The CIS Guardian SafeSchool Program

Over the past few decades, horrific acts of mass violence have occurred in schools ranging in size and complexity from State universities and urban public schools, to a private school on an Indian reservation and a one-room rural Amish schoolhouse. As witnessed time and again, no school is immune to the risk of targeted violence.

In response to the public need for an effective strategy for reducing the risk of school violence, Critical Intervention Services launched the Guardian SafeSchool Program in 2013 as a comprehensive and effective security program model for protecting students against violence.

The uniquely integrated and comprehensive nature of the program has already drawn national-level interest and recognition from the criminal justice and school safety community and has been peer reviewed by John Jay College of Criminal Justice as a model for national best practices in May 2014.

Click here to view the John Jay College of Criminal Justice report on the CIS School Protection Officer program.

 


CIS School Protection Approach

The Guardian SafeSchool Program is designed as a holistic, integrated program that employs a multi-layered strategy to reduce risk by preventing acts of violence and mitigating the potential impact of events through effective preparation and response.

This strategy is described in the diagram below.


Although each CIS-protected school is unique, there are a number of universal elements to the Guardian SafeSchool Program:

Risk Evaluation & Security Program Design

At the beginning of a new school protection project, the CIS planning team (in partnership with the school administration) conducts an audit of the school, its culture and operations, and current security measures. Based on this initial assessment, the CIS planning team outlines a proposed comprehensive security strategy for the school that aims at preventing incidents of violence and reducing the overall impact of crisis events.

Procedural Evaluation & Improvement

As part of the assessment process, the CIS planning team evaluates the school’s current security procedures and crisis manual for issues of concern, both in terms of security performance as well as liability. If the school engages CIS as a client, CIS then works with the school to rewrite its procedures and school crisis manual as necessary.

Physical Security Assessment & Guidance

As part of the initial assessment, the CIS planning team evaluates the design of physical security and identifies key areas for improvement. To ensure effectiveness of system design, CIS uses an analytic approach to evaluation and improvement of physical security based on the Estimate of Adversary Sequence Interruption (EASI) model developed by Sandia National Laboratories. Click here for more information about the CIS approach to physical security and schools.

School Protection Officers (SPOs)

CIS School Protection Officers are experienced CIS officers that have been specially selected and trained for the mission of providing protection of schools against criminal threats, including threats of targeted violence. In addition to their protective functions, CIS School Protection Officers use the Community & Character Based Protection Initiative (CCBPI) methodology as the basis for preventative interaction, problem identification and resolution, early threat intervention, and establishment/reinforcement of a safe school climate. Click here to learn more about the CIS School Protection Officer Division including mission tasks, officer selection and certification, and professional standards.

Click here to learn more about the CIS Guardian SafeSchool officer training program.

Click here for information about how the CIS CCBPI methodology and its benefits for reinforcing positive school climate.

Communications Support

A critical part of effective response during crises is reliable and rapid alert communications and response coordination. As part of the Guardian SafeSchool Program, client schools have full emergency communications support from the CIS 24-hour Operations Center located at the CIS Headquarters in Largo, Florida. Click here for information about the CIS Operations Center and our unique communications systems for schools.

Crisis Response Support

If a crisis event occurs, in addition to the assigned School Protection Officers, CIS is uniquely equipped to provide a variety of assistance in managing the aftermath of crisis events including rapid deployment of support personnel to aid miscellaneous functions (traffic control, reunification assistance, etc.), assistance in fielding calls from the news media and parents, logistical assistance, and providing an off-site location for emergency management activities.

Threat Assessment Program Development and Assistance

Many acts of school violence are precipitated by communications or behavior that, if properly recognized and assessed, can indicate a potential threat. In these circumstances, effective recognition of potential threats can facilitate intervention and implementation of a management plan before crisis occurs. The CIS Student Threat Assessment and Management System (C-STAMS) was created to provide a standardized methodology for conducting threat assessments in schools in support of the Guardian SafeSchool Program. As part of every new Guardian SafeSchool Program, CIS designs a school-specific Student Threat Assessment System (based on the C-STAMS methodology) and partners with the school on implementation of the program. Click here for more information.

Faculty Training and Drill Supervision

As new programs are implemented (and at the beginning of all new school years), CIS provides faculty training on threat awareness/reporting and school crisis procedures. Additional specialized training courses are also administered for senior school administrators and threat assessment team members. As part of the implementation and evaluation process, CIS aids in designing the drills for lockdowns and bomb threats and evaluating performance of faculty, CIS SPOs, and CIS Operations personnel.

Benefits

Following are some of the key benefits of the CIS Guardian SafeSchool Program:

    • Significant risk reduction.
      • In contrast to public schools, one act of violence (or even serendipitous discovery of a threat of violence) in a private school can have devastating consequences in terms of enrollment loss, damaged reputation, and liability exposure.
      • By using a multi-layered protection strategy and professional implementation, the probability or criticality of a violent attack is greatly reduced.
    • Reduced burden on educators to function as security professionals.
      • The Guardian SafeSchool Program allows school leaders and administrators to spend more of their precious time on running a first class school, and less time on security.
      • The CIS Guardian SafeSchool Program is designed with a comprehensive turn-key approach, relieving school administrators of the burden to research and author procedures, train staff, design physical security, integrate technology, manage security personnel, and numerous other security functions.
  • Low-cost access to major league resources.
    • Even the best financed schools in the United States have difficulty funding the infrastructure for a first class security program.
    • Under the CIS Guardian SafeSchool Program, schools benefits from an extensive support infrastructure including the CIS 24-hour Operations Center, redundant communications systems, professional trainers, expert assistance on security design and implementation, emergency support during crisis events, and more.
  • Powerful selling point for attracting new student enrollments.
    • School violence is a significant concern for many parents today, often eclipsing traditional priorities of scholastic excellence and environment.
    • By having a professionally developed and comprehensive security program, schools ensure their position in the top percentile of safest private schools in the United States.


For more information about the CIS Guardian SafeSchool Program and optional solutions for protecting schools, contact:

Craig Gundry, CPS, CHS-III
Vice President of Special Projects
Critical Intervention Services
13777 Belcher Road South
Largo, Florida 33771 USA
Tel. (727) 461-9417
Fax (727) 535-6666
Email: cgundry@cisworldservices.org

 


CIS Guardian SafeSchool Program Links:

The CIS Guardian SafeSchool Program (Main Page)
     •  Risk Management and School Security
     •  Physical Security and the CIS Guardian SafeSchool Program
     •  CIS School Protection Officers
             •  School Protection Officer Training
             •  CCBPI and the Guardian SafeSchool Program (School Culture & Climate)
     •  CIS Emergency Communications for Schools
     •  CIS Student Threat Assessment and Management System (C-STAMS)
     •  CIS SPO Peer Review Report, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, 2014 (PDF)
     •  Recommendation for the CIS Guardian SafeSchool Program, Shorecrest                Preparatory School (PDF)

 

Download the CIS Guardian SafeSchool Program brochure (PDF)

Member of the Florida Association of School Administrators (FASA).