State & Local Leaders Look for Solutions to Improve School Safety & Student Mental Health
When preparing for this year’s Tennessee Organization of School Superintendents (TOSS) Legislative and Learning Conference, no one could have prepared for the fact that the agenda was set to begin just hours after the news of the tragic Covenant School shooting. While the shock and grief hit all in attendance, district leaders looked to each other for support and solutions. Many conversations centered on the same sentiments and needs – the desire for holistic resources and preventative & proactive measures. In the wake of another tragedy on another school campus, state and district leaders were eager for solutions that could enhance Tennessee school safety.
Those in attendance were focused on everything from how to support students experiencing mental health challenges to equipping students and staff to participate in their own safety no matter where they are. We know many within Tennessee, as well as around the nation, are asking the same thing, and we are here to support you as you work to implement a truly holistic approach to school safety and student wellness.
Leadership Bolsters Tennessee School Safety Provisions
On April 3, 2023, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee, Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally, Speaker Cameron Sexton and legislative leadership announced new legislation and a budget proposal focused on strengthening safety at all schools across Tennessee. These safety enhancement initiatives include placing an armed guard at every public school and boosting physical security at both public & private schools, as well as additional mental health resources for schools statewide.
- Implements an accountability plan to ensure that all exterior doors are locked while students are present. Law enforcement will be authorized to check doors and enact corrective action if any are found unlocked
- Lays out a high level of training requirements for private security guards prior to being posted at Tennessee schools
- Requires all school districts statewide to establish threat assessment teams
- Requires all schools to develop annual safety plans, which must include a newly required incident command drill for school leaders and law enforcement
FY23-24 Budget Proposal
- $30 million to expand a statewide homeland security network with 122 agents serving students at both public and private schools
- $140 million to establish a School Resource Officer (SRO) grant fund to place a trained, armed security guard at every public school
- $20 million for public school security upgrades
- $7 million for private school security upgrades
- $8 million for additional school-based behavioral health liasons across the state
“There is nothing more important than our students safely returning home each day. As Tennessee grieves the tragic loss of six precious lives in the Covenant shooting, we are taking additional actions to significantly boost safety measures at every school with highly-trained guards, physical security enhancements and mental health resources.”
–Governor Bill Lee
Mental Health Support & Physical Security Work Better Together to Improve Tennessee School Safety
Building an environment where kids can learn and teachers can teach without needing to worry about their safety requires a comprehensive set of solutions that support one another. Whether your top concern is implementing behavioral threat assessment teams, establishing mental health supports or ensuring the physical safety of your building, we know these efforts are complex. The path to all students and staff feeling a sense of safety and belonging on your campus involves a holistic approach that prioritizes everyone’s physical and emotional safety.
Whatever your top concern is, we are here to support you, your students and your staff.
“What steps should schools be taking to keep students safe?”
Keeping students safe requires a holistic, layered approach. Our safety & security solutions can help you do everything from understanding the vulnerability of your campus to equipping your staff with silent mobile panic buttons and managing emergency response.
Safety & Security Suite: Operating as a single visitor, volunteer, panic button and emergency management solution set, our Safety & Security Suite integrates Emergency Management Suite and Visitor & Volunteer Management to ensure real-time, whole-campus oversight and accountability and improve communication pathways. The suite provides a variety of features, including silent panic alarms, robust safety checks, guidance to ensure Department of Education (DOE) compliance and comprehensive site mapping.
Risk Assessment: As the only Expert Service Consultants internationally recognized by A.M. Best’s Client Recommended Expert Providers for Risk Assessments, Navigate360’s team of board-certified Physical Security Professionals (PSPs) are exceptionally qualified to perform your risk assessment, which can give you peace of mind to stay focused on your school’s critical safety and security missions.
Visitor & Volunteer Management: The Navigate360 Visitor & Volunteer Management System increases security and reduces front-office workload with a frictionless, flexible and fully integrated platform. Keep students and staff safe by securely and discreetly vetting each visitor with a hardware-light system that provides total oversight of very person on campus.
Detect: Detect is the most comprehensive, all-encompassing digital safety solution available. This software helps identify and address a student’s intent to harm themselves or others by scanning digital content in real time and notifying school administrators of harm language found in school-owned email and public social media. It also utilizes a web indexing database of 3 billion URLs to protect students from potentially harmful content.
P3 Anonymous Tip Reporting: P3 serves as a forum for collaboration and accountability between school administrators, peace officers and mental health professionals to ensure every student’s needs are met. Our technology also powers well-known national and state-level tip lines such as Sandy Hook Promise’s Say Something program and Safe2Tell Colorado. As the leading anonymous reporting tool, our software empowers students, teachers and individuals to proactively share information about safety, bullying, self-harm and violence.
“How do we handle threats outside the campus walls? We need to keep kids safe on the bus, at sports practices and on the playground too.”
Violence can happen anywhere, and it’s critical that your students and staff are trained to participate in their own survival. One way to facilitate this is by providing multi-option active shooter response training to your students and staff as well as the community’s local law enforcement.
ALICE Training®: The ALICE program is a proactive options-based active shooter response training program that empowers students and staff to survive in the face of violence. This trauma-informed, age- and ability-appropriate training provides your schools with both eLearning and in-person instruction options and teaches proven techniques for safety drills and emergency response.
“How do we take threats seriously at the elementary school level? I want to reassure parents without overreacting.”
Creating a safe learning environment for students is a top priority for any school, and threat assessment is a critical component of violence prevention and school safety. This proactive approach enables schools to identify and address worrisome behavior or threats, intervening before they escalate into serious incidents.
Behavioral Threat Assessment Training: Developed in partnership with leading threat assessment experts, Navigate360 behavioral threat assessment (BTA) training consists of evidence-based threat assessment processes developed in exclusive partnership with leading experts. This training is designed to help districts consistently identify, screen and assess threats and negative behavior among students.
“Our biggest challenge is mental health support – for our students and their families.”
There is ample evidence to suggest that student mental health is in crisis nationwide. It is incumbent upon schools to provide students with the emotional resources necessary for growth, as well as the assistance required to handle a mental health emergency. Our mental health solutions offer a range of tools, from social-emotional education to intervention & restoration training, that can empower your staff to support any student experiencing a crisis.
Behavioral Threat & Suicide Case Management: This single solution will provide your school’s mental health professionals and BTA team members with evidence-based case management software that allows for continuum of care documentation and analytics reporting to proactively improve outcomes for students of concern.
Suite360 for Students: Help your students reach their full potential and thrive with the most comprehensive, evidence-based social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum available. Suite360 for Students includes scaffolded lessons for grades K-12, engaging content that students understand and diverse topics that help to produce well-rounded students.
Mental Health & Prevention: Navigate360 provides mental health awareness tools to address tough mental health and safety-related topics. With professionally-developed resources for students, staff and families, everyone can care for their own mental health and respond appropriately when they or someone they care about is in need.
Intervention & Restorative Practices: Turn discipline into a learning opportunity by providing students with lessons based on their infraction, providing a better alternative to detention and suspension and improving decision-making moving forward. With the most comprehensive, continuously-updated library of lessons, students have access to individualized lessons based on their behavior, cognitive level and ability.
Suite360 for Staff: Support your staff by educating and equipping them with on-demand digital courses to provide for students’ and staff members’ social-emotional and mental health needs. Empower teachers and school staff to address the complex issues students face today and increase the inclusivity and consistency of your SEL program by ensuring your staff is properly prepared.
Suite360 for Families: Fully welcome caregivers into their children’s social-emotional education with web-based and mobile lessons that equip them to have smart conversations with their children about today’s toughest challenges. Lessons are aligned with what children are learning to prepare families to effectively support their child’s development.
Navigate360 has the Solutions to Address Your School Safety Concerns
We know it takes more than a single solution to take care of the whole child and the school and community that surrounds them, which is why we believe in solutions that work better together. From prevention all the way through response and recovery, we can provide end-to-end solutions that keep your students, teachers and staff safe.
Building a comprehensive safety plan can be a daunting task, but we are here to help. Speak with one of our safety specialists today to learn how you can build a holistic ecosystem of whole-child safety.