NEISD 2019-2020 Safety Initiatives
We are just a few days away from the first day of school, and we are excited to share with you what is in store for the 2019-2020 school year.
I would like to discuss with you the many safety protocols and systems that North East ISD has in place. This year, you will notice some additional measures, as well as some changes to existing procedures.
The North East Police Department (NEPD) has 70 trained officers and two K-9 units. The unique benefit of having two K-9 units is that we are now able to conduct random drug and weapons checks at our campuses on a regular basis. In fact, at least two random checks happen every day in our District. Each of our campuses also has access to several hand-held metal detecting wands that administrators can use when necessary. Random wand searches are conducted at both middle and high schools in conjunction with K-9 searches. Our armed officers are permanently stationed at each of our middle and high schools, and we have additional officers assigned to patrol our elementary schools.
We will continue to keep exterior doors locked at our campuses and utilize our “buzz in” system. Doors are locked five minutes after the tardy bell, and a photo ID will be required to enter after that time.
Last year, we increased the frequency of our lockdown drills. However, because of a change to the Texas Education Code, school districts can no longer conduct more than eight emergency drills a semester. By law, two fire drills are required within the first two weeks of school and one each month after that. So, moving forward, we will conduct two lockdown/lockout drills each semester.
Over the summer, we added perimeter fencing at all of our high school campuses. There are dozens of exterior doors at a typical high school, so this fencing will add an additional layer of safety and ensure that someone cannot access the campus without permission. Access gates are strategically located along the fence line. From the outside, they will be locked during school hours. However, panic hardware has been placed on the inside, so that in the event of an emergency, staff and students can exit quickly and easily. Construction on fencing at all middle schools begins this fall.
As always, we encourage students, parents and guardians to report any concerning information to campus administration. Information may also be provided to the NEPD at 210-407-0911 or via NEISD's 24-hour confidential tip line at 655-CARE (2273). NEISD also participates in the community Crime Stoppers program. Monetary awards are offered for tips that result in the arrest of an individual(s) making threats. Our police department monitors those calls 24/7, and the funds are provided by the Crime Stoppers program.
We are also continuing our agreement with Social Sentinel, a company that monitors all social media sites regarding each of our campuses. All threatening remarks are forwarded to our police department, and NEPD officers immediately begin their investigation. Often, that includes home visits to students and parents to find out whether the threat is legitimate. While the threats have not been credible in the majority of instances, we will seek prosecution for false threats.
At NEISD, student safety is a top priority. I plan to host a Facebook live segment so we can further discuss school safety. I hope to have our police chief and other NEISD staff members available to answer your questions. Watch for details in the next couple of months.
I wish you and your family a great 2019-2020 school year.
Sean Maika, Ed.D.
Interim Superintendent of Schools