Santa Fe ISD new school year, new safety improvements

Klein ISD, Pasadena and Santa Fe all return to school today.

Santa Fe school officials have been working relentlessly on improving school safety since the deadly shootings on May 18th, 2018...well before the Texas Legislature passed SB 11.

Superintendent Dr. Lee Wall said a new system monitors bus routes to make sure there are no hazardous conditions

"A GPS tracking system for parents to utilize for their students so they can identify where the bus is and where their students gets on and off the bus," said Wall.

She said they've increased police officers in their own police department, as well as dual authentication to access buildings. Panic buttons have also been added in high school classrooms.

"We've added a few metal detectors and we had them in all our buildings, and now we've added them in our new buildings and our administration building. We've added new facial recognition software in each of our facilities," said Wall.

The facial recognition software can detect people who may have been identified as a threat, as well as weapons, sending out alerts to the appropriate authorities.

She said they've added mental health support and counselors in their schools.

The Texas School Safety Center at Texas State University in San Marcos has been charged with reviewing school district emergency operations plans.

The Center’s associate director of training and education Celina Bley said the 86th Texas Legislation enacted many changes to statutes for increased safety and security measures for schools.

"Districts can now begin training on threat assessment and sending the school personnel listed in the bill to that type of training, said Bley.

She said those plans are just starting to be built to help school districts.

"Training and responding to an emergency including substitute teachers and measures to ensure that district infrastructure is adequate to communicate during an emergency," said Bley.

She said the Texas Legislature created a bigger safety net for schools to work with multiple agencies to increase safety in schools. Meanwhile, the Texas Education Agency and Texas Association of School Boards are helping the intent of the law is being met while new systems are being built.

Bley said one element of the "Safe and Supportive School Program" is a mandatory school district threat assessment teams that include law enforcement and mental health counselors.

Another, is the "Safety and Security Committee".

Bley said they've been getting calls about "School Safety and Security Consultant Registry of Texas" that reviews the qualifications and abilities of those groups that provide safety and security consulting services to Texas schools. Bley said they're now working on creating a system to hire people to thoroughly vet the vendors.

 

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