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Beaver Dam Superintendent speaks of safety before the students are in their seats

The Beaver Dam Unified School District's school emergency crisis and response plan is shown in this red binder. Superintendent Mark DiStefano said each principal has used the book, but the district is looking at making the information easier to get to including the possibility of putting it in a smartphone app.

The Beaver Dam School Board reviewed safety plans Monday night and more updates are coming.

Beaver Dam Unified School District Superintendent Mark DiStefano spoke to the board about the district safety plan and updates as part of the state Office of School Safety’s initiative asking districts to talk about school safety every year. The goal is to make sure every school district has a plan.

DiStefano said the district began with working with local law enforcement to put together a safety plan for Beaver Dam schools in 2012.

“A majority of our plan is from that partnership,” DiStefano said.

The school board also has policies in place about safety, including one that calls for staff to take action in an emergency situation to protect students and themselves, DiStefano said.

The district has teams in place districtwide and at the building level for safety and threat assessment. DiStefano said the safety teams are in place to talk about general safety, while the threat assessment team is in place in case of an active event in one of the buildings.

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The district also may add an anonymous reporting tool to report threats to students or to one of the buildings, DiStefano said.

The goal is for Dodge County to be consistent if there is a threat. DiStefano said he attended the twice-a-year Dodge County Safety Consortium meeting Monday with superintendents from throughout the county, members of the parochial schools and law enforcement.

“We want this countywide and to be more consistent so we will be in a better spot with our safety plan,” DiStefano said. “We want to be consistent with our different partners.”

Safety initiatives in the district are more than just talking about school shootings, DiStefano said. Blood-borne pathogens and CPR are also some of the topic areas. In addition, some of the information the students bring home like fire prevention and drug prevention is part of the district safety plan, DiStefano said.

School district staff completes both online and in-person training, DiStefano said.

DiStefano said there will be more updates about school safety brought to the board including an update on the drills done in the school in the fall.

Follow Terri Pederson on Twitter @tlp53916 or contact her at 920-356-6760.

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