The safety and security of VISD staff and students have been and remain a top priority for district and campus administrators. On Monday, June 1, the VISD Safety and Security Committee met for their spring meeting where the campus planning year projects update was given.
The charge of the Safety and Security Committee is to review current security policies and procedures and make recommendations for improvements.
Prior to the tragic events at Uvalde CISD, VISD began taking steps to increase safety and security at our campuses and facilities; however, as events like Robb Elementary, Oxford High School, Santa Fe High School, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School continue to occur, VISD is highly aware of the continuous need to implement and upgrade district and campus-wide response and recovery.
Prior to 2018, VISD campuses had no standard for emergency response guidance. In 2018, campuses were provided a template for response guidance and a series of required response capabilities. Many campuses adopted the template provided and campuses made response guides available.
Throughout 2019, 32 staff members across 24 campuses completed the Alert Lockdown Inform Counter Evacuate (ALICE) Certified Instructors training. ALCE is a two-day instructor certification course designed to teach proactive option-based strategies.
In 2020 the district established 23 campus-based Safe and Supportive School Programs (SSSP) led by Campus Behavior Coordinators, with guidance from the Texas School Safety Center. The SSSP conducts behavioral threat assessments with the goal of identifying students or other individuals who pose a threat, intervening with appropriate resources, and ultimately improving the safety and well-being of the individual of concern, the situation, and the school. The district also installed delayed entry film on the entrances and doorways of secondary campuses. Delayed entry film adds a protective barrier by making entrances and doorways more difficult to penetrate.
In 2021 the district implemented the VISD Emergency Two-way Radio Communications Network. This dedicated radio network allows all campuses to have real-time direct communications access to district administrators.
Lastly, in 2022, VISD has created and will provide Campus Response Guides (CRG) to all VISD campuses and facilities. The CRG includes 12 grades with 14 response categories/types, and are sectioned off by red, yellow, and green covers/dividers. The purpose of the CRGs is to ensure all classroom staff, including substitute teachers, have access to the guidance in addition to the training provided at the beginning of each school year. The CRGs provide the foundation of safety and security response in order for the campuses to focus on campus-specific details.
The CRGs include responses for Lockdown, Shelter, Evacuation, Missing/Abducted, Suicide Threat, Parent-Student Reunification, Walking/Transport Relocation, Assault/Sexual Assault, Reporting Abuse/Neglect, Bomb Threat, Medical Response, Secure, and Unidentified Person.
VISD will also implement additional safety and security responses starting in the 2022-2023 school year.
During the school hours, only VISD staff and students will be allowed on District property. Parents/guardians are required to check in at the campus's front office and receive a visitors pass. Effective Monday, August 1, 2022, private citizens may no longer access campus property or tracks (Stroman campus or Liberty campus) during school hours for safety and security purposes.
The Clear Bag Policy in place for high school athletic events, Frost Field at Memorial Stadium, and the Victoria ISD Fine Arts Center will be extended to middle school athletic events.
Perimeter Barrier improvements: Additional fencing and gates to restrict campus access, video coverage of blind zones, and bollards to prevent unobstructed vehicular access.
Building Envelope Improvements: Access Control Systems (i.e. badge readers and video intercoms) expansion, improvements to locks, door alarms, delayed entry film, directional and warning signage, and increased emergency response training for staff.
VISD and the Safety and Security Committee will continue to review and evaluate all safety and security measures for campuses and district facilities. Ensuring VISD students and staff remain safe is, and will always be a top priority.