless others. Whichever protocol your district follows may influence the type of space redesign you select. Your architect is the perfect resource to assist with marrying the spaces of new educational practices with security needs. Transparency and the use of common spaces for teaching are now very common in schools but they create security concerns if an intruder enters your facility. Design solutions that eliminate direct sightlines, adding a partition to separate sections of the building and high-security glazing are all things to consider in helping incorporate new educational spaces without making your building feel like a prison. Some other factors to consider for your facilities and building operations are: Are you an open campus? Where is dropoff and pick-up? How does your bussing work? Where are lunches and recess held? How do visitors and staff check in? Do you have secured entrances or do guests walk directly into the buildings? Are you implementing the use of key cards, badges and cameras? Are you able to make an announcement throughout your building(s) from any place in the building? Do you have security officers or partner with the local police department/village? You may also consider a “Security Vulnerability Assessment” from an outside safety and security consultant. Having a fresh set of eyes on your facilities may help narrow your focus on an immediate need.
ASSESS YOUR FINANCIAL SITUATION
After understanding the challenges of your facilities, you then need to evaluate your financial situation and ability to implement a plan. While many districts have funds set aside for capital and technological improvements, many more do not and implementing any change that is beyond procedural may seem impossible. Fortunately, there are various grants available such as COPS School Violence Prevention Program (SVPP). You can learn more about this program at https://cops.usdoj.gov/svpp. The COPS grant requires coordination with your local law enforcement agency, as many other grant options do. Working with them up front on a plan is one of the best ways to achieve a successful outcome. Additionally, you do not need to implement every improvement at one time. Any step taken is one in the right direction when it comes to safety and security. Many solutions can be phased in or scaled over time to offer a good, better and best solution. An example of this process could be security camera implementation. While evaluating your building(s) it might seem like a desirable solution to add cameras at every location in the building without blind spots. Generally, an installation of that scale will take a fair amount of time and money to achieve. One option might be to start with a system, such as IP cameras, that can be built on an expandable network. Begin with exterior cameras one year, then moving to assembly areas another year, the ends of corridors another year and so on until you have the coverage that you ultimately want. With a well thought out plan of this nature, you can set aside money within your budget to implement purposeful annual security improvements.
UPDATE Magazine / Winter 2019
A question that must be considered when looking at implementation over multiple years is how to prioritize improvements. You may have capital projects that naturally blend with security improvements. You may look at identifying the highest risk areas first, or you may be looking to make sure that all of your facilities have parity before moving on to the next items. This prioritization can be reviewed with your first responders, administration and potentially your architect to help with reasonableness, feasibility and cost. Lastly, you may consider a referendum with a security component to fund larger scale improvements. This is one of many reasons to engage with your community to discuss the efforts that your district is looking to make. The facilities are a community asset and the students and staff are a community responsibility, thus they should know that the district is looking out for their best interests.
ARTICLE / Facilities Safety Issues
CONSIDER YOUR COMMUNITY WHEN CRAFTING YOUR MESSAGE
There are many ways to engage with the community beyond standard board meetings, such as forums, mailers, questionnaires or even live video chats. Regardless of the efforts, hearing from the community is the first step. Once they have been heard, the administrative team can begin to assess their concerns and ideas and can then go back to share responses to these concerns with them. It is important to note that when dealing with security it may not be prudent to share every detail of plans publicly in case a measure taken by the district can be circumvented by knowledge of said plan.
Districts should also consider the internal community and how this message is conveyed to both staff and students. As a district, you want students and staff (the people that have to be in your buildings) to feel safe and secure; you do not want to create an environment of fear. Effective January 1, 2019, there were major amendments to the School Safety Drill Act. No later than 90 days after the first day of each school year, schools must conduct at least one law enforcement drill that addresses an active threat or an active shooter within a school building. The law now requires all law enforcement drills to be conducted on days and times when students are normally present in the school building (rather than allowing the drill to be conducted on days and times when students are not present in the school building). Unfortunately, the change in this law may cause undue fear in students and staff rather than preparing them for any potential emergency. It is important how you convey this information and using a communications director or community presenter in order to convey the importance of these mandated drills might be a useful step.
As your district is making considerations it is always a good idea to discuss what another district similar to yours is doing.... Use resources like the Illinois ASBO peer2peer network, your local first responder teams and potentially your architect to see different solutions for your plan.
DEVELOP THE RIGHT PLAN FOR YOUR DISTRICT
Once all of these aspects have been considered, you can then develop a plan that is right for your district. As your district is making considerations it is always a good idea to discuss what another district similar to yours is doing. Take tours of other facilities, reach out and ask about procedures, financial planning and community engagement. Use resources like the Illinois ASBO peer2peer network, your local first responder teams and potentially your architect to see different solutions for your plan. A measured, thoughtful approach will be your districtâ€™s best chance at finding what works for you. As we have learned to measure twice and cut once, we can understand that approach is even more important when talking about the safety and security of our students, staff and community. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but there are a lot of sizes that your district can try on.
ENVIRONMENT: One District’s Journey
One of the most important responsibilities of school district leadership is providing a safe learning environment for students. Our district has embraced a three-tiered approach to school safety, with a focus on addressing the needs of individual students, improving emergency procedures and physical and technological security measures. Our approach encourages a continuous review of school safety as the needs of our campuses and best practices evolve.
SUPPORTING INDIVIDUAL STUDENTS
Research has found that supports for students’ social and emotional needs and the creation of a positive school climate have the greatest impact on school safety. In a document titled “A Call for Action to Prevent Gun Violence in the United States of America,” 19 leading educational researchers detail a series of specific recommendations to improve safety in American schools. The proposals in the report are wide-ranging and the proposed solutions take a public health approach. For schools, the most important point is that “although security measures are important, a focus on simply preparing for shootings is insufficient. Prevention entails more than security measures and begins long before a gunman comes to school.” Our district also seeks to prevent school violence with a focus on supporting individual students in ways that include:
1. Promoting student connection and engagement. 2. Identifying and supporting the social-emotional needs of students. 3. Interventions for students where harm to self or others is of concern. This focus has allowed us to create a safe learning environment where students feel welcomed, supported, ready to learn and receive appropriate supports if the need arises. We ensure that each student receives individual attention through
By Christopher T. Johnson
ASST. SUPT./FINANCE & OPERATIONS NEW TRIER TWP. HSD 203
our unique adviser program, which serves as a connection between school and home for all four years of high school, as well as in the classroom and extracurricular programs. In an annual survey of New Trier Twp. HSD 203’s most recent graduates, 98 percent of students said they had one or more adults who cared about them at New Trier and nearly 90 percent felt they had a trusted adult they could go to with a problem. New Trier also provides a robust system of supports for students who may not feel connected or are struggling. We consider these supports as essential to providing the foundation for a safe environment.
CHANGES IN PROCEDURES Beyond this important work with our students, our district is committed to improving procedures, facilities and technology to make our environment both secure and welcoming. Over the past year, the district has engaged a security consultant to work with our administration and security staff members to identify how our security procedures, technology systems and facilities can effectively support this goal, as well as identify areas for improvement. Through that review, a thoughtful program of enhancements has been implemented on our campuses, some of which are visible to students and visitors, while others are not. Our review of our safety and security measures included our visitor, daily and emergency procedures. This review has affirmed some practices and led to modifications of others. Some examples include:
We are working with both internal constituents and external community organizations that host night and weekend events to enhance coordination and have committed to maintaining a security presence at each authorized building entry point during our hours of operation. Security Staffing – The district has carefully reviewed security staffing and hall duty posts, making sure that staff are present in areas with high concentrations of students or visitors. Faculty members on hall duty are encouraged to walk and interact with the space and students, rather than stay stationary in a single location.
In an annual survey of New Trier Twp. HSD 203’s most recent graduates,
98 percent of students
said they had one or more adults who cared about them at New Trier and nearly 90 percent felt they had a trusted adult they could go to with a problem.
Formalizing Hours of Operation – The district worked to clarify its hours of operation to all constituents. Through this exercise, the administration documented how the campuses were used outside school hours and clearly delineated the hours they were open, allowing us to staff our buildings appropriately. After Hours and Evening Campus Management Plans – After-school hours and evening campus management plans have also been formalized and we have increased our security presence before and after school.
Security Camera Live Monitoring – The district has long utilized a security camera system with dozens of cameras at both campuses. Historically, the primary use of the system was reactive, with videos being reviewed as individual concerns arose. Local police departments also have access in case of emergencies. The procedures for using the system have been updated to allow for live monitoring, giving administrators and the security team the tools they need to monitor and identify issues in real-time. Staff IDs – All staff members now wear identification cards, allowing students to quickly recognize trusted adults on campus.
Visitor Procedures – The district has formalized procedures for visitor check-in and reduced the number of visitor entry doors at its campuses. Faculty and staff must use an online form to pre-authorize their scheduled visitors and notify security in advance and after going through an ID check, guests must wear visible visitor lanyards.
TECHNOLOGY AND PHYSICAL SECURITY IMPROVEMENTS
The district has carefully analyzed technology and physical security with the assistance of consultants, architects and the administration. Care has been taken to align our physical security improvements with the changes in procedures, while implementing changes that are consistent with our school community culture. www.iasbo.org
Feedback from students, staff and community members has confirmed their sense of a safe and secure learning environment. Some of the most noticeable changes we made were the creation of secure vestibule entries at both campuses. Traditional vestibules, which include locked doors, video surveillance and a buzz-in system staffed by security personnel, were installed at the district’s sophomore through senior campus in the summer of 2018. The district’s freshman campus posed a unique challenge; the campus’ unique six-building design, which includes open courtyards and outdoor hallways, had meant that security screening needed to occur at each building, leaving the campus with a high number of authorized entrances. Even then, outdoor hallways and courtyards used by students were still accessible to the public during the school day. After a careful examination and study, the district installed two centralized vestibules near parking areas and added a fence around the campus to prevent outside access to courtyards and outdoor hallways. Another significant improvement to the district’s security system was the upgrade and expansion of an existing access control system. The system, which previously
covered major exterior doors, has been expanded to monitor the hundreds of external doors on each campus. When an exterior door is opened without authorization, security staff can be quickly dispatched or can review a video recording to determine the cause. Previously, staff had to make rounds to make sure exterior doors and the perimeter of the building were secure. Now, the system automatically tells us if a door is unlocked or open. Staff can access these doors using RFID cards, which have replaced outdated fobs and allow for ease of entry by employees while still allowing the district to identify who has accessed a particular door.
A SAFE AND WELCOMING ENVIRONMENT The foundations of school security at our district focus first and foremost on school climate and assuring that students feel connected to our school and supported by adults. A review and refinement of security procedures has allowed our students and staff to take an active role in creating a safe campus environment. The enhancement of physical and technology-based measures has provided our security staff with the tools they need to do their work effectively. Throughout this process of analysis and improvements, New Trier has balanced the need for safety with a culture of connection and exploration that we promote as a school as we work to keep our campuses both safe and welcoming.
Beyond this important work with our students, New Trier Twp. HSD 203 is committed to improving procedures, facilities and technology to make our environment both secure and welcoming. 36 |
UPDATE Magazine / Winter 2019
RESOURCES The Power of Collaborative Leadership On Their List Book reviews from your peers on relevant career topics
Anthony Ruelli Chief School Business Official Skokie School District 73.5 A member of the Illinois ASBO Leadership Development PDC and on the Editorial Advisory Board, Anthony strongly encourages those who are in the field, or looking to get into it, to network and get involved in the association as much as possible. As a Chief School Business Official, it is not all about the numbers and spreadsheets; it is how an individual can lead others. As I advance in this profession, I have learned that exceptional leaders take the time to communicate and collaborate with staff members. The book Leverage Leadership 2.0 by Paul BambrickSantoyo discusses a wide range of examples of how a good leader can become a great leader.
Leverage Leadership 2.0 begs the question: what do great school leaders do that separates them from the rest? To answer this, Bambrick-Santoyo uses expert discussions and real-life success stories from a wide range of school leaders from every type of school. Keys to Observation and Feedback In an interesting chapter, the author goes in depth on how to observe and give feedback to your employees. He recommends these four keys: 1. Scheduled observations — Lock in time for frequent and regular observations. 2. Key action steps — Identify the top areas for growth. 3. Effective feedback — Give direct face-to-face feedback that practices specific action steps for improvement. 4. Direct accountability — Develop systems to monitor development and follow up accordingly. Bambrick-Santoyo provides statistics on districts who displayed these four keys and those who did not. Leaders who displayed these keys had fewer mistakes and more motivation to learn amongst their employees. This is in contrast with leaders who only did a yearly review; those individuals showed a lack of motivation and more resignations from their employees.
Many CSBOs oversee a wide range of departments and personnel. Providing communication, feedback and accountability enables each department to run smoothly. An effective leader who displays these qualities can also drive success within these departments. For instance, by spending thirty minutes out of your day providing feedback, you are allowing your employees to grow as professionals and bring more value to the district. I would recommend Leverage Leadership 2.0 to any individual who is interested in crafting their leadership style to help their personnel achieve success and bring value to the district.
I have learned that exceptional leaders take the time to communicate and collaborate with staff members. www.iasbo.org
THE FINAL WORD SPEAKING UP ON RISK MANAGEMENT JULIE-ANN C. FUCHS, ED.D. Associate Superintendent Kaneland CUSD 302
My Role as a School Business Official
I oversee the risk management program for our district. However, this is not a single person task. It takes a team of people, including the director of buildings and grounds, benefits coordinators, school resource officer and all administrators to help keep our students, staff and community safe. Together, we hold each other accountable.
The Biggest Risk Management Challenge
I think the biggest challenge for school districts is probably data/cyber security. We have such a responsibility to keep the personal information of our students and staff private. The technical knowledge that is needed to keep our data safe is generally very high level. I place great value on our IT staff who help to keep our systems secure on a daily basis.
Risk Issues to Watch
Over the next five to ten years, SBOs will need to continue to watch over data/ cyber security, aging facilities and best practices for students and staff. Slips, trips and falls continue to be the cause of many insurance claims. Many of these are preventable, if only extra care is taken to prevent accidents. Often, something as simple as a posted sign such as “wet floor” or “walk slowly” is enough to help prevent a person from slipping or tripping.
What Districts Can Do Now
I think that districts should be diligent with staff training in the area of risk management. It is often difficult to find time, as there are so many trainings needed, especially in the area of curricular changes. However, I always share with my staff that if the district did not need to spend its resources on high insurance premiums and claims, then there would be more money for salary and curricular needs. This example usually helps some individuals better understand the importance of the need for risk management training.
UPDATE Magazine / Winter 2019
2020 ILLINOIS ASBO
B O O K K E E PE R S
SAVE THE DATE Friday, March 13, 2020 Meridian Banquet & Conference Center
There is something for every level of support professional at the Bookkeepers Conference! Choose the track that works best for you from options such payroll or non-payroll or the advanced track for deeper dive sessions. Attend or send your office staff to benefit from this full day of learning!
REGISTER TODAY AT: WWW.IASBO.ORG/BOOKKEEPERS
Participate in an Award-Winning Facilities Certification Program*
CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL MAINTENANCE MANAGER Join Illinois ASBO for the upcoming Certified Professional Maintenance Manager (CPMM) Training & Exam this spring!
Training & Exam: March 16 - 19, 2020 Applications due February 17, 2020
REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN! Visit
WWW.IASBO.ORG/CPMM for more information and to download an application.
*AFE Honorsâ„˘ recognizes the achievements made by facilities management professionals in the field as well as their communities. Illinois ASBO was named the 2019 AFE CPMM Leadership Award Honoree, recognizing the hard work of our facilitator team over the last year to advance the aims of the CPMM credentialing program as a model for others to follow. A special mention goes to Scott Mackall and John Fuhrer, members of the team, who helped develop Illinois ASBO/AFE facilities certification programs.
Risk Management Issue