South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Lindbergh reviews district safety measures

Background checks include four screening questions
The ribbon cutting for the secure vestibule at Lindbergh’s Long Elementary School.

The Lindbergh Board of Education heard a presentation about the district’s safety procedures at a workshop July 21. The presentation highlighted recent improvements to security and how the district handles hiring processes.

The district’s Safety and Security Coordinator Terrell Baker presented the everyday safety and security measures the district takes to the board. The district adheres to the Missouri School Improvement Plan (MSIP 6) standards for safety, so much of Baker’s job is to make sure the district is up to state requirements.

Baker said he was hired in 2019, and since then the district has implemented several programs to meet safety standards.

“Dr. (Tony) Lake came to me and said ‘I want to implement a crossing guard program’ … we’ve obtained that now and each and every one of our schools has a crossing guard,” Baker said. 

One year before Baker was hired the district established the visitor management system, an MSIP 6 requirement. This system checks visitors against the national registry and requires visitors to show their driver’s license upon entering buildings. Visitors are required to wear a name tag and are escorted throughout.

Part of Lindbergh’s Proposition R was the establishment of secure entry vestibules at school buildings — Baker said the district went above normal standards for these, adding transaction windows so visitors don’t always have to fully enter a building. 

In 2020, the district revisited its emergency response plan, another MSIP 6 requirement. Baker said the plan was fine, but it needed to comply to FEMA standards. 

Baker also addressed ways the district is connecting with local police for outreach and safety. The district is part of the Police Athletic League, where local police will provide mentors for sports teams to increase community outreach. 

“I absolutely love the PAL Program. We’re able to have an officer in our elementary, middle and high school settings. It’s another way for students to see law enforcement not just in uniform,” Baker said.

The district also connects its radio and emergency paging systems throughout all schools and with local police. Baker said these systems are crucial in emergency situations. 

Baker said the district is always testing and training security systems throughout the district. This includes physical security assessments, training academies and emergency preparedness drills.

The board also heard a presentation from Chief Human Resources Officer Brian McKenney about safety in the hiring process. He covered pre-employment, training and post-employment. 

McKenney said the district gives applicants a chance to disclose past criminal activity or issues with past employers.

“As the person advances through the hiring process … (administrators) will then do reference checks, and if they are recommended for hire HR goes in and does background checks,” McKenney said.

These background checks include four screening questions for the most recent employer about issues with sexual misconduct or other policies. Another type of background check is the Missouri Rap Back Program. The Rap Back program is like a recurring background check, providing automatic criminal record updates for current employees.

Once an employee is hired they have many required safety training courses to take. They are all computer modules with a required test afterward.

After an employee leaves the district, several security actions are taken. These include collecting keys, passwords, maintaining files and keeping curriculum materials.

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