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Ensuring Safety All Day: A Guide for School Leaders in After-School Event Planning

As school leaders, organizing successful after-school events goes beyond just ensuring smooth logistics and exciting games. Safety and security are paramount, requiring meticulous planning, trained personnel, and clear protocols. In this guide, we cover eight essential steps to create a safe environment for after-school events, integrating research-backed strategies and detailed approaches to enhance safety excellence.

  1. Designate an Incident Commander: when it comes to crisis management, having a designated Incident Commander (IC) is crucial. Training resources like our Joffe Academy Incident Command Structure Course Bundle or FEMA's ICS 100 course can equip the IC with the necessary skills to handle emergencies effectively.
  2. Write an After-School EOP: having a dedicated after-school Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) is essential for addressing unique challenges during non-standard school hours. While the main EOP covers traditional school hours, the after-school EOP serves as an addendum that specifically addresses the safety and well-being of students, staff, and visitors during extracurricular activities, sporting events, and other after-school programs. This separate plan includes specific policies, procedures, and protocols tailored to after-school activities, ensuring comprehensive readiness for any potential emergencies and fostering a secure environment for all participants.
  3. Coordinate with Vendors: aligning medical and security teams, preferably from the same company, fosters seamless collaboration during after-school events. Regular communication and joint training sessions between these teams enhance readiness and ensure a clear understanding of roles and responsibilities during emergencies.
  4. Conduct a Risk Assessment: gather a diverse group of stakeholders to conduct a comprehensive risk assessment specific to school athletic events. Utilize risk prioritization formulas to focus on high-risk incidents (such as severe weather, active shooters, or fan violence) and develop detailed emergency operation plans covering various scenarios identified in the risk assessment.
  5. Respond to the Risk Assessment: share the developed emergency action plans with relevant stakeholders, including medical teams, security personnel, and local emergency services. You’ll want to conduct regular training drills based on the risk assessment findings to ensure everyone understands potential risks and appropriate responses.
  6. Train and Share Information: effective training and continuous communication are vital for ensuring a safe school environment during events. Campus security personnel must be trained to enforce policies and maintain entry point safety. Collaboration between leadership roles like the athletic director and campus security is crucial for managing disruptions and emergencies. Health coordinators, including school nurses or athletic trainers, need thorough training for immediate injury care and emergency transportation coordination. Regular updates and communication ensure readiness and alignment across all teams involved in event management, promoting a cohesive approach to safety and security. It's also essential to retrain staff annually to reinforce protocols and adapt to evolving safety needs.
  7. Run the Event: conduct the after-school event with a strong emphasis on safety and security within the school environment. Trained personnel, including campus security, should implement effective crowd management strategies, diligently monitor for any suspicious activities, and be prepared to respond promptly and appropriately to any incidents that may occur during the event.
  8. Debrief and Improve: after the event, conduct a thorough debriefing to identify areas for improvement. Use feedback to re-tool and enhance safety protocols and response mechanisms for future events. Continuous learning and improvement are vital for maintaining safety excellence.

Joffe Social Media (4)-3By following these eight steps and integrating detailed strategies into your after-school event planning, school leaders can create a safe and enjoyable environment for participants and spectators. We are dedicated to helping you create safe, joyful, and energetic after-school events, games, and extracurriculars for your community. Our focus on safety excellence not only ensures successful events, but also fosters trust and confidence within the school community. Prioritizing safety is an ongoing commitment that leads to positive experiences and a lasting impact, and Joffe is here to support you every step of the way.

 

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