Safe and Sound: Taking Campus Security Up a Notch
At IRCS, working with families searching for the best private school for their child is one of our greatest privileges. We know what an important investment this is, and every family has unique goals and aims in the process. Some are looking for specialized academic services, such as STEM programs, Honors, Dual Credit, or AP courses. Others are looking for specific extracurricular activities, whether it be football, soccer, or track. Additional interests may lie in the Arts – choir, band, or drama. Many are looking for Christian teaching that aligns closely with what is taught at home — this one is very important.
While most come with unique priorities, there’s one thing on every family’s list: a safe and secure school. This is a non-negotiable. If a family feels a school is unsafe – whether it be physically, socially, emotionally, or spiritually, they will not be able to enroll their child with confidence.
While IRCS is committed to safety in all of its forms, we wanted to take the opportunity in this blog to underscore the ways in which we’ve made our campus as physically safe as possible. No parent wants to ponder the unthinkable, but in today’s world, the reality is asking questions during the school selection process is critical. We hope this blog answers some of your questions related to campus safety at IRCS.
Let’s start with the basics. How easy can outsiders get in? Each morning begins with an open campus as students arrive at school. In both the elementary building and the middle/high school building, you will see administrators at the door to welcome students. This also serves a dual function as a human deterrent to any unauthorized person entering the building. Once the morning bell rings, all doors are locked and visitors can only gain access to students through the office
The Screening Process
When someone enters our doors, they must first enter the school office area where they are met by staff ready to ask questions. This does not mean that every parent visiting their child will be interrogated. It simply means our office staff are aware and alert. We encourage visitors but have a firm process in place to verify, identify and ensure intent before admission to our hallways . Visitors who are admitted to the school are given an identification badge to show that they have been cleared through the office. If the reason for the visit is to drop off a forgotten item, the office will gladly accept it and a school representative will deliver the item to the student. This lessens the amount of traffic in the hallways once school begins.
Our Security Team
Our school has at least one security person on duty from the beginning of the day until the last door is locked each night. This includes coverage for all extra-curricular activities, from concerts to parent meetings and athletic contests. For big events such as football games, we secure local law enforcement officers to provide additional oversight. One particular area of focus is the lunch room. Each day from the beginning of lunch until its completion, a member of the security team is stationed at the doors of the lunchroom.
While they often go unnoticed, IRCS utilizes security cameras widely across campus. All of our doors, hallways, chapel, and our lunch room are under the watchful eye of an extensive surveillance system. The administrators can view any of the cameras from anywhere they can access a computer.
Students spend close to half of their waking hours in class. This should be one of the safest places they can be. Our teachers are deeply committed to their students’ security and have special training in how to protect their classes. Additionally, a large number of our teachers and staff have completed CPR and First Aid training.
Our emergency prep plans are comprehensive and well thought out. From lockdown procedures to smooth parent-child reunification, we’ve considered how to handle a crisis from start to finish. Furthermore, we have collaborated with local law enforcement to put best practices in place and to ensure we have their support readily available, if ever needed.
Finding the Balance
We believe school should remain a joyful place for students, free from worry and distraction. While we’ve gone to great lengths to secure our campus and protect the lives of our students, we have also strived to keep it feeling like home. So while your student may be unaware of the surveillance technology and campus safety measures around them, you’ll be able to rest easy, knowing they’re learning in the most secure environment possible.