A New Year’s Resolution to Follow Through On: Updating Safety Plans

Happy New Year, School District communicators,

As the new year gets underway, one thing we encourage school district superintendents and communications professionals to do is dust off those districtwide safety plans and check that they are up to date.

Before the winter break, news media, authorities, and school districts warned families and communities about school social media threats. Although many

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Follow through your new year’s resolution to get your work organized for the new year!

 of the threats turned out to be just words, they came on the heels of the tragic November school in Michigan. 

One Nichols Strategies client experienced two threats within a week. Authorities investigated both threats and handled them appropriately without incident.

The threats provided an opportunity for the district’s executive cabinet and its new communications team to revisit and update its plan. In addition, the new individual leading the communications department was able to see gaps in the district’s current protocols and provide an opportunity to get to know and refresh the district’s relationships with public safety officials in multiple cities.

The communications lead told us, “We had a solid system in place before the incident, but it provided a great opportunity for us as a team to go through the plan and highlight the areas that need improvement.”

Here are a few quick tips to consider:

  • Are all the individuals on your Crisis Response Team current and accurate?
  • Are those contacts at the public safety offices (police, fire, etc.) still there and in the same role? An updated contact list is essential if your district spans more than one city.
  • Are you checking in with the agencies at least quarterly about the plan?
  • How often are you checking in with your schools and departments about their safety plans?
  • Are the safety plans publicly accessible?

And lastly, the start of the new year is an excellent time to ask your families and staff if their contact information is current and what method they prefer (phone, email, or text).

Nichols Strategies offers various communications services from strategy, planning, counseling and coaching, messaging, and social media. Whatever your communication needs, Nichols Strategies can help. Contact us to get started.