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  • Ann
    Mrs. Sandra French shared this information on school designs with emphasis on safety. Take a look. ... Mrs. Sandra French shared this information on school
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 27, 2012
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      Mrs. Sandra French shared this information on school designs with emphasis on safety.  Take a look.
              
      From:           joel@...
      "Joel K. Sims, AIA" <joel@...>
      Wednesday, December 19, 2012 4:59:49 PM
      Subject:        SchoolDesigner.com  Update
      Attachments:            Attach0.html    Uploaded File   49K

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      Greetings!
      I received a call this week from a radio producer that asked me questions about school security. In light of the recent school shooting, I have chosen to reprint an article that was first published in 2006. I began writing the article just prior to a school shooting that devastated our community. I would like to think we have made significant progress since 2006. But have we?
      Just over a year ago, I was retained by a school district to review an architect's drawings for a new Elementary School. I commented specifically on the entry and the office area and stated there needed to be a secure entry. The architects scoffed at my comment and stated that the school was in a safe community and there was no need for this type of design. To my knowledge, they never added the secure entry.
      As you read the article, ask yourself how much your school district has progressed with school safety since 2006. I will continue to promote design that makes our schools safer - and now unfortunately with perhaps advocating bullet proof glass at the entries. 


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      green kids
      THE  SAFER  SCHOOL  DESIGN  INITIATIVE


      ( Reprinted from October 2006,  copyright Schooldesigner, LLC )
      By Joel K. Sims, AIA  
       
      As I sit in my office, just 15 miles from the devastating and horrific Amish school shooting site in rural Pennsylvania, I am mindful that there is no such thing as a safe school. There are however, safer schools. In this issue of The Schooldesigner, we assist in making schools safer with practical advice.

      Years ago, I had the opportunity to work on the design for renovations and additions to a public elementary school near the Amish schoolhouse where the tragedies occurred. I can't help but wonder, "Did we make that one elementary school safer so that it was not the target of the school shooting?"

      Similarly, many of you readers work diligently to make schools safer and, for that, you should be commended. But there is more to be done.

      Listed below are the "must do" items to make schools safer. There are thousands of schools around the United States (not to mention the rest of the world) that have not initiated these basic safer school design changes. Yes, it costs time and money. It may even be an inconvenience to some. But the work must be completed. Most of the recommendations can be done to existing schools, and all can be designed into new facilities. We call this the Safer School Design Initiative (SSDI) , and its goal is simple: help make all schools safer.



          entrance              location


      1. Main Entry Control 
      Problem: There is not a controlled entry point at the school, and people can access the school without being noticed.
      Solution: As the diagram of a sample elementary school shows, secure entries allow easy access into the school at the start of the school day but secure the building throughout the day. Visitors must access the school through the main office. 
      A. The remote buzzer allows access from the vestibule to the office.
      B. Once inside the office, visitors must check in. After signing in and leaving a photo id, such as a driver's license, visitors receive a name tag. 
      C. A second remote buzzer allows access from the office to the hallway and the rest of the building. Optional metal detectors can be added in the lobby if warranted by the school location. Video surveillance should be at this location. Also, card access should be located here so as to allow staff and faculty pass- through. In large schools, where there are decentralized administration areas, there should be more than one controlled entrance.
      relocated office 
      Main Office Location 
      Problem: The main office is not at the front of the building, but is buried within the building's bowels. Providing a secure main entry control is impossible because of the remote office location.
      Solution: In order to achieve a secure main entry, the main office must be located at the front of the building. In most cases, this is feasible by renovating some key spaces within the school (see diagram). Besides a secure main entry, the other benefits include:
      A. clear visibility to the front entry and parking area; and
      B. clear visibility to the lobby and adjoining hallways.

      3. Escape/Rescue Windows in Classrooms
      Problem: There is only one door into each classroom, so escape routes are limited.
      Solution: With the exception of a few specialty classrooms on the high school level, all classrooms should have windows. One of the windows should be an operable rescue window. The minimum clear opening should be three feet wide by two feet high. Label the window with a sticker that reads "emergency escape/rescue window."
      While this is a requirement of some state agencies, it should be a standard part of school facility design. The other classroom windows can be operable, but the openings can be limited to avoid the potential for entry from the exterior.

      4. Keyless Entries at Secondary Locations
      Problem: Keeping track of keys for even a single school is a logistical nightmare. When contract employees or terminated staff leave, it is difficult to account for all keys. It is also difficult to monitor activity at remote secondary entrances/exits.
      Solution: Provide keyless entries at specific secondary school entrances. By using card or fob access, the facility manager can simply delete a card's authorization code to deny access. Another benefit to a keyless entry system is that you can monitor who comes in and out of the school, along with the times they enter and exit. You may also limit access for certain times, like issuing a card for Saturday afternoon gym use only. These secondary doors should also have video surveillance.

      5. Classroom Doors/Corridor Visibility
      Problem: Because of the remote chance that someone may enter the school to terrorize the occupants, it is important that teachers have the ability to lock the classroom door from the inside. In addition, monitoring activity in the corridor from the classroom adds extra security.
      Solution: Providing the appropriate classroom door locksets is an easy hardware fix. The hardware must comply with applicable codes so that exiting can occur from the classroom. Providing a sidelight (i.e., a glass panel next to the classroom door) helps with monitoring. It is important to take into consideration that activity in the corridor can be a potential distraction to students in the classroom. Providing blinds or shades on the sidelight interior can help.

      6. Security Systems
      Problem: Some schools still do not have adequate security systems that monitor-through passive monitoring techniques-entrances and areas not easily supervised.
      Solution: Add security cameras, alarms, motion detectors, monitors and other security features as appropriate for the school.

      7. School Sections or Regions
      Problem: Access can be gained throughout a large area of the school or the school in its entirety.
      Solution: While gates are often used in corridors, there is a potential to create a dead-end corridor and thus a fire hazard. By providing doors at critical intersections, the school can be divided into sections or regions without compromising exiting requirements. When after-school programs occur, portions of the building can be used while limiting access to other areas. In the event a crisis situation arises during the school day, portions of the building can be sectioned off to limit access within the school.

      How do you make sure this work gets done?
      1. Form an SSDI team, and include the following personnel:
      * architect,
      * security specialist and/or security equipment manufacturers,
      * director of facilities, and
      * school administrator (principal or assistant principal).
      We recommend that an architect experienced in educational planning and design be the team leader. Architects, by training, are sensitive to aesthetics. While it is imperative to design a safer school, it is equally important to make sure it does not resemble a prison.

      2. After a review of the existing school(s), establish written guidelines of what will be done, along with the estimated construction cost and a timeline for implementation.

      3. Understand that timing is critical: Before beginning the design of a new school or major renovation is the best time to form the SSDI team and evaluate your schools. However, don't wait to implement these changes if a major renovation project is in the distant future.

      A carefully designed school looks bright, cheerful and inviting and, at the same time, is a safer learning environment. There are certainly more options to create better sight lines, add visibility in stairways and eliminate "nooks and crannies" when designing new schools. However, much can be done to existing schools to make them safer.
       

       


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    • pamythompson
      Remember back to the sniper situation? HCPSS locked the outside doors which caused mothers bringing their children to school late to be locked out and
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 2, 2013
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        Remember back to the "sniper" situation? HCPSS locked the outside doors which caused mothers bringing their children to school late to be locked out and potential targets.

        Both the health room and guidance tell parents to come straight there instead of the office. You have to have a secure area or foyer inside the school which can be contained. From there you should have a check point and then access to the office, guidance and the healthroom. The student population is seperated from these areas.

        I do not see anyone addressing extra-curricular activities and now it is worse because the hcpss shirked its responsibility in this area when it turned the schools over to Rec and Parks.

        Escape windows, like should be in the portables in case of fire. Problem here is many class rooms and entire schools have no windows.

        School lockdowns are interesting. They turn off the lights and tell everyone to hide under their desk and this may go on for several periods. The only thing worse is tornado drills where they are all led to a hall or gym and made to sit next to the wall. The reason this is worse is Roey has no idea which areas of the school can withstand a tornado and which areas are prone to it albeit any competent engineer would question areas like gyms with high walls and large roof areas because of the potential to crush large numbers of people in a colapse.

        Mental health seems to be a huge issue which we are not adequately addressing.

        I am still stuck on other issues like drugs, alcohol and car accidents to name but a few.

        What bothers me most is how little the hcpss has really reached out to the community for help. I just don't see this discussion being done in a 2 hour forum.

        jack



        --- In howardpubliced@yahoogroups.com, Ann wrote:
        >
        > Mrs. Sandra French shared this information on school designs with emphasis on safety. Take a look.
        > >
        > > From: joel@...
        > > "Joel K. Sims, AIA"
        > > Wednesday, December 19, 2012 4:59:49 PM
        > > Subject: SchoolDesigner.com Update
        > > Attachments: Attach0.html Uploaded File 49K
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Greetings!
        > > I received a call this week from a radio producer that asked me questions about school security. In light of the recent school shooting, I have chosen to reprint an article that was first published in 2006. I began writing the article just prior to a school shooting that devastated our community. I would like to think we have made significant progress since 2006. But have we?
        > > Just over a year ago, I was retained by a school district to review an architect's drawings for a new Elementary School. I commented specifically on the entry and the office area and stated there needed to be a secure entry. The architects scoffed at my comment and stated that the school was in a safe community and there was no need for this type of design. To my knowledge, they never added the secure entry.
        > > As you read the article, ask yourself how much your school district has progressed with school safety since 2006. I will continue to promote design that makes our schools safer - and now unfortunately with perhaps advocating bullet proof glass at the entries.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Type caption text here.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > THE SAFER SCHOOL DESIGN INITIATIVE
        > >
        > >
        > > ( Reprinted from October 2006, copyright Schooldesigner, LLC )
        > > By Joel K. Sims, AIA
        > >
        > > As I sit in my office, just 15 miles from the devastating and horrific Amish school shooting site in rural Pennsylvania, I am mindful that there is no such thing as a safe school. There are however, safer schools. In this issue of The Schooldesigner, we assist in making schools safer with practical advice.
        > >
        > > Years ago, I had the opportunity to work on the design for renovations and additions to a public elementary school near the Amish schoolhouse where the tragedies occurred. I can't help but wonder, "Did we make that one elementary school safer so that it was not the target of the school shooting?"
        > >
        > > Similarly, many of you readers work diligently to make schools safer and, for that, you should be commended. But there is more to be done.
        > >
        > > Listed below are the "must do" items to make schools safer. There are thousands of schools around the United States (not to mention the rest of the world) that have not initiated these basic safer school design changes. Yes, it costs time and money. It may even be an inconvenience to some. But the work must be completed. Most of the recommendations can be done to existing schools, and all can be designed into new facilities. We call this the Safer School Design Initiative (SSDI) , and its goal is simple: help make all schools safer.
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > 1. Main Entry Control
        > > Problem: There is not a controlled entry point at the school, and people can access the school without being noticed.
        > > Solution: As the diagram of a sample elementary school shows, secure entries allow easy access into the school at the start of the school day but secure the building throughout the day. Visitors must access the school through the main office.
        > > A. The remote buzzer allows access from the vestibule to the office.
        > > B. Once inside the office, visitors must check in. After signing in and leaving a photo id, such as a driver's license, visitors receive a name tag.
        > > C. A second remote buzzer allows access from the office to the hallway and the rest of the building. Optional metal detectors can be added in the lobby if warranted by the school location. Video surveillance should be at this location. Also, card access should be located here so as to allow staff and faculty pass- through. In large schools, where there are decentralized administration areas, there should be more than one controlled entrance.
        > >
        > > Main Office Location
        > > Problem: The main office is not at the front of the building, but is buried within the building's bowels. Providing a secure main entry control is impossible because of the remote office location.
        > > Solution: In order to achieve a secure main entry, the main office must be located at the front of the building. In most cases, this is feasible by renovating some key spaces within the school (see diagram). Besides a secure main entry, the other benefits include:
        > > A. clear visibility to the front entry and parking area; and
        > > B. clear visibility to the lobby and adjoining hallways.
        > >
        > > 3. Escape/Rescue Windows in Classrooms
        > > Problem: There is only one door into each classroom, so escape routes are limited.
        > > Solution: With the exception of a few specialty classrooms on the high school level, all classrooms should have windows. One of the windows should be an operable rescue window. The minimum clear opening should be three feet wide by two feet high. Label the window with a sticker that reads "emergency escape/rescue window."
        > > While this is a requirement of some state agencies, it should be a standard part of school facility design. The other classroom windows can be operable, but the openings can be limited to avoid the potential for entry from the exterior.
        > >
        > > 4. Keyless Entries at Secondary Locations
        > > Problem: Keeping track of keys for even a single school is a logistical nightmare. When contract employees or terminated staff leave, it is difficult to account for all keys. It is also difficult to monitor activity at remote secondary entrances/exits.
        > > Solution: Provide keyless entries at specific secondary school entrances. By using card or fob access, the facility manager can simply delete a card's authorization code to deny access. Another benefit to a keyless entry system is that you can monitor who comes in and out of the school, along with the times they enter and exit. You may also limit access for certain times, like issuing a card for Saturday afternoon gym use only. These secondary doors should also have video surveillance.
        > >
        > > 5. Classroom Doors/Corridor Visibility
        > > Problem: Because of the remote chance that someone may enter the school to terrorize the occupants, it is important that teachers have the ability to lock the classroom door from the inside. In addition, monitoring activity in the corridor from the classroom adds extra security.
        > > Solution: Providing the appropriate classroom door locksets is an easy hardware fix. The hardware must comply with applicable codes so that exiting can occur from the classroom. Providing a sidelight (i.e., a glass panel next to the classroom door) helps with monitoring. It is important to take into consideration that activity in the corridor can be a potential distraction to students in the classroom. Providing blinds or shades on the sidelight interior can help.
        > >
        > > 6. Security Systems
        > > Problem: Some schools still do not have adequate security systems that monitor-through passive monitoring techniques-entrances and areas not easily supervised.
        > > Solution: Add security cameras, alarms, motion detectors, monitors and other security features as appropriate for the school.
        > >
        > > 7. School Sections or Regions
        > > Problem: Access can be gained throughout a large area of the school or the school in its entirety.
        > > Solution: While gates are often used in corridors, there is a potential to create a dead-end corridor and thus a fire hazard. By providing doors at critical intersections, the school can be divided into sections or regions without compromising exiting requirements. When after-school programs occur, portions of the building can be used while limiting access to other areas. In the event a crisis situation arises during the school day, portions of the building can be sectioned off to limit access within the school.
        > >
        > > How do you make sure this work gets done?
        > > 1. Form an SSDI team, and include the following personnel:
        > > * architect,
        > > * security specialist and/or security equipment manufacturers,
        > > * director of facilities, and
        > > * school administrator (principal or assistant principal).
        > > We recommend that an architect experienced in educational planning and design be the team leader. Architects, by training, are sensitive to aesthetics. While it is imperative to design a safer school, it is equally important to make sure it does not resemble a prison.
        > >
        > > 2. After a review of the existing school(s), establish written guidelines of what will be done, along with the estimated construction cost and a timeline for implementation.
        > >
        > > 3. Understand that timing is critical: Before beginning the design of a new school or major renovation is the best time to form the SSDI team and evaluate your schools. However, don't wait to implement these changes if a major renovation project is in the distant future.
        > >
        > > A carefully designed school looks bright, cheerful and inviting and, at the same time, is a safer learning environment. There are certainly more options to create better sight lines, add visibility in stairways and eliminate "nooks and crannies" when designing new schools. However, much can be done to existing schools to make them safer.
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