By creating tiered solution standards, PASS recognizes that not all school districts or schools have equal ability to fund security projects. During ISC West it announced a K-12 Assessment tool that allows schools to execute an easy analysis of its current security state, identify key areas to improve and select its appropriate tier.
There are two guiding principles for the development of PASS, said Hawkins. The first is to remain vendor-agnostic and discuss only processes and technologies, and the second is the realization that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. This is why there is a tiered approach.
By creating tiered solution standards, PASS recognizes that not all school districts or schools have equal ability to fund security projects. During ISC West it announced a K-12 Assessment tool that allows school to execute an easy analysis of its current security state, identify key areas to improve and select its appropriate tier.
PASS created four tiers. Tier 1 reflects minimal funding and offers basic standards for procedure implementation, identifying improvements and technology Implementation. This is just a start.
Stepping up to Tier 2 requires security staff. It offers standards for adding barriers, enhancing processes and establishing realistic security goals.
Tier 3 offers procedures and technologies to form an integrated approach to a safer school, requires yearly spending and plans for continual improvements. It identifies prevention opportunities and works toward a culture change through processes and technologies.
In Tier 4, the highest tier outlined by PASS, security becomes a “way of life” and processes are automatic. It acknowledges that threats still exist but it is set up to continue to improve processes and technologies.
PASS also announced the launch of PASS12.org as a point at which schools can get started working toward tiered safety solutions.
“Our ultimate goal is for PASS to be, in theory, a code,” said Brett St. Pierre, chairman of the alliance. “There is no silver bullet; every school district and every school is different.”
PASS is not a program solely targeted at active shooters, but will tackle bullying, drugs in schools, trespassers and other school security matters.
“If we can mitigate these risks, we go a long way to prevent active shooters in the future,” said Jim Crumbley, president and CEO of Risk Response Team, a consulting firm that worked to develop PASS.
Safety Requires Teamwork and Buy-In
PASS calls on educators, manufacturers, consultants, integrators and public safety officials to get involved in implementing these Partner Alliance technology standards for safer schools. The “Partner” aspect is essential in any mass notification emergency communication (MNEC) ecosystem, according to PASS.
The PASS consortium of SIA and NSCA is actually a relaunch and rebranding of the Education Interest Group SIA formed in 2013.
PASS combines the technical knowledge offered by SIA’s Education Interest Group with knowledge from representatives of schools, law enforcement, and trade associations. The effort is designed to leverage subject matter experts’ input and develop a coordinated approach to protecting students, staff and visitors.
The biggest hurdle will be getting the funding, acknowledged Wilson.
“We don’t want PASS to be yet another unfunded mandate,” he said.
At the end of the conference, the PASS team opened the call for schools to act as pilots. Energy and hopes were high as a school representative came forward and offered to be the first school to take part in a pilot program. That’s one.