What facility upgrades has Barrington 220 made to increase safety and security at each school?
Over the past 10 years we have worked hard to enhance the safety and security at our schools in several ways. For instance, all of our schools have electronic door systems and vestibules that require an identification card to enter. Each school also has emergency devices, as well as surveillance cameras to monitor suspicious activity. Entryway doors and windows are covered by a protective film that makes it more difficult to shatter the glass.
In addition, this summer we installed a universal key system that allows teachers to lock the door from inside their classrooms, rather than having to go out in the hallway where they could potentially put themselves at risk in a crisis situation.
We are also making safety upgrades to our school buses. For the 2018-19 school year, every vehicle used to transport students will have upgraded cameras and parents and staff will be able to track the location of school buses, using an app connected to a GPS device on the bus. Information tablets will also be installed in all buses this summer that will include routing and student information.
A major component of our Blueprint 220 master-facilities initiative is to include physical improvements in all schools to enhance safe learning environments.
What does Barrington 220 do on an annual basis to prepare students and staff for an emergency situation?
Barrington 220 abides by the Illinois School Safety Act, which requires students to participate in four types of drills on an annual basis. They include school evacuation, bus evacuation, severe weather and law enforcement during crisis situations. During the crisis situation drill, the school district partners with law enforcement to teach students and staff how to lock-down the classroom and the “Run, Hide, Fight” model, which is based on recommendations from the Department of Homeland Security and the Barrington Police Department. Our staff also periodically works with local law enforcement to conduct drills, during institute days when students are not in school.
What types of measures does Barrington 220 have in place to make sure students are getting the social and emotional help they may need?
In addition to working with school counselors and conducting behavioral threat assessments, over the years we have developed several prevention and intervention methods. Barrington High School has the Green Dot Program, which is a national program that trains students and staff how to prevent power-based personal violence. The district frequently collaborates with BStrong Together, an organization that enhances the health and well-being of Barrington area children.
We have also created this “Safey 220" section on our website, where our stakeholders can go to report bullying, report a threat to school safety, or text-a-tip to report a person who is struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, depression, or other challenges.
Besides working with law enforcement during the annual drills, in what other ways do you partner to create a safe school environment?
Barrington 220 has a safety and security committee that meets regularly to discuss the best safety practices for our schools. The committee is made up of district administrators, school board members, members of local law enforcement and other first responders. The district also has a full-time school resource officer from the Barrington Police Department, who is stationed at Barrington High School. In addition, the district has a reciprocal information agreement with the Village of Barrington - Police Department. This means Barrington 220 can release student records to police when they request information pertaining to a case. The police department can also provide the district with access to its records for children under age 18.
On Tuesday, September 25, Barrington 220 will partner with Barrington Police and Fire to host a community safety meeting in the evening. The meeting will coincide with “Safety 220”, which will be a week long campaign to educate our students, parents, staff and community about school safety measures and how to respond to various crisis situations.