School Safety Message From Superintendent McBurnett
Any time there is news of a school tragedy, I know it heightens everyone’s concern about the safety of our children while in our schools. I want to reassure you that the safety and security of staff and students has been and will always be the top priority at Burnet CISD.
BCISD has several protocols in place for drills including fire, tornado, bomb threat, lockdowns, and active shooter. We have long been prepared for a school-wide lockdown and active shooter situation. The administrative staff was last trained in active shooter response in the summer of 2017. We work closely with the Burnet and Bertram Police Departments to develop our Emergency Operations Plan, as outlined by the Texas School Safety Center. In addition, we meet with our first responders every year to discuss emergency situations and make adjustments to our plans.
We also have taken thorough measures on campuses to ensure the physical safety and security of staff and students. In addition to routine drills, we have School Resource Officers located at Burnet High School, Burnet Middle School, Shady Grove Elementary, RJ Richey Elementary and Bertram Elementary (See Below). Each campus uses the Raptor Visitor Management System that requires all visitors to check-in at the campus office and undergo a screening before entering the building.
All campuses have secure entry ways, and exterior fencing has been added to campuses with multiple buildings. With the new proximity card access control system, exterior doors on all campuses can be locked and unlocked immediately and remotely in the event of emergency. All campuses have security camera systems. The security cameras in the District can be viewed remotely by police officers from their patrol vehicles during emergency situations. In addition, all classrooms have telephones to facilitate routine and emergency communication and finally, every campus is equipped with a radio with a panic button that when activated opens a channel directly to the Burnet County dispatch.
One of our greatest challenges during a school emergency is how to manage traffic flow and incoming phone calls from concerned parents and others. Traffic jams and jammed phone lines prevent emergency responders from providing emergency services in a timely manner. Because of this, Hill Country Fellowship (200 Houston Clinton Drive) has been selected as our Parent Information-Reunification Center. In the event of an emergency involving a BCISD campus, please do not come to the school, but go directly to the gymnasium at the south east corner door (facing 281) of Hill Country Fellowship where BCISD staff will provide you with information on how to reconnect with your child. Any time there is an emergency situation, the District will communicate instructions and status via the District’s Facebook page, webpage and School Messenger.
To create an inclusive and safe environment for staff and students all of our campuses have implemented the Start with Hello program. In addition, the District is partnering with Sandy Hook Promise to be the first school district in Texas to implement the Say Something Anonymous Reporting system that allows students and parents to make anonymous reports via an app, telephone or web page. All reports are triaged by a 24/7 crisis call center. We all have a responsibility to say something if we see something or know something.
Finally, this is a good reminder of the importance of our safety procedures and check-in and screening process for all campus visitors. All campus visitors should use only front entrances when visiting our schools.
My commitment to you is that we will continue, as always, to have discussion about how to make our campuses as safe as possible. Crafting the future starts with making sure our students and staff are safe and we all play a role in making that a reality.
School Resource Officers
A School Resource Officer or an SRO is a member of a select group of City of Burnet and City of Bertram Officers that receive special training. These officers are assigned to Burnet CISD Schools on a full-time basis, and work as mentors for BCISD students. Burnet CISD School Resource Officers are full time law enforcement officers employed by the Burnet or Bertram Police Departments. The SRO works to protect and maintain a safe and secure environment for students and educators. The SRO investigates and takes appropriate action related to criminal activity that may occur on school campuses. The School Resource Officers also coordinate educational and safety programs for students.