New Caney ISD Superintendent Matt Calvert reviewed several existing and proposed initiatives aimed at increasing school safety for students and staff members at the district’s June 20 board of trustees meeting.

Calvert said he was outlining the measures to assure parents the district is remaining vigilant in its effort to bolster safety on campuses.

“Safety is one of the priority goals of the district,” Calvert said. “We know [parents] are trusting us for eight hours a day, sometimes more, with your most prized possession—your babies. We want to get them back to you just like you dropped them off.”

Calvert noted three areas the district is focusing on to improve safety in schools, including ensuring all campus doors and entryways remain secured, checking ID badges and visitor stickers to make sure everyone in the facility is supposed to be on campus, and requiring teachers to actively monitor students in the hallways.

According to Calvert, the district has already established a Multi-Hazard Emergency Operations Plan to address situations, including active shooters, gas leaks and fires, but he noted officials are currently in the process of creating explanatory videos for staff members and parents detailing how to reunite students with their families should an emergency occur.

Additionally, Calvert noted the district has a School Safety Reporting Program in place that allows students to anonymously submit information to officials, which he said could include suspicious behavior and online threats.

“Campus admin and/or police are there usually within 15 minutes,” Calvert said, noting the district also works with a multicounty Crime Stoppers Program to receive information about potential threats.

Calvert said the district has also employed a threat assessment team that evaluates students’ behavior based on observations by their teachers, allowing the district to make an assessment of any mental or emotional support services a student may need.

In August, Calvert said officials will release a video update outlining all of the safety measures the district has in place.

“We’re always going to push that envelope to stay ahead of things and hopefully never have to use them, but we just want everyone to know that, if the situation ever did present itself, we do have a plan and we do have confidence in putting that plan into action to keep our kids safe,” Calvert said.

In other business, NCISD trustees approved the selection of Durotech Construction to manage the second phase of the build-out of West Fork High School.

The roughly $110 million campus—which was included in a $200 million bond election approved by voters in 2018—will open to incoming freshmen in the 2022-23 school year. Officials noted the campus can accommodate 1,350 students. Following the build-out, the campus will expand its capacity to 2,250 students.