Emergency Management

Schools continually face emergencies, both man-made and natural, that vary in severity, duration, and expenditure.

Schools continually face emergencies, both man-made and natural, that vary in severity, duration, and expenditure. Districts and campuses must take preventive actions to successfully fulfill their primary mission, providing a safe educational space for all students. Texas Education Code (TEC §37.108) requires each district have an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) that addresses prevention, mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. Once the EOP is in place, drilling and training components of emergency management begin to identify areas in need of improvement, clarify member roles, and improve coordination. Additionally, the Texas Legislature requires school districts, including charter schools, and public junior colleges to conduct a safety and security audit of their facilities at least once every three years. Key features of the audits are collected by the TxSSC and aggregated into a statewide report. This process directs schools’ attention to the safety and security needs of their facilities.


Best Practices for Safety in Portable Buildings

September 2019

As required by the 86th Texas Legislature and SB 11, the following resource outlines safety and security best practices developed to assist schools in ensuring student safety and the safety of all persons, in portable buildings used for instruction. In the context of this resource, “best practices” are considered to be those actions or techniques that have been tested through experience and/or research and have been demonstrated to be efficient and effective ways of accomplishing the task or goal. (Read more…)

The Most Important Safety Plan is the One you Don’t Have

May 2018

According to the Railroad Commission of Texas, the state is crisscrossed with over 439,771 miles of pipelines. Human error, like digging without calling 811 to have underground pipelines and utilities marked for safety beforehand, is still the leading cause of pipeline damages across the United States. Therefore, it is important for Texas schools to have relevant information and resources to keep students safe at school... (Read more…)

Hurricane Harvey Resources for Texas Schools

September 2017

Hurricane Harvey swept our Texas coast, and as a result, affected 58 counties in the state. Consequently, the daily operations of many districts and schools were negatively impacted as a result of the storm. In order to help districts, school personnel, and students begin the recovery process, the Texas School Safety Center is compiling a list of trusted organizations and timely... (Read more…)

Keeping Our Playgrounds Safe

August 2017

Students engage in a variety of activities during play time, lunch periods, recess hours and physical education classes at school playgrounds. The activities that occur at these playgrounds contribute to the overall academic success as well as the general wellbeing of students. Playgrounds also provide opportunities for students to interact and build good relationships with their peers outside of the classroom. (Read more…)

Unseen Dangers: A look at Hazards You May Be Overlooking

May 2017

Texas surpasses the Nation in the amount of pipelines and has the second largest population. Our vast pipeline system is continually growing and so are our schools. Not only do hundreds of Texas schools have a pipeline within 1,000 feet of their property, but in oil and gas producing parts of the state, some schools are within the impact radius of multiple pipelines. (Read more…)

Taking the Next Step in School Preparedness

April 2013

No district or school wants to imagine the effects of a large scale disaster on their community. Often, the phrase "it will not happen here" or "it will not happen to us" is thrown around. In reality, regardless of geographical location, all districts in Texas are vulnerable to some type of large scale disaster, whether it is manmade or natural. (Read more…)

Background Checks for On-campus Housing

October 2013

The safety and security of students in Texas school districts and institutes of higher education (IHE) is a concern for lawmakers, administrators, and citizens. However, school districts and IHE require different approaches to safety and security. A key difference between school districts and IHE campuses regards the student population. (Read more…)

Visitor Management and School Safety

May 2010

Access control continues to be one of the top safety and security challenges faced by schools. Allowing unauthorized individuals access to a school or facility can compromise student and staff safety. To help reduce the occurrence of any safety incidents, this article provides guidance that schools and districts can utilize when creating and improving visitor management... (Read more…)