For parents, teachers and school administrators, student safety has always been of paramount importance. Not only do we want to provide an outstanding education for our children, we want to do it within the safest, most secure environment possible. But while campus security has long been a top priority, it has never been more of a top-of-mind concern than it is today.
In response to the tragic events seen on campuses across the nation over the past few years, SVC has doubled-down on our security efforts. Over the past two years, we have commissioned two separate “risk assessments” — detailed processes which help identify potential hazards and risk factors. The first was conducted by Global Guardian, a nationally-recognized security firm. The second was completed by SVC Campus Security Consultant, Lou Gutierrez, a 30-year law enforcement professional with extensive background in dignitary security, site security, and threat assessment.
Both assessments gave high marks to our school for campus safety and security. They also provided valuable insight into areas that could be further enhanced. This gave SVC administration a good springboard from which to operate. “We looked at the big picture and zeroed in on the priorities which would be most beneficial,” said Mr. Gutierrez.
Over the past year or so, SVC has implemented or enhanced the following safety and security measures:
HERO Curriculum – SVC purchased this program to help train students how to respond in the case of an active shooter. The goal is for students to understand how to respond instinctively if the worst should happen.
Campus Access – The front entry gate is the only point of access to SVC during the school day. Every other exterior door is locked down. Visitor management software and a buzzer/intercom have been added to provide an additional layer of protection at the front gate. The preschool entrance has a similar intercom/video system in place.
Surveillance – Security cameras have been installed at various points on our campus. The camera system is tied to the smartphones of key individuals (including Mr. MacIntosh, Director of Security & Campus Safety) and desktops, so personnel can monitor all points of our campus at all times.
Central Radio System — Additional walkie-talkies have been added, so more key personnel can be in communication with one another.
Text-a-Tip — We have established a system where Jr. High and High School students can anonymously report any suspicious or concerning activities.
P.A. System — The public address system has been upgraded to allow messages to be sent from any school phone on campus.
Additional security enhancements will continue to be added to our security infrastructure. And while these measures are invaluable, Mr. Streelman has reflected on the most powerful source of our protection: “Let’s all remember that it is our duty to do everything that we can within our power, but we should not live in a spirit of fear. God has protected us and we must believe that He will continue to do so. This is His school and we place the safety of these students in His hands. Please continue to pray that God will keep our kids safe. If you have any questions regarding the process, our security measures, or any other thoughts or ideas, please feel free to reach out to us.”