Newaygo County schools are among the first in Michigan to complete formal School Site Safety Audits. Law enforcement agencies and schools have come together to improve preventative measures and overall student and staff safety in our local schools. “Our Newaygo County School Safety team has a top priority to create and ensure the safest possible learning environment for all of our youth,” said Joel Phillips, NC RESA Director of Technology and the team’s co-chair.
NC RESA partnered with the Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office to create a multi-member team to conduct these assessments. These team members included:
Abby Watkins and Renee Gavin – Newaygo County Emergency Services Trooper Todd Goodrich – Michigan State Police, Hart Post Jason Wolford – Newaygo County Central Dispatch Doug Harmon – Former School Board Member Ed Cook – Fremont Fire Department/NC RESA Deputy Justin Visser – Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Bunnita Ouwinga – Newaygo County Sheriff’s Office Ryan Ergang – NC RESA and Fremont Public Schools Director of Maintenance Operation.
The School Site Safety Team (SSST) met several times and created an in-depth checklist involving 31 different security best practices and resources that school leaders should consider while developing school safety plans and procedures that will work for their students and teachers. With the help of each school district in Newaygo County, every school’s assessment has been completed and each school superintendent has a list of recommendations in their audit report.
“This was one of the first teams in the state to conduct these assessments. A lot of time and effort was put into these assessments and the amount of cooperation was impressive. It was our goal to help recognize safety features that needed to be updated or implemented. We want to commend all the school districts for their willingness to participate and improve the safety of our schools,” stated Sheriff Bob Mendham.