School Safety Requirements and Information
|Date:||July 21, 2022|
|Subject:||School Safety Requirements and Information|
|Next Steps:||Distribute to school safety personnel and conduct required training|
On June 30, 2022, in coordination with the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) the Texas Education Agency (TEA) released the Required School Safety Action Steps This Summer TAA that outlines immediate steps that school systems are required to take to support the safety and security of public schools.
Under authority of Texas Education Code, §37.207, LEAs are required to respond to a survey issued by TxSSC to certify items in the TAA linked above have been completed by September 1, 2022. To ensure clarity of expectations, LEAs can review this document to see each of the survey questions they will be asked. The survey will be open no later than September 1, 2022, and responses will be due no later than September 9, 2022.
This letter is intended to provide information on additional tools to help accomplish the objectives outlined in the June 30 TAA, and also provide clarity as to what is and is not required this summer, based on questions we’ve received. Please contact TxSSC directly with any questions regarding their requirements.
Weekly Exterior Door Sweeps
As part of the action to improve campus safety around the state, all LEAs are required to conduct frequent and regular exterior door sweeps, beginning the first week students return to campus. To guide this process, TEA is providing the Campus Level Exterior Door Weekly Sweep Tool and associated District Level Exterior Door Weekly Sweep Tool. The tools are designed to help create an effective internal monitoring system for LEAs, giving visibility both to campus leaders and district leaders on how well instructional facility doors remain closed and locked. These tools are intended to be optional, and TEA continues to gather information from individual LEAs on their approach to managing access control, in an effort to share best practices across the state.
To help LEAs better understand how these tools can be used, TEA is hosting a Weekly Exterior Door Sweep Webinar on Thursday, August 11, 2022, at 12:00 noon. Register for the Weekly Exterior Door Sweep webinar here.
Active Threat Exercises
LEAs are not required to conduct active threat exercises, as is noted in 19 Texas Administrative Code §103.1211. However, if conducted, active threat exercises are best operationalized as a multi-jurisdictional effort, including local law enforcement, fire and EMS, working together to test communications and capacity during a simulated event. These exercises are conducted during a non-instructional time so students and other non-participants are not present in the facility. These exercises are intended to enhance the response capacity of district staff and local emergency responders and inform changes to procedures or staffing to see improvements.
LEAs may consider using a tabletop exercise as defined in 19 Texas Administrative Code §103.1209 (relating to Mandatory School Drills) to achieve the purpose, goals, and objectives of the exercise and build response capacity rather than using a functional or full-scale active threat exercise. To assist in this effort, the Texas School Safety Center provides this toolkit.
Required Summer Safety Trainings
This summer, school systems are required to conduct two safety trainings prior to the start of school:
- Schools must train staff on campus safety procedures. This would typically include training that describes their responsibilities with regard to access control procedures, and training on their responsibilities during drills to be conducted during the school year.
- Threat Assessment teams must be trained in accordance with Texas Education Code, §37.115(c)(2). You can learn more by visiting Texas School Safety Center’s School Behavior Threat Assessment webpage or your Education Service Center website.
Unrelated to these two requirements communicated on June 30, House Bill 690, passed by the 87th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 2021, added Texas Education Code, §11.159(b-1), requiring school board members to be trained on safety requirements. For more information, see this TAA published today outlining the training requirements.
After This Summer: Texas School Safety Center – Multi-Hazard Emergency Operations Plans
The Texas School Safety Center announced today that the next review cycle of Multi-Hazard Emergency Operations Plans (EOPs), which will focus on the Basic Plan and the Active Threat Annex, is scheduled to begin September 2022. The TxSSC will the provide the criteria that will be used to evaluate the plans and the link to submit the plans in an email on September 12, 2022. LEAs will have until October 12, 2022, to submit their plans for review. Failure to meet this deadline will result in an official notification of the initiation of a compliance process that culminates in a public board hearing and TEA conservatorship. Additional guidance and resources for EOP development can be found on the TxSSC Tools webpage.
After This Summer: Texas School Safety Center – Intruder Detection Audit Webinar
The Texas School Safety Center will give an overview of the upcoming statewide Intruder Detection Audit program for District and Public Charter Superintendents on August 16, 2022, at 12:00 noon. You can register for the Intruder Detection Audit webinar here.
We have posted school safety resources at: https://tea.texas.gov/texas-schools/health-safety-discipline/safe-and-supportive-schools/school-safety-resources. If you have any questions, please contact: