Tri-County School District enhances school safety procedures/training
On Aug. 6 and 7, Police Chief Kevin Fenske and District Administrator Anthony Marinack attended the Wisconsin Police Chiefs’ Conference in Green Bay. School Safety was the theme of this conference.
Chief Fenske and Marinack attended the session on reunification of students after a critical incident. Michelle Gay, teacher and parent of a child killed in the Sandy Hook School shooting, spoke about the events on that horrific day. Over the years, following the Sandy Hook 2012 shooting, Tri-County School District has implemented school safety improvements for our students and staff.
Past facility updates included: A buzzer access system at both offices; quick release plates on all classrooms doors to allow for locking doors immediately after teachers and students arrive in the morning; safety buckets with emergency and defense items were placed in every classroom; updated the phone/PA system to allow any staff member from any phone the ability to announce a lockdown, if warranted.
The state of Wisconsin, via the Wisconsin School Safety Grant (Round 1), granted the Tri-County district close to $40,000. This money has allowed Tri-County to update their school entrance to an outside buzzer/camera system during school hours. They have also added $20,000 in new security cameras throughout the building and will be installing security film to all entrances this fall.
A requirement of the grant is to have all Tri-County Staff participate in a three-hour mandatory training regarding Trauma Informed Care. This training will take place during their scheduled in-service days prior to the start of the school year. They are also adding some much needed time to their current PLO (Police Liaison Officer) schedule. The added time will allow the school district to have police services at least three hours per day during the school year. This is more police time than any other school in Waushara County.
Getting behind a locked door during a school shooting is still the safest way to prevent harm. Their school has practiced lockdown situations and evacuations to off-site locations in the past; however, starting in 2018-19, all schools in Wisconsin will be required to practice lockdown procedures at least twice annually.
In the near future, Tri-County will also be applying for the Wisconsin Safety Grant (Round 2 Funding) to assist with training more staff on adolescent mental health.