District 51 safety and security protocols ranked among the best in the nation

Published: May. 16, 2022 at 6:30 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -District 51 was one of thousands school districts across the country that took part of a survey regarding safety and security protocols and the district was ranked among the best of the districts.

The survey from the National Institute of Justice surveyed 2,000 districts and District 51 ranked number 12 when it came to safety and security protocols. The director for safety and security, Tim Leon said many of those protocols have been used as a model for other school districts that didn’t already have protocols in place.

“What we look for is something that’s going to challenge our protocol, challenge the staff,” said Leon. “We try to mix it up a little bit to make sure that they’re learning.”

Every year, each school in the district has 11 fire drills, two lockdown drills and one shelter in place drill. As the safety and security team looks to challenge staff and students, Leon said the students are learning.

“I recall a drill we did where we had a substitute that was new to the district, said Leon. “We did a drill at the school that day and a group of students guided that teacher through the process.”

One of the things Leon said the district does, is have every school follow the same protocols so students, staff and first responders know what to expect should a situation arise.

“A lot of times when we have a large scale incident you’re going to have first responders from all across the valley,” said Leon. “It’s really helpful for them to know we have one protocol for fire drills and it’s the same all across the district, so they’re not walking into that scenario blindly.”

Leon also said many students are using the Safe2Tell app, which allows students to anonymously submit tips when they see something that doesn’t seem quite right. Students in the district have submitted tips of potential school shootings, as well as reports of students who have stolen things and even bullying.

The safety and security team also has a mobile crisis coordinator which will go to staff and students at various schools as needed need and Leon said the coordinator will remain at the school as long as they are needed to help staff and students.

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