July 19, 2018

The School Board of Orange County met in a confidential session this week to discuss safety and security efforts. Keeping details confidential is considered to be an added security measure for our students and employees. Per statute, we will not disclose specifics, but do wish to update parents and community members.

The following is a brief, high-level summary:

In 2014, OCPS engaged expert consultant Safe Havens to conduct a district-wide assessment of safety, security, and emergency conditions. Those consultants were reengaged in March 2018 to perform an updated assessment and to gauge how strategies compare with current best practices. The consultants also reviewed all suggestions offered by our community members including parents, students, employees and other stakeholders.

Their conclusion was, “In our opinion, OCPS has aggressively, proactively, and professionally confronted the topic of school safety in a manner that stands out to our analysts as among the most impressive efforts of this type we have seen during our assessment projects for more than 6,750 K-12 schools.” They provided specific recommendations in their review.

  • To date, OCPS has spent $20.3 million based on the recommendations of the 2014 assessment.
  • With the approval of the upcoming budget, the school board will be investing an additional $11.6 million on safety and security measures.
  • The state is also providing $9.1 million for mental health and some additional school resource officers.
  • The district is in negotiations to supplement SRO funds for increased staffing. 

Additional efforts continue to focus on hardening school facilities, emergency preparations, preventative measures and mental health services.

During the next several weeks, we will continue to share information, as appropriate, with our community. Thank you for partnering with us to ensure the safety of our students and staff.