Blain County, I.D., May 17, 2019 (Idaho Mountain Express) — The Blaine County School District will roll out a suite of new safety protocols next year, Director of Student Safety Dave Stellers announced during a monthly meeting of the board of trustees on Tuesday night.
This district plans to roll out a more intensive threat-assessment protocol, and adopt a smartphone app for reporting inappropriate or dangerous behavior at the start of the 2019-20 school year.
The current threat-assessment protocol, which Stellers described as a “single-pronged” approach using counselors or school psychologists to intervene, had fallen behind recent standards, he said.
“Current climates in schools dictate that we do a bit of a better job than that,” Stellers said.
A team of administrators, social workers, school psychologists and school resource officers developed the new practices.
The three-part approach starts with ongoing prevention, which will be augmented by a partnership with StopIt Solutions to introduce an app capable of anonymously reporting suspicious or harmful behavior. Those reports will notify newly-formed threat assessment teams comprised of building administrators, counselors and, if necessary, a school resource officer.
Parents and students will have access to the app, which allows for anonymous, real-time communication between the reporting party and responders.
“We feel that it doesn’t work if it is not anonymous,” Stellers said. “This is the national standard right now.”
Stellers has started training staff to use the app, and intends to launch a public education effort over the summer.
Finally, the revamped protocol will emphasize “postvention”—that is, scheduled debriefs with the assessment team, and follow-ups between the student or students involved and the director of student safety, who will maintain records documenting threat assessments.
“This is going to be valuable tool,” Stellers said. “I think this is going to help our kids, and keep them a lot safer.”