How safe do students really feel at school? Southwestern Wisconsin School District (SWSD) asked their students that very question last May and are now taking action to proactively ensure a safe environment for all students and staff. SWSD recently selected Awareity’s TIPS platform as part of a school-wide prevention effort.
At the end of last school year, SWSD students in Grades 7-12 participated in a school climate survey. The results revealed 55% of the respondents had been bullied or had witnessed someone being bullied at school. 22% of the respondents felt uncomfortable reporting these acts to school officials for fear of retaliation. The survey also revealed student experiences with threatening behaviors, suicide, weapons and other safety concerns and how effectively the students felt administration was addressing these issues. 57% of the respondents wanted the school to provide additional programs on bullying and student safety.
The school board and administration are taking the results of this survey very seriously and feel that additional programs must be implemented, including a way for people to anonymously report the incidents to the proper officials. The district chose to implement a web-based platform from Awareity called TIPS (Threat Assessment, Incident Management and Prevention Services). This program will allow students and others to anonymously and confidentially report incidents of bullying to school officials, as well as cyberbullying, drugs/alcohol, weapons, vandalism, suspected abuse, threats of violence and bus incidents.
“TIPS will help us ensure incidents are not slipping through the cracks and provide the district with tools to effectively investigate and respond to situations and prevent their recurrence.” Says James Egan, SWSD Superintendent. “Many of our students felt that even when they had told someone about bullying, the situation was still not getting better. We knew we had to take action, and Awareity’s TIPS is a big step in the right direction.”
When a report is submitted via the TIPS REPORT INCIDENT button on the SWSD web site, all team members (principals and superintendent) are instantly notified and can review the details to coordinate and formulate an appropriate response. By gathering all information in one central location, TIPS saves administrators valuable resources by eliminating time spent reviewing e-mails, tracking down files and notes, and coordinating meetings. TIPS provides team members with the tools to track all actions taken and set reminders, as well as review past and related reports, making them more efficient and accountable to their students and their families.
“Kids want to feel safe. Walking into the school office to report another student or dropping a complaint in a box comes with the fear of possible retaliation or making a situation worse. TIPS equips students with the ability to report concerns anonymously and from the privacy of their PC or phone. And because the appropriate school officials are notified instantly and now have the tools and clearly defined procedures to assess threats and coordinate actions, immediate steps can be taken to investigate and prevent the situation from escalating,” says Awareity’s CEO and Founder, Rick Shaw, “TIPS eliminates the dangerous disconnect often seen between students and school officials.”
Southwestern Wisconsin School District joins over 400 schools across 13 states and Canada focusing on effective prevention and intervention efforts with TIPS. To learn more about the TIPS platform or take advantage of Awareity’s free school climate survey for your school, visit www.awareity.com.
Awareity is reinventing the tools schools and organizations use to improve student/employee safety, while proactively preventing regulatory failures, compliance fines, lawsuits, privacy breaches, incident reporting failures, workplace violence and more. Awareity offers an innovative and cost-effective prevention platform, equipping organizations with the right tools for anonymous incident reporting, threat assessment, behavior analysis, interventions, training, documentation and more.