The Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) has released the fourth edition of its Safety and Security Guidelines for K-12 schools. PASS’ primary mission is to provide school boards, administrators, and public safety and security professionals with a framework for implementing a layered, tiered approach to enhancing the safety of K-12 campuses.
The fourth edition of the PASS Guidelines has been completely revised under a more simplified structure and has been greatly expanded to now cover security best practices at a district-wide level. The new guidelines have also included additional areas of focus including school transportation, cybersecurity, network infrastructure, architectural features and emergency communications.
“The safety and security challenges schools face today are more multifaceted and complex than ever before, and protecting students and staff requires a comprehensive approach to these challenges,” says Guy Grace, PASS chairman and director of security and emergency planning for Littleton Public Schools. “We are proud to build on the PASS guidelines, which present the most comprehensive information available on best practices for securing school facilities, an essential component supporting all-hazards approaches to school safety.”
The PASS Guidelines and its specified best practices for securing K-12 facilities are based on responses to urgent needs for information identified by the education community itself. The guidelines aim to answer two key questions: “What should we do?” and “How do we prioritize?”
The guidelines also cover the following security aspects:
- Specific actions that can effectively raise the baseline of security
- Vetted security practices specific to K-12 environments
- Objective, reliable information on available safety and security technology
- Assessment of current security measures against nationwide best practices
- Multiple options for addressing security needs identified
- How to distinguish needed and effective solutions from sales pitches on unnecessary products.
PASS guidelines describe approaches within five physical layers for school facilities: district-wide, the property perimeter, the parking lot perimeter, the building perimeter and the classroom/interior perimeter. Within each layer, PASS then outlines key safety and security components, such as policies and procedures, personnel (roles and training), architectural components, communication, access control, video surveillance, detection and alarms.
“We believe this approach provides a simplified way for administrators to effectively evaluate their security infrastructure, prioritize investment and maximize security in ways that are consistent with longstanding security practices and ensure a baseline of facility security measures appropriate for school facilities,” says Mark Williams, PASS vice chairman.
Established in 2014, PASS brings together expertise from the education community, law enforcement and the security industry to develop and support a coordinated approach that can assist school administrators in making effective use of proven security practices specific to K-12 environments, including elementary, middle and high schools. Learn more about PASS on its newly redesigned website.
The latest guidelines are available to the public on the PASS website at no cost. PASS encourages all education professionals, public safety personnel and security solutions providers to take full advantage of these valuable, free resources.