Ind. Dept. of Ed. Hosts First-Ever Roundtable for School Safety Leaders

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The Indiana Department of Education hosted a roundtable discussion with school administration leaders in its first-ever State of Education Chief Roundtable on School Safety.

State education officials said they invited representatives from 50 states and territories to discuss and share best practices for executing effective school safety policies and procedures, reports WISHTV.

The roundtable was hosted Tuesday by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick. Forty representatives from 14 states and Washington, D.C., were in attendance.

The discussion was held during the 2018 Indiana Advances School Safety Specialist Academy. The academy, for almost 20 years, has provided ongoing, certified training surrounding state and national best practices, according to its website.

The Academy also offers resources for school security, intervention programs and emergency preparedness planning.

Out-of-state attendees were invited to the event to learn how Indiana trains its safety specialists who are trained to lead the development and implementation of school safety plans. The program was implemented in Indiana in 1999.

Indiana and New Jersey are the only two U.S. states to mandate a district school safety specialist.

“Indiana is not alone in making school safety a top priority for students and staff,” said McCormick. “Schools nationally are committed to student safety. Through our Indiana School Safety Specialist Academy, we continue to train school leaders to plan, prepare, and partner. We are honored to share our successful efforts and best practices with state leaders from across the United States. We recognize the importance of collaboration and hold a commitment to providing the resources and guidance schools need to keep our children safe.”

McCormick said her team learned a lot from the discussion and will decide if any is a fit for Indiana.

“I think Indiana is leading in a lot of ways, but we’re also learning from each other,” McCormick said to the media after the conference. “Utah shared a very unique app that they’re using across the state. Missouri shared a lot of legislation and best practices. New Jersey was here and shared a lot about their social-emotional programs and how they scaled that.”

McCormick also addressed Monday’s passing of House Bill 1230, which will put $5 million into school safety funding for Indiana districts.

“Any additional money we are thankful for,” she said.

Click here for a full list of roundtable attendees.

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