Today more than ever, students in K-12 face a variety of challenges - from bullying to home-related insecurities to mental health concerns that create stress and interfere with their ability to succeed. Sometimes students will demonstrate early warning signs out in inappropriate ways as a result. Schools need to document and spot the signs of potential problems to reduce threats and intervene to provide the right services.
Information kept in binders or disparate systems is a barrier for a holistic approach to school safety and student well-being. Principals and threat assessment teams need situational awareness for proactive and individualized interventions to support and guide students during times of need. Here is where technology can assist. Case management solutions streamline the process of identifying, investigating, assessing, and managing threats and plans through a centralized digital platform. These applications also make it easier to meet the number of new regulations at local, state, and federal levels by simplifying data capture, reporting, and sharing when a “need to know” situation arises.
Challenges for School Safety Monitoring
Schools have traditionally focused on the reactive side of safety by focusing on physical solutions for safety and security of their location and related areas. They had resources for monitoring and assessing trends. Maintaining these paper-based records and disconnected computers and solutions worked well enough. Now, the world is moving faster and there is a broader more proactive approach across many jurisdictions for threat assessments and student well-being. According to the National Threat Assessment Center at the U.S. Secret Service, “The goal of a Threat Assessment is to identify students of concern, assess their risk for engaging in violence or other harmful activities, and identify intervention strategies to manage that risk.”
As with many industries, manual processes, hard copies, and siloed software are inefficient for managing what needs to get done. There is also an overwhelming amount of data that must be processed and sorted through to find insights. Mailing and emailing records are time consuming and not very efficient. You can pull data from state, federal, and other systems; however, what are the important things to review? The challenge is making sure the right information gets to the right people at the right time.
Early intervention and support by safety teams and schools require a proactive and holistic approach to preventing violence and self-harm. One of these methods is Behavioural Threat Assessment and Management (BTAM) that includes following best practices for identifying concerning behavior, investigating, assessing, and managing a student’s well-being.
State school safety laws continue to increase and be put into place every day. There have been over 2,000 bills introduced across the 52 states and territories since 2018 with almost 20% being enacted, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). These regulations range from staffing requirements to structural changes to technology-related safety measures. There have also been measures that provide more mental health services to students, teachers, and staff. Additional or more detailed reporting requirements have been included in some instances.
Integrated Intelligence: Case Management Solutions
These challenges are why many school systems and even states are migrating towards more comprehensive case management solutions. Moving from legacy systems and processes offers a better way to manage and connect multiple sources of information that offers a well-rounded view of situations and students. These case management solutions often incorporate best practices and threat assessment models, so teams have access to and can easily discover relevant, actionable risk information faster.
These applications, such as CaseWorX for Schools, help threat assessment and safety teams efficiently manage their intelligence resources and document processes, as well as meet any reporting requirements.
Gather and securely store important case information
Low-level concerns tracked
Repository for all digital documents
Assess student risk levels
Integrated Behavioural Threat Assessment best practices
Quick access to student information
Comprehensive reporting for key insights
Ability to integrate multiple data sources
Manage intervention plans for safety and well-being
Personalized dashboards for managing support and improving success
Information sharing across multiple jurisdictions
Trend identification for better assessments and planning
This centralization of knowledge makes it easier to spot early warning signs, create the required documentation, and develop plans to manage student well-being before a threat becomes imminent.
Good Outcomes for School Safety and Student Well-Being
Modern school safety programs require a comprehensive, holistic approach that delivers better prevention, intervention, and recovery. Case management solutions support this proactive process to identify, investigate, and assess concerning behavior. These applications enable threat assessment teams to improve outcomes for at-risk students and create a safe environment in schools and their communities. Learn more about our school safety solutions.