School Safety and Security Audit Toolkit

1.1 Overview of the School Safety and Security Audit Process

Using the established district audit procedures, the authorized person(s) will initiate the safety and security audit process. The following are general steps in the model safety and security audit process and recommended time frames for each of the steps. These steps are discussed in more detail throughout the toolkit.

  1. Establish audit team(s): Determine the number of teams; identify members and roles; set expectations and timelines.
    Time Frame: Early in three-year audit cycle.

  2. Train audit team members: Train audit team members in roles specific to audit functions: review of documents, intruder assessments, report writing, and oversight. Issue any needed equipment: cameras, electronic devices, clipboards, etc.
    Time Frame: As soon as possible following audit team establishment.

  3. Distribute surveys: Develop and distribute safety and security audit surveys to groups identified in the district audit procedures.
    Time Frame: Distribute surveys 30 or more days prior to the facility audit.

  4. Schedule intruder assessments, site visit, and entrance conference: Conduct intruder assessment before notifying the school or facility of the scheduled audit date and time to help ensure the quality of the assessment. Set date and time for facility on-site audit with the principal or facility administrator. Set expectations for the entrance conference, by inviting the principal or facility manager and any other appropriate personnel of their choosing.
    Time Frame: Schedule intruder assessment prior to notifying facility of their site visit 30 days prior to facility on-site audit if possible.

  5. Provide school or facility a list of needs during site visit: Include documents for review, keys for access, and personnel from that facility to participate with the audit team during the site visit.
    Time Frame: 30 days prior to site visit.

  6. Conduct on-site audit: The audit, in addition to items identified in the audit checklist, should include viewing student arrival and departure and a review of documents (Emergency Operation Plan, Code of Conduct, etc.).
    Time Frame: One-two days as needed.

  7. Conduct the exit conference: Schedule and conduct the exit conference for a time following the completion of the facility site visit. This is a short meeting to share some preliminary results of audit observations.
    Time Frame: Plan for exit conference on last day on site. Schedule when audit team knows they will be finished.

  8. Assemble findings of audit team(s): Conduct an audit team meeting to review results, compile data, and make preliminary reports prior to moving along to any other facility. The preference is to complete documentation of one facility before moving to the next. It may be difficult to separate detailed observations from one school or facility to the next if the information collected is not appropriately documented prior to starting another facility audit.
    Time Frame: Preferably no more than 1-2 days after completing site visit.

  9. Prepare school or facility audit report: Draft an audit report of the findings from the school or facility audit. Include photos, survey results, documentation reviews as well as data from checklists. Include commendations and recommendations and put in priority order. It may be necessary to attach some cost estimates of both time and money related to improvement options.

  10. Prepare district reports and presentation to the board or governing administration: Upon completion of the facility audits, the audit team should complete a district level safety and security report using information and data collected from all facility audits. The district level audit report should incorporate the results of the intruder assessment, facility audit checklists, document review, survey result summaries, and district-wide commendations and recommendations. The structure of a final district audit report will depend greatly on the number of facilities within the district or school. While the checklists and working papers for each facility may be extensive, this district report will be a summary of all district facility audits and may reflect the level of detail and format as determined by the district’s needs and desires.

    Following completion or expected completion date of the district level report, schedule a time to report the results to the district board of trustees as required by TEC 37.109. The detail in this report will likely be determined by the superintendent and the district safety and security committee.
    Time Frame: Reports should be completed within 30 days of last facility audit and presented to the board as soon as reasonably possible based on board agendas. Report to the board prior to the end of the three-year audit cycle if possible.

  11. Report results required by the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC): Following the completion of the facility audits the district shall report the results of the safety and security audit in the manner required by the TxSSC. The current reporting method is the District Audit Reporting Tool (DARtool). The superintendent and their designee will receive the DARtool by email the first week of April in the last year of the audit cycle. This tool contains a series of questions that each district or charter school in Texas will use to provide information related to their safety and security audits for inclusion in a statewide report.
    Time Frame: The DARtool must be completed and submitted by September 15 of the last year of the audit cycle. Information provided by the district will be used to identify areas of compliance with state mandates and statutes.