How One District Simplified School Safety with The “I Love U Guys” Foundation and Raptor

Students Safely Running to their Safe School Evironment

Nick Lucas is the Director of Safety and Security at Craven County Schools in North Carolina. Having decades of experience in law enforcement, as well as 8 years in the U.S. Navy, Nick recognized the district’s need for a comprehensive emergency management approachWhen looking at various organizations for guidance, Nick discovered that Raptor—who the district is already partnered with for visitor management—is a mission partner of The “I Love U Guys” Foundation 

Below are highlights from a recent webinar where Nick shared how this partnership helps him streamline emergency preparedness and response. Watch the on-demand webinar, Simplify School Safety: Connecting SRP/SRM Protocols with Software, to listen to the full conversation.  

Simplifying K-12 Drill Management

Drill management is a major component of being prepared for an actual crisis, but managing drills districtwide, as well as ensuring each campus is following the same protocols and complying with the drill schedule, can be a logistical challenge 

“We were looking for a way to standardize our drills across the district,” Nick says of what prompted him to find an emergency management system. With 25 campuses—each with a Safety Coordinator on staff—the district needed a way to efficiently publish a drill schedule and track each building’s compliance. “We put together a drill schedule each year... and publish that schedule for all the Safety Coordinators,” Nick says. “They’re responsible for the drills on that particular campus.” Raptor further streamlines drill management by automatically notifying each school before drill deadline and sending notifications to needed administrators if a school is out of compliance.  

“Raptor has been very helpful as a [drill] management tool,” Nick continues. “In conjunction with The ‘I Love U Guys’ Foundation and the direction we get from [their protocols], [Raptor] has been a very effective solution for us—for our general management, drill preparation, and implementation of drills.” 

Verifying districtwide compliance is also easy with Raptor. If I need to present to my Board of Education on a particular set of drills or just overall compliance, it’s very easy to pull up the report and put it together, each with graphics that make it a very effective presentation,” Nick says.  

“[Raptor is] quick. It’s easy to use, and it’s very comprehensive. It works very well for us.” 
– Nick Lucas, Director of Safety & Security, Craven County Schools (NC) 

Selecting the SRP and SRM School Emergency Response Protocols

As Nick researched different emergency management protocols, he was immediately drawn to the mission of the The “I Love U Guys” FoundationThe foundation’s Standard Response Protocol® (SRP) and The Standard Reunification Method® (SRM) are research-based protocols that provide schools with a framework to respond to emergencies and reunify students with guardians. 

Craven County’s teachers and staff have responded well to the protocols. “Everyone was looking for a well-organized system that they could follow,” Nick says. Whether they are responding to an actual incident or practicing during a drill, everyone wants—and needs—to understand their roles and actions“Making it as simple as possible for staff in the schools and for the [students] to follow these [protocols] makes it very effective. That’s been a huge help for us just getting that common message across of what to do in the event of an emergency.” 

Coordinating School Safety Protocols Districtwide

Coordinating safety protocols across various groups of people and campuses can be challenging without the proper tools and support. “When I saw the [Raptor] partnership with The ‘I Love U Guys’ Foundationit just made sense,” Nick says of why he chose to implement Raptor Emergency Management. “Once I saw that those relationships were in place, it was pretty much a no-brainer.” 

Although COVID-19 required the district to focus on mitigation and ensuring students have meals and the resources they need to be successfulCraven County continued their emergency management training and preparations during the pandemic. “We were able to develop our districtwide reunification teams, and we did a lot of virtual training with Raptor that was very effective,” Nick says. “Raptor did a great job putting together [lesson plans]…and accommodating all of our staff.  

The district’s teachers and staff liked the fact that now they had a much better understanding of how reunification works,” Nick says. “Reunification would be an extremely anxious situation, especially if you haven’t trained for it. [The Raptor training] took away some of that anxiety for everyone.” 

Craven County is expanding on this training by conducting a live reunification event with Raptor. “We’re going to use one of [our reunification sites]…and do some live reunification training for our district teams primarily using Raptor Alert and using that accountability feature (Raptor Accountability) for the reunification.” Craven County will also do contingency training using the hardcopies of the SRM protocols.  

Following K-12 Industry Best Practices

Craven County’s goal is to comply with the National Incident Management System (NIMS), which provides guidance to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from incidents. “Law enforcement, and anyone in emergency response, are very familiar with [incident command systems] and how effective it is for managing incidents,” Nick says. “With The ‘I Love U Guys’ Foundation protocols, everything is aligned with ICS and is NIMS compliant.” 

The district also understands the significance of relationships with law enforcement and school resource officers (SROs). “We do a lot of work and a lot of training with our SROs,” Nick says. “They really are an integral part of our school. They do so much more than just provide an armed presence. Just this week we had a tragedy and lost a member of our school community. The SRO was so central to provide support for the school. The district routinely conducts safety trainings with the SROs and has the SROs manage safety protocols, including training staff and managing drills.  

Raptor and The “I Love U Guys” Foundation Partnership

“Raptor and The ‘I Love U Guys’ Foundation together have done some very responsible work furthering student and school safety.” 
– Nick Lucas, Director of Safety & Security, Craven County Schools (NC) 

Raptor Emergency Management, an integrated platform that allows schools to maintain real-time visibility during drills, active incidents, and reunification events, can be customized to any emergency protocol, but defaults to 100% alignment with both the SRP and the SRM. With Raptor and The “I Love U Guys” Foundation training, schools have the resources and tools needed to effectively execute on these protocols and respond to and recover from emergencies. 

Schedule a personalized demo today to learn more.  

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