The Zachary s chool district has brought in SafePlans, a Florida-based company that specializes in active shooter training software, to conduct a three-year review of the school district’s emergency plans and to develop training programs in the event of a shooter on campus.
During its work session Tuesday, the Zachary School Board heard from Brad Spicer, CEO of SafePlans, which started its review of the school system two months ago. The three-year program will cost the school district $33,000, plus a yearly $350 fee to use the software.
The school district reviews its plans every summer with help from the city and law enforcement, but “what we’re looking for is a tool to put this stuff in one location that we can access,” said Superintendent Scott Devillier.
SafePlans has also worked with the school systems of East Baton Rouge, Bossier and Caddo parishes.
SafePlans is currently setting up the Zachary school district’s Emergency Response Information Portal and reviewing existing emergency plans. After Christmas, the company will make maps of each campus that will be available in encrypted digital format to school staff and first responders, Spicer said.
SafePlans checks about 400 items, including door locks, lighting and entryways to the school, Spicer said.
Details like room numbers in the maps are searchable. “We’re trying to save seconds” when law enforcement responds to an emergency, Spicer said.
The company also will develop an online training course for teachers and other staff. Schools need training on what options they have in a variety of scenarios, Spicer said.
“We don’t want schools to have the perception that if they lock the front door, they’re impenetrable,” he said.
The software is meant for public officials’ use and will not alter the existing text message notification system currently used to reach parents in the event of an emergency.
During its meeting Tuesday, the board also recognized Northwestern Middle School students Orsciana Beard, Kension Tate and Sean Burrell, who are on local track teams and participated in the Junior Olympics this summer in Jacksonville, Florida.
“It’s not just what they learn in that classroom; it’s how they learn to compete, whether it be in a field, a court, in the band or in the choir,” Devillier said.
“You also run your parents crazy, all over the place,” Devillier joked, reminding the students they should be thankful for their families’ support.
The next School Board meeting is scheduled Dec. 15.