Safety and Security Master Plan
Safe and secure schools are top priority for Fort Bend ISD. In 2014, District administrators developed a Safety and Security Master Plan, which provided a roadmap for the future planning of the District’s safety and security needs. During the Spring 2014 semester, the District hosted three Community Dialogue Meetings that enabled community members to provide feedback on the preliminary plan. Additionally, the Community Dialogue Meeting video and online survey were posted to the District’s website and communicated to the community for feedback. The FBISD Safety and Security Master Plan was and presented to the FBISD Board of Trustees during the summer of 2014.
This FBISD Safety and Security Master Plan is based on the work of the Fort Bend ISD Police, Operations, and Technology Departments, and specified next steps in the District’s safety and security planning process. The safety and security plan includes physical security upgrades, technology additions and personnel additions to address an “all hazards” approach.
Best practices and industry standards lay the foundation of the plan; however, community and staff engagement are critical to the development and implementation of this plan. Additionally, a third party engineering and consulting firm evaluated the findings to help formulate the best safety and security options for Fort Bend ISD.
In 2002, the Homeland Security Act was written in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks to address future acts of terrorism in the United States. School districts were defined as local governments and, as such, are responsible for adhering to all federal guidelines and mandates contained in the Homeland Security Act. It is recognized that school districts face the same threats as any state, county, or city government. Subsequent state legislation has been enacted requiring mandatory drills and emergency operation planning following the National Incident Management System (NIMS) guidelines.
Industry best practices identify four interrelated elements within the overarching theme of how to build an environment that lends itself to emergency preparedness and response. Those components include Infrastructure, Crisis Communication / Notification, Staffing, and Procedures. These security factors provide a framework for emergency planning and are detailed in the FBISD Safety and Security Master Plan.
In the wake of school tragedies across the country in 2018, the District convened a Safety Advisory Committee in April 2018, comprised of over forty individuals representing students, staff, parents, security experts and community members. The charge of this Committee was to recommend and evaluate additional security measures that could potentially be added to this Safety and Security Master Plan.
Fourteen (14) measures were presented to the Board of Trustees. Twelve of these were added to the Safety and Security Master Plan. Quarterly updates are provided to the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees highlighting the progress of each security initiative in the plan and the updated plan is posted in this forum.
Texas School Safety and Security Council
PBK Architects founded the Texas School Safety and Security Council (TSSSC) to address the rising concern around safety in today’s educational environments. TOGETHER FOR TOMORROW is a whitepaper on school safety and security developed in partnership with more than 130 police chiefs, including Fort Bend ISD Police Chief David Rider who is a founding member. The group is comprised of more than 100 Texas public school district Chiefs of Police, associated law enforcement agencies, first responders and school administrators. Members meet regularly to discuss best practices for school safety and security, due to the rapidly changing nature of policy, practice and implementation for school safety.