Safety Response Team
Our focus as a school district continues to center on safety, student and staff well-being, and racial equity.
An ongoing Safety Response Team was formed in March of 2022 to identify short and long-term solutions to addressing safety in our schools. The team is a diverse group of staff to form an ongoing district-wide Safety Response Team. This diverse group of staff includes staff across sites and roles, as well as a representative from the Minnesota School Safety Center, a branch of Homeland Security and Emergency Management under the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
Superintendent Lewandowski supports the Safety Response Team recommendations listed below, with added specifications on metal detectors.
This summer, District leaders and staff will plan and prepare to operationalize these action steps, with an intentional focus on race equity, trauma-informed practices, and evidence-based practices.
- Staff need additional training to feel confident in a crisis situation
- Staff attendance should be required for the training
- Staff must prioritize safety trainings as part of their professional obligations
- A collaborative process should be used to identify and implement the most important trainings
- Follow-up reviews of staff knowledge and implementation of strategies should be utilized
Physical Layers of Protection
- District safety leaders should continue to implement new physical technologies that support safety, such as industry standard visitor management systems and security cameras.
- Use metal detectors at one entrance at each of our four education centers with the requirement that all staff and students enter through the same entrance, including passing through the metal detector. A review of the effectiveness and impact of metal detectors should be done annually. It is further recommended that the District consider new technology that would limit impact on personal boundaries (e.g. multiple people passing through at the same time).
Superintendent Decision: Metal detectors will be installed and studied multiple times over the course of two years, beginning the 2022-2023 school year, after which the superintendent will review the decision.
- Create a district-wide protocol on screening practices as students enter the school buildings.
Mental Health Layers of Protection
- Continue to implement and further develop training so that our staff have a deep understanding of mental health and trauma.
- Ensure that staff who work directly with students understand and update each student’s Positive Behavior Support Plan (PBSP).
Systemic and Social Change
District 287 leaders and staff should advocate for systemic and social change:
- To address community violence, particularly in our communities of Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color.
- To adequately fund mental health/trauma strategies within schools
- To ensure that legislators and government officials are aware of the acute needs of students in Intermediate School Districts.
Regular Communication on Safety
- Ensure that all staff are aware of the District safety strategies and their role in implementing the strategies.
- Consistently provide safety updates through newsletters and other communications strategies.
- Encourage staff to engage site-based Safety Response Team and Health and Safety Team Members to ask questions and be informed.
- Ensure all staff have access to the Emergency Planning and Procedure Guide.
We wish to thank the following members of this team for their time and commitment to leading such an important body of work in our district.
- Antwon Williams - Principal of North Education Center
- Ben Magras - Executive Director of School & Student Outcomes
- Letitia Jennings-Holmes- Innovation Teaming Coach / 2209 Representative
- Bryce Koenig - Union Steward and Facilities
- Dena Sage - Senior Manager of Mental Health
- Emilia Woods - Instructor / 2209 Representative
- Jacob Horejsh - Senior Manager of Health and Safety
- John Fishbaugher - Instructor / 2209 Representative
- Kristin Vogel - Communications Specialist
- Randy Johnson - Minnesota Department of School Safety
- Theon Jarrett - Student & Staff Safety Manager
Safety Response Team Agendas and Meeting Notes
In alignment with our strategic priorities of racial equity and trauma-responsive practices, we ended the use of metal detectors in 287 buildings beginning the 2021-2022 school year. Note that only two sites had working metal detectors at the time, as we have decided to invest in student-friendly proactive strategies that advance positive learning environments. Learn more about this decision.
FAQs will be updated as questions are submitted to the Safety Response Team.
District 287 Family Message on Final Safety Decisions