District Administration October 2017 - 44

SPONSORED CONTENT

Joseph V. Erardi, Jr.

Approaching school safety from a proactive perspective
NaviGate Prepared provides schools with a virtual safety response tool to develop and
execute an effective safety program
Joseph V. Erardi Jr. served as superintendent of Newtown
Public Schools in Connecticut from 2014 until his retirement
in August. During his tenure, the district implemented
NaviGate Prepared as a component of a broad safety and
security initiative undertaken in the aftermath of the 2012
tragedy there.
Talk about preparation versus prevention when it comes
to a school district's safety plan.
The proactive safety plan is a plan that's never complete.
From a proactive perspective, time is treasure in a tragedy.
For every second you can save, you can save a life. It was
our belief that if we could become more efficient with best
practices, then that was to everyone's great advantage. We
vetted dozens of product software applications and that's
how NaviGate Prepared came to Newtown. The software
fosters a partnership with local safety officials and allows
us to mitigate any lost time if there was an incident or an
emergency, in any room or in any building within the school
district. That was the reason I felt so strongly about bringing
NaviGate Prepared into Newtown.
Talk about the communication needs around an
emergency.
NaviGate Prepared allows us to get the best information in
the least alarming way to those who need the information the
most. If we have an issue with a gas smell in a science lab
at the high school, NaviGate Prepared gives a 360-degree
view of every classroom. NaviGate Prepared also enables
secure text messaging between staff and administrators.
This provides critical information during an emergency
and can help ensure accurate information is shared with
first responders, including the ability to account for nearly
4,500 students by name in any emergency situation across
any of the district's nine schools. If the school building
needs evacuation, teachers can bring up class rosters
on their smartphone or tablet and account for students.
Administrators can see who is accounted for and who

is not on their mobile device or computer. Teachers and
administrators having this type of critical information at their
fingertips can save precious time and help direct response
efforts. It allows for the absolute safest approach for those
responding to the issue. It's very sophisticated and spot-on.
Did Newtown run safety drills or tabletop simulations?
We probably ran more sophisticated emergency drills than
most school districts in the country. We would run tabletop
simulations at least three times per year with 40 to 60 people
involved, everyone from first responders, town employees,
town leaders, school leaders and school staff. We have a
very sophisticated emergency preparedness program. I
also met with every new staff member so there would be no
new staff member who didn't fully understand how to keep
themselves or other students in their jurisdiction safe.
While you can't get complacent, does the current safety
program, aligned with NaviGate Prepared, offer some
peace of mind?
Everybody knows there's no day off with school safety.
Navigate Prepared software allows us a terrific opportunity
to record what we're doing, and to learn from how we are
doing it, when it comes to our safety plans. When I am
looking in the rearview mirror, NaviGate Prepared was the
right decision and it will be an ongoing tool for Newtown
schools. You never want to get comfortable, but when you do
get to put your head to bed, you should believe that you have
the absolute best opportunity in place to keep your students
and staff safe. NaviGate Prepared allows us to do that.

For more information, visit www.navigateprepared.com
View, comment, share this story online at DAmag.me/NaviGatePrepared


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of District Administration October 2017

District Administration October 2017 - Cover1
District Administration October 2017 - Cover2
District Administration October 2017 - 1
District Administration October 2017 - 2
District Administration October 2017 - 3
District Administration October 2017 - 4
District Administration October 2017 - 5
District Administration October 2017 - 6
District Administration October 2017 - 7
District Administration October 2017 - 8
District Administration October 2017 - 9
District Administration October 2017 - 10
District Administration October 2017 - 11
District Administration October 2017 - 12
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District Administration October 2017 - 14
District Administration October 2017 - 15
District Administration October 2017 - 16
District Administration October 2017 - 17
District Administration October 2017 - 18
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District Administration October 2017 - Cover3
District Administration October 2017 - Cover4
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