When listening to school administrators discuss student learning, both passion and focus rise to the top. At the Superintendent level, there is little doubt that most of their legacies are built by showing steady academic progress across their students. They’re able to do this despite the challenges of funding, unpredictable use of technology and for some ––the need to unify a range of instructors across common, proven learning practices.
When we dig a little deeper, the question of creating better learning environments emerges. Better facilities, more interactive classrooms, access to technology are all high on the list. Eventually, we touch on the topic of student safety as part of learning. “This is our top priority,” is a frequently heard statement. Who would argue with this?
Schools have many priorities; keeping students and staff safe is undoubtedly important. Updating safety plans annually, practicing safety drills and working with safety professionals are foundational. But if safety really is a (the?) priority––and makes a difference in learning––then the use of improved tools that coincides with these stated priorities needs to take place. It’s time to move beyond traditional paper-based procedures to build a new foundation for more comprehensive and adaptable digital safety plans.