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How to Create a School Security Plan in Six Steps

With the rising number of school shootings in the US, it has become more critical than ever for schools to have a comprehensive security plan.

The school security plan should encompass everything from emergency procedures to security cameras and access control systems.

However, most school authorities are unfamiliar with the process of creating a school security plan. In this guide, we explain how to create a school security plan in six steps. Plus, we discuss other aspects of campus security.

What Is a School Security Plan?

A school security plan is a written document that outlines the school's procedures for keeping students and staff safe. The plan should be tailored to the school's specific needs and cover all security aspects, from entry and exit protocols to emergency procedures.

A good security plan will also address how to prevent and respond to bullying, harassment, and other forms of violence.

Since the security plan is a living document, it should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that it keeps up with the changing needs of the school and its community.

6 Steps to Create a School Security Plan

Creating a school security plan is a laborious process, considering it has to account for the safety of hundreds or even thousands of people.

Here are six steps you can take to create a comprehensive security plan for your school:

Step 1: Conduct a Risk Assessment

The first step in creating a school security plan is to conduct a risk assessment. It will help you identify the specific risks that your school faces.

What are the potential threats to your school? It could include anything from mass shootings to natural disasters. Once you've identified the risks, you can start working on ways to mitigate them.

Here are some factors to consider when identifying the vulnerabilities of your school during risk assessment:

  • Historical Data: Does your district have a history of violence? You'll need to consider that when creating your security plan.

  • Geographical Location: Is your school in an urban area with a high crime rate? Or is it in a rural area that's prone to natural disasters? The location of your school will affect the types of risks you need to prepare for.

  • Building Design: Is your school easy to secure? Are there a lot of entrances and exits? How old is the building?

  • Student Population: Do you have a large student body? What is the age range of your students? For example, if you run a high school, you might not need to worry as much about young children getting lost on campus.

  • Class Schedule: How are your classes scheduled? If you have a lot of after-school activities, you'll need to account for that in your security plan.

While these are the common factors to be considered, you should consider your school's individual needs when carrying out the first step.

Step 2: Involve Stakeholders

The next step is to involve all the stakeholders in creating the security plan. Some common stakeholders are school administrators, teachers, parents, and students.

Your aim should be to get as much input as possible from all the stakeholders. They might have ideas that you haven't thought of.

All the stakeholders should be involved in the decision-making process, from start to finish. It will ensure that everyone is on board with the security plan and knows their roles in implementing it.

When involving these stakeholders in the process, make sure you do not disregard their concerns or ideas. For example, if a parent suggests metal detectors at the school entrances, don't immediately say no. Instead, consider the idea and see if it's feasible.

The stakeholders should also be involved in the review and update process of the security plan. Their input is essential to ensure that the plan is effective and meets the changing needs of the school.

Step 3: Create a Security Planning Team

The school principal or administrator should lead the security planning team for a K-12 environment.

The team should also include representatives from different departments, such as the custodial staff, cafeteria workers, and school resource officers.

If your school doesn't have a security planning team, now is the time to create one. The team will be responsible for creating and implementing the security plan. Here are some people who should be on this team:

  • Security Director: The security director is in charge of the security team. They're responsible for coordinating all the security efforts and ensuring the plan is followed.

  • Security Integrator/Consultant: If your school doesn't have a security director, you might want to hire a security integrator or consultant. They'll create the security plan and coordinate the security team.

  • School Administrator: The school administrator is responsible for the school's overall safety. They need to be involved in the security planning process to provide input.

  • Local Fire Officials and Police: Since the school is in their jurisdiction, they should be involved in the security planning. The school should also ensure that they have an external communication plan to get in touch with law enforcement officials as soon as possible if there's an emergency.

  • IT Department: The IT department is responsible for the school's technological needs. They must be on the security planning team so that they can tell the stakeholders about the school's technical standing and expertise.

  • School-Based Nurse or Healthcare Professional: If your school has a healthcare professional, such as an onsite nurse, they should also be part of the security planning team. At the end of the day, their goal is to keep students healthy and safe.

Sure enough, depending on your school's needs, you can include other people on the security planning team.

Step 4: Do a Building Assessment

Before you can fill in the gaps for your school's protection, you must identify them. The best way to do this is by conducting a security assessment of your school.

A security assessment is an evaluation of the security posture of a school. It's done to identify the vulnerabilities and risks that need to be addressed.

Here are some things you should look for during a security assessment:

  • Areas of Ingress and Egress: Look for places where people can enter and exit the building. These are potential security risks because they can be used to smuggle weapons or drugs into the school.

  • Building Vulnerabilities: Identify any vulnerabilities in the physical structure of the building. It includes windows, doors, and roofing. These are potential entry points for intruders.

  • Cameras and Alarms: Take note of the security cameras and alarms. Are they working properly? Are they positioned in the right places?

  • Emergency Exits: All schools are required to have emergency exits. Make sure that they're clearly marked and easy to find.

  • Fire Hazards: Look for any fire hazards in the school. These potential dangers can put the lives of students and staff at risk.

Typically, there are three parameters you should assess.

Property Parameter

It is the outwardly physical protection of school buildings, equipment, and resources. The property parameter starts at the boundary of your school property and goes all the way to the parking lot.

It includes sporting fields, playgrounds, parking lots, and sidewalks. All these areas should be free from any physical hazards.

The exterior of the building is the first line of defense against intruders. Therefore, all doors and windows should be made of solid materials that are difficult to break.

The locks should be strong, and the windows should be shatter-proof. If possible, install security cameras at all points of entry.

Parking Lot Perimeter

Parking lots are a common place for crimes such as robberies and assaults. That's why they should be well-lit and have a clear line of sight. The perimeter of the parking lot should also be clearly marked.

Building Interior

Once inside the building, you should assess the hallways, classrooms, offices, restrooms, cafeteria, and gymnasium.

All these areas should be free of any physical hazards. The doors should be made of solid materials, and the locks should be strong.

Step 5: Create a Budget and Security Documents

Now that you understand the security risks affecting your school, it's time to create a budget and develop security policies.

The first step is to create a budget for the security improvements you want to make. It includes things like cameras, alarms, and locks.

Make sure the budget is realistic and can be approved by the school board.

Once you have a budget, you need to develop security policies. These are the rules and procedures that will ensure the safety of your students and staff.

Some of the policies you should consider include:

  • Who can enter the building and when

  • Use of security cameras

  • Reporting of suspicious activity

  • Lockdown procedures

You should also have a security checklist. It's a list of things that need to be done regularly to keep your school safe.

Some of the items on the checklist should include:

  • Checking doors and windows

  • Make sure alarms are working

  • Testing the intercom system

  • Running background checks on new employees

Update the checklist regularly and ensure everyone in the school knows where it is and how to use it. By doing this, you can create a safe and secure environment for your students and staff.

Step 6: Implement the Changes

After creating a budget and developing security policies, it's time to implement the changes.

Start by making a plan of action. It should include who will do what and when. Once you have a plan, put it into action. For example, install the new security cameras, update the locks, and train the staff on the new policies.

You should also create a crisis plan.

A crisis plan is a set of procedures to follow in an emergency. It should include who to call, where to go, and what to do.

Make sure everyone in the school knows the crisis plan and has a copy of it. Having a plan in place can prepare you for anything that might happen.

Many schools struggle with implementing change. If you suspect such a problem on campus, it's best to use a security solution that everyone can adapt to.

For instance, the Aeonix Campus Security solution is an all-in-one suite that school authorities can use to take care of their security needs. In addition, the solution includes a mobile app, which can be used to monitor the school premises in real-time.

It also has a desktop app for managing security cameras and other devices. Furthermore, the Aeonix solution is scalable, so it can grow with your school.

Some notable features include:

  • Emergency conference calls with pre-programmed participants

  • Panic button

  • 24/7 staff communication

  • Dispatching relevant emergency personnel based on the emergency

  • One button to activate multiple processes

Tips to Ace a School Security Plan

There are many different ways to implement changes in a school. Some schools might opt for a more traditional approach, while others might use a more modern solution.

Here are some tips to ensure your school security plan serves its purpose.

  • Keep Updating: As the needs of your school change, so should your security policies. Regularly review and update your policies to ensure they're still relevant.

  • Involve Everyone: The success of a security plan depends on the cooperation of everyone in the school. From the teachers to the students, everyone needs to be on board with the new changes.

  • Make It a Priority: A security plan should be equally important to other school policies. Make sure it's properly enforced and that everyone is aware of its existence.

  • Be Proactive: The best way to avoid a security breach is to be proactive about it. Be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary and report it immediately.


Creating a school security plan has become mandatory, considering the increase in school shootings. However, it's important to remember that a security plan is only as good as its implementation.

From creating a security response team to conducting risk assessment, it's imperative to take all the necessary steps to ensure the safety of everyone in the school.

Involve all stakeholders in the process, be proactive, and make sure to keep your security policies up-to-date for the best results.


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