July 11, 2019

Safety Academy Aids Schools in Enhancing Emergency Preparedness

By NaviGate Prepared

What a wonderful two days we had at our 3rd Annual Summer Safety Academy & Conference! We’d like to start by saying a huge THANK YOU to all who participated in this awesome event that brought over 70 staff and administrators together to gain ideas on how to enhance their emergency preparedness as they head into the start of the school year.

The sessions, speakers, and activities throughout the two days were incredible. Take a look!

Tailored Training Sessions Tackle NaviGate Prepared

Attendees were able to design their own learning experience by choosing 3 features of NaviGate Prepared that they wished to learn more about and attending informational sessions lead by the NaviGate Prepared Team at tables designated for those features. It was really beneficial for everyone to be able to decide what they felt that they needed to know more about in order to get the most value out of their time!

Trevor gathered a large crowd for each session as he walked everyone through Respond

Eric engages a group on the various benefits that Flipcharts can bring to a district

Our own, Thom Jones took a deep dive into the Drill Scenarios and Drill Logs features in order to address how to get staff more involved in drills and how critical it is to do so. The group also took a look at various scenarios and discussed how they would react to them.

Thom Jones… he doesn’t sing or dance, but he does share the importance of drills!

A Few Comments from Attendees

 “Very applicable information.  Provided logical ways of increasing awareness of school safety amongst the faculty and staff.”

“Great session!  We have been doing this but I still learned something new.”

“Use of examples on how and when to use scenarios are enlightening. I create scenarios on my own but find your presentation beneficial opening up ideas to how to implement scenarios.”

Shining the Light on our Customers

We took the mic away from the NaviGate Prepared team for a while to hear from our awesome customers! This allowed us to listen to many first hand stories from districts who are working to enhance their emergency preparedness plans. Their insights were well-received as hearing the experiences and advice of peers who face similar challenges is super beneficial.

We had the pleasure of hearing from Mandy Schneitman about all that she has done to prepare for reunification in Jefferson County Schools. It was clear that Mandy has put a ton of work into planning and practicing reunification, and it was wonderful having her share what she has learned for others to benefit from her successes and challenges!

Mandy inspires the audience to work on their reunification plans!

Awesome work, Mandy!

“Great job! What a lot of work she has put into reunification.”

“Excellent job and presentation”

“Awesome preparation for reunification”

This year we added a new session called the 5 Minutes of Fame. In this session, we had four of our customers share a brief snippet of what they are doing within their districts in terms of school safety. Once they were finished, we opened up the floor for questions from the audience where they could ask anything about the districts. It was great to be able to hear from a diverse group of districts and the various things that they are doing.

Christi Nordman, Westerville City Schools, discussed her district’s strategies on how to get all buildings in the district to utilize the Drill Log feature within NaviGate Prepared to schedule and log drills as well as using the NaviGate Prepared app to utilize drill scenarios.

Jaisun Baloney and Jeremiah Milburn of Great Oaks Career Campus discussed their work as school resource officers, their challenges, their successes, and their rewards.

Matt Keyes, San Juan School District, discussed the various initiatives that he has championed such as creating threat assessment teams as well as holding large scale drills with the Navajo Nation Police, FBI, San Juan County Sheriff’s Dept, San Juan County Emergency Medical Services, local hospitals, and more.

One of our favorite sessions each year is our SRO Panel, and it was a hit yet again! Our panel came from districts very unique from one another giving our attendees the chance to enjoy hearing about their broad range of experiences and ways that they approach school safety. Our remarkable panel included

  • Aaron Vanatta, SRO, Quaker Valley School District (Pennsylvania)
  • Antwan Derrick, SRO, Dayton Public Schools (Ohio)
  • Jon Karl, SRO, St. Albert the Great (Ohio)

So many great stories came from this crew!

The audience had some awesome questions for our panel.

“Awesome information!!!”

“This session is always a hit!”

“Great conversations.”

We introduced our Safety Academy Awards this year in order to celebrate all the amazing things that our districts have been doing to keep their schools safe throughout the year. After reading through all of the nominations, it was an honor to be able to present the awards to our winners.

  • Most Collaborative Safety Program – Quaker Valley School District
  • Best Use of Drill Scenarios – Notre Dame Elementary School
  • Most Prepared for Reunification – Nixon-Smiley Consolidated Independent School District
  • School Safety Person of the Year – Matthew Keyes, San Juan School District
  • School Safety District of the Year – Quaker Valley School District

Check out more about our award winners!

Thoughtexchange Fueled Powerful Conversations

Thoughtexchange is a wonderful company we have partnered with that facilitates conversations by having a group anonymously post responses to an open ended question and then rate other responses submitted allowing the most important topics to get discussed. Shannon Terrell was in attendance from Thoughtexchange to share how the product can be used in schools to facilitate productive conversations with the community and staff, and how the data provided can help push a district forward.

We were able to run exchanges at various points of the conference and it was so helpful to be able to see what ideas and questions people wanted to discuss after our sessions. We dedicated our Round Table session to topics decided by attendees in an exchange held beforehand. This allowed us to focus on what they wanted to talk about, and the round table set up powered valuable conversations between attendees.

Amazing conversations were held at each table!

Amazing conversations were held at each table!

Amazing conversations were held at each table!

“I enjoyed networking and listening to how the same problem can have multiple ways of approaching a solution.”

“Always good to share information and gain others’ perspectives and practices. Round table enabled me to think about furthering my school’s plan based on questions and discussions we had on the original topic and other topics that followed.”

“It was nice to hear from other districts their issues and ideas for resolutions to the same topic.”

“Very insightful. Our table had district representatives from 3 different states. Very interesting to hear the different opinions on school safety”

Industry Experts Provide Powerful Insights

We were honored to be able to bring in two amazing thought leaders in the school safety arena to share some expertise and give everyone some super helpful ideas before starting the school year.

John-Michael Keyes, I Love U Guys Foundation, started us off by sharing the heartbreaking story of losing his daughter in the tragic events that took place at Platte Canyon High School. John-Michael turned tragedy into a commitment to school and community safety. He shared the Standard Response Protocol (SRP) based on the response rather than the scenario as well as the Standard Reunification Method which provides schools with methods to plan and practice successful reunification. I don’t think there was a person in the room not taking notes – this presentation was undoubtedly informative!

The audience loved hearing John-Michael’s story and all the work he has done!

Pens writing and fingers typing!

“This information will truly help in my planning.”

“Insightful and a wonderful resource stemming from a personal and compelling experience. Thoroughly enjoyed John Michael’s passionate keynote. Such an engaging public speaker.”

“John was great and gave very useful information on the program and the iloveuguys.org tools”

“From heartbreak to helping districts be proactive in times of crisis. Thank you!!”

“John did a wonderful job explaining the complexities of the reunification process and giving helpful ideas and tools that could be used!”

Cynthia Marble, SIGMA Threat Management Associates wrapped up our conference by leading a wonderful presentation on threat assessment that had everyone engaged and thinking. With threat assessment being a point of focus for so many districts currently, this was the perfect way to send everyone on their way with tangible ideas ready to be implemented in their schools!

Cynthia’s expertise in threat assessment gave the audience great food for thought as they headed off to start their school year.

“Well organized and helpful presentation! Thank you for all of those insights.”

“Good info from Cynthia”

Once again we would like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone and here’s to a wonderful and safe school year.

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Melissa

Sorry to have missed the conference this year! Sounds like it was an exciting and productive couple of days. Looking forward to next year.

So sorry to have missed! I hope to attend the next one!!!

Daryl Miller

From the sounds of it I really missed out on some great sessions.

Shannon Myers

Sounds like a great opportunity to prepare schools and communities to ensure safety and preparedness.