Mitigating risk with a single point of entry
Mitigating risk with a single point of entry
Posted on 10/03/2019
Committed to providing a safe environment for students, staff, and visitorsAlthough school shootings are rare, when the unspeakable happens we all mourn. We also reflect on how our own schools are mitigating risk and providing a more secure learning environment for our children. 

Puyallup School District is committed to providing a safe environment for students, staff, and visitors. While we should feel safe on current campuses, Director of Student Services Char Krause is always looking for ways we can improve the safety and security of our most precious resource – human life. 

“Don’t become complacent,” says Krause. “We work closely with national, state, and local safety officials such as fire, police, city and county Emergency Management, and public health officials to ensure our schools are well prepared in the event of an emergency.” As a result, school safety plans and procedures have been in place for many years and are practiced regularly.

The district recognizes four major categories that are essential for emergency preparedness and prevention: Preparedness; Security Systems & Personnel; Climate & Culture; and Communication. Read more about each component in a story posted in fall 2018: Safety and security protocols, procedures, and planning

It isn't just about design, drills, and partnerships, says Krause. "It's about all those things working together. It's about constantly improving, finding out where the gaps are, setting priorities and working together to achieve that."

In Puyallup, members of the Bond Advisory Committee met extensively to study educational specifications and identify critical facility needs to enhance education at the district’s four high schools. The priorities of the committee were to focus on safety and security, classroom space, and educational programs at the high school level. Members of the committee included recent Rogers High School graduate Grace Williams. 

"My biggest concern at Rogers is that we have so many different buildings that aren’t connected,” said Williams. “It’s an open campus. Yes, we have security, but there’s only so much they can do when someone comes on campus.” 

Read more about the Bond Advisory Committee on the PSD website: Student leadership doesn’t end with the school day

High school campuses are large, and the challenges at Puyallup High and Rogers High include many buildings and many entry points. “While this design was functional at one time,” says Krause, “the risk of having many entry points is worse than providing a point of access intentionally selected for public access.”