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Katy ISD Shares Updates on Meeting and Exceeding Texas Laws Regarding School Safety

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

March 25, 2024

By Natalie Cook Clark

 

As Texas continues to strive to protect its schools, Katy ISD shares information on their status in meet and exceeding new state laws. Katy ISD stresses their dedication to student, faculty, and visitor safety.


Faldyn Elementary. Photo credit: Katy ISD

 

Texas State Attorney General Ken Paxton’s Office released a document last week discussing the various laws recently passed to ensure Texas school safety. Katy ISD’s Superintendent Dr. Ken Gregorski followed the information with his own release education the Katy community on the Districts status in meeting and exceeding the State protocols.




 

The Texas Government has issued new requirements for Texas schools to institute further protections. Below are the procedures required, which Katy ISD has implemented.

 

Each classroom is equipped with a silent panic alert system that allows immediate contact with emergency services. According to KISD, each classroom has an integrated mobile and desktop-based school safety system. This allows any staff member to quickly alert law enforcement, first responders, and district safety teams of potential incidents. Staff are trained annually on this system. The system also facilitates visitor screening, volunteer tracking, drill reporting, emergency response, and family reunification processes within the school premises.

 

Certain District employees are also required to complete a mental health training program that is designed to help employees recognize and support students experiencing a mental health or substance use issue that may be a threat to school safety. KISD takes this a step further by requiring all District staff to take this training, while additional trainings are conducted throughout the school year.

 

The State requires that the Department of Public Safety, local law enforcement agencies, and local emergency first responders are provided with an accurate map of each school campus. KISD has regular walk-throughs of Katy ISD campuses with school officers and safety personnel, in collaboration with local public safety officers and first responders.


Katy ISD is spread across 181 square miles that spans across three counties and cities. This involves collaboration with multiple emergency agencies, and they work with all of them. The district hosts an annual forum with all agencies to further establish this collaboration.


As required by the State, KISD has a policy for providing electronic notice to parents of violent activity that has occurred or is being investigated. A dedicated team of district staff promptly notify parents and employees of concerning incidents, violent activities, or potentially hazardous situations via email, text, or automated phone call, depending upon the crisis level.

 



The State now requires an armed security officer is present at each campus. According to KISD, all elementary schools enlist Level 3 security officers, with the majority being armed. Police officers continue to be stationed at all secondary schools and they have consistently been armed. All security and police officers assigned at Katy ISD schools are District employees and continue to get extensive training in safety practices. These officers also work to builf positive relationships within the District.

 

The above are just the required procedures issued by the State. Katy ISD continues to operate a number of advanced safety measures that are already running throughout the District to keep students safe.

These extra safety measures include:


  • A comprehensive Multihazard Emergency Operation Plan for both the district and individual campuses, ensuring preparedness for various emergency scenarios.

  • Campus Safety Liaisons, at every school, tasked with overseeing safety protocols and coordinating response efforts in case of emergencies.

  • Routinely scheduled, as well as unannounced, student and staff safety drills including lockdowns, secure, evacuation, hold and shelters in place derived from the “I love u guys” Foundation’s Standard Response Protocol, endorsed by the Texas School Safety Center.

  • A mobile-based anonymous SpeakUp reporting system that enables Katy ISD students, parents, staff, and community to anonymously report safety and well-being tips to help prevent school-related incidents that could cause harm to others. Learn more about this here.

  • Video surveillance equipment installed across the interior and exterior of all Katy ISD schools and facilities, enhancing safety measures throughout the premises.

  • A fully staffed Safety and Security Analysis Center (SSAC) operating around the clock (24/7), monitoring the district’s safety and security systems to serve as a force multiplier for the district’s police department and campus administrations, providing proactive, swift, and appropriate response to potential threats or emergencies.

  • A district-level multidisciplinary student mental health team responsive to student mental health and risk of safety needs, 24/7.

  • Mandatory Texas Education Agency (TEA) campus signage addressing human trafficking, child abuse, and fentanyl awareness prominently displayed on all campuses. Additionally, district-specific signage emphasizing door security is posted at all campus entrances and exits, heightening awareness of these crucial issues among both students and staff.

  • Finally, through our community’s approval of the district’s 2023 bond, we are continuing to “harden” our school buildings with extended fencing, door safety mechanisms and other high-security protective measures, contributing to the overall safety infrastructure.

 

Katy ISD says that they not only meet but surpasse the state's benchmarks for school safety. The District stresses that with the support of their school community, they stand at the forefront of school safety initiatives.




 

 #COA #PrimroseSchools

 

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