Mission CISD Continues Focus on Security Training and Improvements

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Pictured are members of the Capt. J. Castro Elementary School emergency response team as they tested their skills during an unannounced cardiac emergency drill. They are, from left to right: Paola Rubio, counselor; Nallely Garza, librarian; Lisette Saenz, assistant principal.

Texas Border Business

Mission, Texas – The Board of Trustees and administration of Mission Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) are continuing efforts to support and improve upon school security through a number of initiatives that include stressing the importance of staff training and practicing emergency procedures with students. 

“Creating as safe a learning environment as possible is always of utmost importance,” explained Dr. Carol G. Perez, superintendent.  “I am very grateful to have the support of our Board of Trustees as we continue our efforts to improve school security and make sure we are doing all we can to keep our schools safe places of learning.” 

The trustees recently approved moving forward with developing security vestibules for a number of campuses that currently lack them. “Over the years, the design needs of schools have changed as new threats and security issues come to light,” Dr. Perez explained. “We are looking at updating the entrances to a number of our older campuses in order to bring them up to date with the latest in access control systems.”

Knowing what to do in emergency situations plays a key role in emergency preparedness and responses. This is why Mission CISD schools continue to make sure certain key emergency drill happen regularly. Each year, Mission CISD schools complete at least nine fire drills, two lockdown drills, two severe weather drills, two shelter in place drills, and two reverse evacuation drills.

District officials are also continuing efforts to take employee training beyond basic first aid and CPR. “We are well into efforts to provide emergency response training to all of our employees,” said Martin Castaneda, coordinator for safety and security. “There are key personnel trained in all schools and areas of operation. The more employees who get trained, the better prepared they will be to protect lives in a variety of situations.” Castaneda said some of the trainings include: Stop the Bleed, active shooter training, cardiac emergency responses, as well as threat assessments and response. 

Over the past several years, Mission CISD has increased the number of security officers in schools, to include one at all elementary schools. The district has also focused on providing more support to address mental health issues through new Licenced Professional Counselors that are now on staff and are available for students and families. 

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The district’s United In Safety program includes a reporting system that is available to anyone 24 hours a day. Any and all safety and security concerns, including bullying, conflicts, vandalism, theft, weapons, drugs, alcohol, etc. can be reported through the StayAlert hotline system. Individuals can remain anonymous. Reports can be submitted online (www.stayalert.info), email ([email protected]), call or text (1-206-406-6485). The slogan for the district United In Safety efforts is, Notice it? Report it! 

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