AASA Central | May Update
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Time is Treasure: The Gold Standard Equation

There is great debate around nearly all aspects of school safety. The ongoing dialogue is healthy, but at times becomes the noise that leads to gridlock with school safety improvement.  One focus area that is without debate and understood by all stakeholders is about response time in the midst of a crisis.

There should be no gridlock and you must have the absolute best protocol in place.

It is simply an understood by all that optimal response time saves lives!

What perhaps is not quite so clear is how a school leader must assess present practice.  There are multiple components in a response time protocol:

  • Who can make the emergency call in your district……and does your district know this?
  • How has one been trained in this area?
  • How quickly does the caller information get to responders?
  • How quickly do responders get to the crisis?
  • What should staff and students be doing in the interim?
  • How are staff and students messaged during this high profile event?

Your response time equation must include solid answers to the above questions—an understanding on your end of the fidelity of your network, the expected messaging to all, and the proactive need to have all of the above front-loaded to staff and community.

I would challenge each school leader to examine his or her present protocol in the district as it relates to exactly what happens when 911 is called: Where does that call go, how does it inform stakeholders within the district, how does it connect to public safety officials, and how does it ultimately get to first responders?

Do your response time parts equal the absolute gold standard whole needed by every district?



Dr Joseph Erardi

AASA Safety Consultant

Retired Superintendent – Newtown, CT