School safety is a topic that is on the forefront of everyone’s minds, especially after the recent threat in the Denver metro area and the tragic incident at the STEM school in Highlands Ranch. It is an unfortunate reality that the threats within schools are dangerous and seemingly more frequent, particularly when schools should be one of the places where a child feels most safe.
As a statewide charter school authorizer overseeing 39 schools in Colorado, CSI is committed to ensuring our schools offer a safe and positive environment for students and staff. We actively support our schools in developing and refining their safety protocols through the provision of training, resources, feedback, and on-site assistance when necessary.
Our approach to authorizing charter schools balances autonomy and accountability. Just as no two students are the same, no two charter schools are the same. We tier our supports and interventions according to each school’s unique needs. To that end, we allow schools the flexibility to determine a comprehensive safety plan that best meets the needs and considerations of its students, staff, and the broader community. CSI provides safety trainings throughout the school year through webinars, regional meetings, guidance and resource documents that are disseminated on our website and directly to schools through our monthly newsletter as well as CSI-hosted training events at a variety of venues.
Although CSI offers its schools the flexibility to determine how best to implement school safety from school to school, there are certain requirements that must be met at each one. Those requirements are provided in Colorado Statute and CSI policy, and each CSI-authorized school provides proof of their compliance with those requirements. All CSI schools, for example, are required to submit school safety information to CSI annually to address the requirements of the Colorado Safe Schools Act and CSI Safety policies.
While it may be impossible to prevent every incident from occurring, we can be prepared by talking about school safety, sharing resources and working collaboratively. For more resources on school safety, see links below.