Spanish River Christian School Completes Full-Scale ATRPS Program This School Year!

school safety in Boca Raton

Spanish River Christian School Completes Full-Scale ATRPS Program This School Year!

Planning and action

Two words that sum up the way Spanish River Christian School’s Headmaster, Cheryl Burdin, leads her team through safety challenges facing our schools today.

A hostile parent…

A suspicious package…

An intruder…

An active shooter…

These are the scenarios playing in the heads of our school administrators, like Mrs. Burdin, late at night. Thankfully, there is a solution to all of these: planning and action.

Setting a Foundation with Spanish River Christian School (SRCS)

Shortly after her promotion to Headmaster, Mrs. Burdin attended a seminar held by Guardian Defense in 2015 on active shooter response planning. She recalls,

“Our campus has been incident free, and we had a strong crisis management plan in place at the time, but I wanted to see if there were any enhancements we might need to make to further protect the children in our care.  Steve’s presentation was eye-opening and I knew my team would benefit greatly from the training and expertise Guardian Defense could provide.”

GD Instructor, Rob, debriefing his group of SRCS staff following a scenario-based exercise. All-staff training is part of the Full-Scale ATRPS objectives.

As a new leader, she wanted to take safety planning and response at the Boca Raton-based private school to a new level. Mrs. Burdin knew with some guidance on this topic, she could provide her team with a plan on how to deal with the worst-case scenario: an active shooter. She also knew there is a probability of other types of threats that could put her students in harm’s way and she wanted to be prepared.

Active shooter incidents are still statistically low occurrences, so knowing how to prepare for a hostile parent, intruder or other threat on school grounds is just as important.

Guardian Defense originally began working with SRCS in 2016 by providing a full day of in-service training to the staff, improvements to written policies, and enhanced lockdown drill practice through the Active Threat Response Program for Schools.

Mrs. Burdin expanded the role of the Crisis Intervention Team, enhanced the drill schedule, added to her physical security team, hired detail officers and upgraded many security features.

Mrs. Burdin shared of our initial time in 2016,

“The training and mock scenarios were extremely valuable to our team. This is the type of training we hope we will never have to use. However, it is comforting to know that our campus is more secure and that our administrators, faculty, and office staff now feel empowered to defend our campus against an armed intruder.”

All this work was simply due to a leader who planned ahead and took action in many ways.

Adding Building Blocks to SRCS’s Solid Foundation

The SRCS team developed this Crisis Intervention booklet as a way to organize their school safety procedures.

On February 14, 2018, just 15 miles away from SRCS, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting occurred in Parkland, Florida. SRCS knew they already had a solid foundation but were eager to receive refresher training and to expand upon it further.

This past 2018-2019 school year, Guardian Defense was thrilled to work with Mrs. Burdin and her team again to bring the Full-Scale ATRPS program. Full-Scale ATRPS is an in-depth program that revolutionizes the way administrators and staff respond to, and plan for, an active threat. This program can take anywhere from 6 months and beyond to complete the objectives.

Each month working with the leadership, staff and students at this school was a true pleasure. Nothing is more exciting for our team than to see everything come together. Even more exciting was the spin-offs, additions, and newly added ideas that were sparked as a result of our training and their own experiences.

Mrs. Burdin’s take on the Full-Scale program:

“With so many new people on staff since our initial training in 2016, the refresher training was very important.   Through the 6-month program, we have improved our crisis management plan with more detailed checklists, drill logs, and after-action reports.  Having Steve and his team lead us through various drill scenarios each month helped our students and staff feel more confident in taking the proper actions in various types of emergencies.  Having the fresh eyes of a security expert to assess areas of concern and remedial options through the Campus Active Threat Survey process was invaluable. I have recommended this program to many schools and organizations, because Steve and his team have created a top-notch, comprehensive plan based on solid data and experience that can be implemented and adapted at any size school or business. They are organized and professional.  Our parents put great trust in us to protect their precious children, and they appreciate the extra efforts we have taken to do so through our partnership with Guardian Defense.”

Officer Skrabec and Headmaster, Mrs. Burdin accepting their Certificate of Completion of the Full-Scale program.

It is a true partnership and working effort!! We were over the moon to work with such a dedicated leader and team!

Congrats Spanish River Christian School on all your dedication and hard work over the years to keep a safe environment! Your students, staff, parents and community appreciate it!

Want to learn more about preparing your school?

Speak with a Guardian Defense Specialist by setting up an appointment with us today!