Based on the article by Mike Conklin, “Everything’s Bigger in Texas: Maximizing Our Commitment to Safety in a Massive District.” Read the full article on Upshot.
Being a part of a large district that crosses county lines comes with many unique challenges, and Mike Conklin, Director of Safety and Security at Northwest ISD in Texas, has become very familiar with these challenges. Mike stated, “We coordinate and communicate with three county responders and potentially 14 other governmental agency responders, such as law enforcement, the fire department, emergency medical services, and utility and phone companies. That level of complexity often makes things difficult when trying to organize and coordinate emergency response protocols.”
Mike knew that in a district his size, he needed to find a solution that would allow him to streamline safety documentation. He stated, “Updating documents is challenging enough for one school, but in a district with 30 campuses, it can be a nightmare. Our old process was inefficient and required us to update safety plans by district, facility, and then again for each building. This process was slow, difficult to maintain, and could be unreliable.”
A Universal Tool in the Schools
Within a large district, finding a solution that saves time is invaluable. “I love how phenomenally easy it is to schedule, manage, and then run either a daily, monthly, or year-end report with NaviGate Prepared. I can go into the platform and, in a couple of clicks, convert our files to PDF and send it out… Our campus admins now have a centralized dashboard, and they can schedule the year’s 600+ drills right away in one sitting, along with automatic drill reminders. Completing drills becomes a smooth process, saving them time and frustration.”
Northwest ISD has even found ways to utilize the NaviGate Prepared software for daily use. “Our Facilities Department uses the 360-degree maps almost daily. They reference the images in meetings with construction workers when they’re building additions, and when a campus requests something like a new door or classroom upgrade. It’s become not only essential for safety and security, but also a daily tool for our facilities department.”
Looking Towards the Future
Mike Conklin has laid down his future goals to ensure that safety and preparedness are the norm for everyone district-wide. Mike stated, “I’d like to see every teacher, administrator, and building staff member have the app on their phone… The biggest impact is going to be in our communication. Clear, precise communication is important when you’re dealing with a safety event. If you have an app that everyone uses and trusts, then you can push that information out to them. The speed of correct information through an event is vitally important. And with the right tools, it’ll be seamless.”