In his first big move as Coordinator of Safety, Security and Emergency Preparedness for the school district, Stephen Robicheaux presented a plan to the School Board that will unify the procedures for visitors in all parish schools.
The biggest change is that all school and central office visitors will now be required to have photo identification. The plan also includes extensive training for staff and school office specialists, uniform visitor badges and log books, and new protocol for large group visits and delivery personnel. Uniform signs notifying visitors that they must sign in with a photo ID will also be posted at each school.
“When you go to a school, everybody’s going to be treated the same way,” Robicheaux said.
The change comes after Robicheaux noticed inconsistencies in how each school treated visitors, such as some schools requiring visitors to return their badge before leaving while others did not.
“This is a unified system that will be used throughout the district,” Robicheaux said.
The plan will be implemented at five pilot schools this spring: Destrehan High, Hahnville High, J. B. Martin Middle, Allemands Elementary and Norco 4-6. Robicheaux will return to the board with a report on the results of the pilot program at the end of the spring semester. If the program proves successful, it will be implemented into all district schools in the fall.
The new plan was created by a special task team that included Robicheaux, Assistant Superintendent Felicia Gomez, Physical Plant Services Director John Rome, Director of Elementary Schools Tresa Webre, Director of Information Technology Stephanie Steib, Director of Public Information Rochelle Cancienne-Touchard, Allemands Elementary Administrative Assistant Shonda Harris, DHS School Office Specialist Jeanne Hall, HHS Administrator Frank Harding, Norco 4-6 School Office Specialist Shelley Babineaux, and J.B. Martin Middle Assistant Principal Lisa Perrin.
Two main concerns that team members had were emergency situations and training for school personnel.
“You need to know who’s in your school if there is some kind of emergency,” Robicheaux said.
Rome agreed, saying that it is also very important that school employees know how to implement the new procedures.
“You have to have people that are invested in it and know what to look for,” he said.
Planning for the new procedures began in October 2010, with task team members discussing existing protocol and visiting schools. In November, the members drafted the new procedures and reviewed what would best support its goals.