Superintendents, school administrators and safety professionals across the country are required to make the best, informed decisions for students’ safety and security needs. In order to mitigate risks associated with emergency evacuations, school districts, colleges and universities must have a proper plan in place.
Classes were out when the Sunday tornadoes decimated Joplin in 2011, but on Monday, the schools in Moore, Okla., were in. Seven children died at Plaza Towers Elementary School, some of them drowning after a pipe burst in the basement where they hid.
During lunch recess at Oak Manor Elementary School, most of the thirsty kids did not visit a drinking fountain to get water. Instead, they lined up to fill their colorful plastic bottles at the school's nifty new "hydration station."
The randomized controlled trial of Playworks, a nonprofit organization that delivers a safe, healthy recess in low-income elementary schools in 22 U.S. cities, found that the program reduced bullying, enhanced feelings of safety at school, increased vigorous physical activity during recess, and provided more time for classroom teaching.
I have been a school social worker in the small Westmoreland Central School District in central New York for 26 years. And I have experienced what is now documented in research, that schools are seeing more children with mental health difficulties, such as fear and anxiety.
For the first time, new K-12 science standards issued in April include climate change. But the standards, written by a consortium of science and education groups in consultation with 26 states, are only voluntary and could take years to roll out.
As school districts across the country consider placing more police officers in schools, youth advocates and judges are raising alarm about what they have seen in the schools where officers are already stationed: a surge in criminal charges against children for misbehavior that many believe is better handled in the principal’s office.