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School Safety Subcabinet

Meeting Minutes

January 28, 2019

Dr. Karen B. Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools and Subcabinet Chair, called the meeting to order at 9:58 AM, provided opening comments, and noted that a quorum was present.

The following Subcabinet members were in attendance:

  • Mr. Brian Frosh, Maryland Attorney General
  • Ms. Carol A. Beatty, Secretary, Maryland Department of Disabilities
  • Colonel William M. Pallozzi, Superintendent, Maryland State Police
  • Mr. Robert Neall, Secretary, Maryland Department of Health
  • Mr. Robert Gorrell, Executive Director, Interagency Committee on School Construction

The following Maryland Center for School Safety (MCSS) members were in attendance:

  • Ms. Kate Hession, Executive Director, MCSS
  • Mrs. Holly Barrett, designee for Mr. Joseph Pignataro, Deputy Director, MCSS
  • Ms. Elizabeth M. Kameen, designee for Ms. Dawn P. O'Croinin, Assistant Attorney General, MCSS

Other meeting attendees:

Representatives of State agencies, the Governor's Office, and The Maryland Center for School Safety were in attendance. Representatives from MCSS included the following Training Specialists: Mr. Michael Rudinski, Mr. James Hott, Mr. Ronald Pierce, and Dr. Tarik Harris

A moment of silence was held for Corporal PJ Mann, fallen Charles County Sheriff’s Deputy assigned as a School Resource Officer at St. Charles High School in Waldorf.

Approval of Prior Meeting Minutes:

A motion was made and a second motion was made to approve the meeting minutes from last Subcabinet meeting, which was held on December 17, 2018. The meeting minutes were approved by unanimous vote.

A motion was made and a second motion was made to move the April Subcabinet meeting from April 23, 2019 to April 15, 2019 due to the holiday. The change to the April Subcabinet meeting date was approved by unanimous vote.

Ms. Hession advised the members of the Subcabinet that MCSS has three (3) current vacancies and in process to be filled within the next few weeks. The vacant positions are the Executive Assistant, Data & Policy Analyst, and the Fiscal & Grant Analyst.

Ms. Hession informed the Subcabinet members that all MCSS staff members participated in a detailed review of the Safe to Learn Act of 2018 (line-by-line), along with the Center’s assigned Assistant Attorney General, to ensure roles and responsibilities were clearly defined.

Ms. Hession informed the Subcabinet members the School Resource Officer (SRO) lesson plan development is on target. The staff is currently working on identifying possible dates for the training to held in the summer. The MCSS training staff will complete the certification course needed in order to train the State’s school resource officers and security personnel. Additionally, a comparative compliance review was completed and certain SRO’s and security personnel will be required to obtain an additional 16 hours of training which was not received through the NASRO training. Only NASRO training received within the last two years will be accepted for attendance in the abbreviated training.

Dr. Salmon requested the new MCSS staff members introduce themselves to the Subcabinet.

Mrs. Holly Barrett, Mr. Michael Rudinski, Mr. James Hott, and Mr. Ronald Pierce took a moment to introduce themselves and each person provided a short biography.

Ms. Hession gave an update on the Safe Schools Maryland tip line. Since the launch on October 3, 2018 to January 28, 2019, the tip line has received 177 tips. Most tips are in relation to drug usage, bullying, and administrative complaints.

Ms. Hession explained how the Center is currently marketing the tip line through the use of social media, with ClearChannel’s digital billboards, and help from the local districts.

Dr. Salmon suggested the Center provide her with tip line marketing packets order for her to give them to the local superintendents during her next meeting with them.

Ms. Hession stated that the Center will provide this to her by the end of the week.

Ms. Hession added the Center is currently working on a plan to have a focus group of students to help market the tip line as well. The Center is working with the Maryland Association of Student Councils and a May meeting is scheduled.

Ms. Hession informed the Subcabinet the Center hosted a Mental Health Conference on January 8, 2019 and most districts attended. The conference was created in order for mental health partners to learn about the Safe to Learn Act, best practices, get questions answered, etc. Many attendees felt the meeting should be held quarterly.

Dr. Salmon informed the group that she has joined the Chiefs School Safety Committee, which is a national organization.

Mr. Zachary Hands, Special Projects Assistant to the Superintendent, was asked by Dr. Salmon to brief everyone on the Federal Commission on School Safety Report. There were 19 policy areas identified within the report and Maryland is “in line” with what most other states are doing in their policies. Resources for mental health, mental health stigma reductions. Maryland is a leader in Extreme Risk Protections, MOU’s with SROs, School Visits. States are or will be contacting Maryland to help them replicate the Safe to Learn Act and other best practices. The report can be found at https://www2.ed.gov/documents/schoolsafety/school-safety-report.pdf

Ms. Hession updated the Subcabinet on Senate Bill 165 and House Bill 148 in relation to anonymous reporting. It provides data protections for the Safe Schools Maryland tip line. The Subcabinet is required to provide guidance by September 1, 2019. Reporting of what is coming into the tip line will begin July of 2020.

Mr. Hands asked if the Center could create categories or tip summaries for the Subcabinet. Ms. Hession stated the Center will look into it.

Dr. Salmon suggested that clear language be used within the summaries and categories. Ms. Hession will pass on the recommendation.

Secretary Neall asked if if the Subcabinet owed anything to the General Assembly. Ms. Hession stated that nothing has been requested yet, but preparing something before being asked should be considered.

Dr. Salmon reported on legislation and will provide slides to the group.

Mr. Hands informed the group that House Bill 31, allowing Baltimore City SRO’s to carry a gun on school property, will be withdrawn. As of 10:25 AM on January 28, 2019, the bill had not yet be withdrawn.

Ms. Hession asked the group for suggestions for agenda topics for the next Advisory Board Meeting to be held on February 4, 2019. She also stated the Advisory Board does not have a lot of direction on what to do, but they do want to assist the Subcabinet. Ms. Hession stated that the Advisory Board wanted to be briefed on bus driver incident response and emergency planning for schools before/after standard schools hours. Ms. Hession asked members what is the desired end product or the take away for the Subcabinet.

Mr. Gorrell asked if the Advisory Board could list what is important to them, prioritize that list, and then get back to the Subcabinet with that prioritized list, that may help move things forward for the Advisory Board.

Dr. Salmon suggested a topic could be mental health concerns and what are kids coming into school with. She mentioned the idea of kids coming to school with trauma, mental health concerns, and how to help the student and the students’ families too.

Dr. Salmon also mentioned perhaps psychologist best practices and lesson disciplines.

Ms. Hession mentioned identifying priorities and a best practice guide on mental health.

Dr. Salmon also suggested the topic of young families and finding a way to focus on those parents.

Secretary Neall mentioned that the Subcabinet could assign the Advisory Board a couple of things but they should have current trends presentations at their meeting. He also suggested that the Subcabinet could use them as a study group.

Mr. Frosh asked about the categories within the tip line and reporting out. He asked why do users need to categorize their submitted tips and why can’t it be done on the back end.

Ms. Hession stated that there are approximately 47 categories for choosing how a tip should be filed and sent into the tip line. She suggested the list be shortened on the end user’s side and then have more detail on the back end.

Ms. Hession confirmed that the Center will review and recommend a shorter category list. That list will then go to the Advisory Board for comment and then the Subcabinet can review those recommendations from the Advisory Board.

Mr. Frosh stated if the Center could choose between 10 to 13 choices that would make things easier for users on the receiving end who submit tips.

Col. Pallozzi brought up the idea to also integrate Next Gen 911 stating that people like to text.

Secretary Beatty brought up that perhaps the Advisory Board could assist in the marketing of the tip line, disability access to the tip line, and funding needed for disability focused schools.

Dr. Salmon mentioned another topic for the Advisory Board to discuss could be controlled environment in schools. She mentioned key entry specifically at Calvert County schools where all doors are locked and key entry is required.

Dr. Salmon suggested another topic for the Advisory Board to consider - the ease of access for people other than staff or students to get ontoschool property or the public using school property for different events. She discussed the fact that there are sometimes open doors to the building and/or poor lighting on schools grounds.

Col. Pallozzi added that Howard County schools put in fields that anyone in the public can use.

Dr. Salmon advised to put ease of access to school property for the public on the list for the Advisory Board to consider.

Mr. Gorrell asked Col. Pallozzi who pays for the fields that were put in at Howard County schools.

Col. Pallozzi advised that the county pays.

Col. Pallozzi also suggested the Advisory Board could discuss transportation issues during schools days and after school days, other people using the school’s facilities.

Ms. Hession stated that she will take all of the Subcabinet’s suggestions from today’s meeting and inform the Advisory Board. She will start by having the Board work to identify the categories for the tip line and then move forward on having the Board develop a work plan.

Ms. Barrett went over the Safe Schools Fund Grants for Anne Arundel, Caroline, Dorchester, Harford, Montgomery, and Somerset Counties.

Ms. Barrett advised the Subcabinet that Anne Arundel’s application was very well done and that it was training based. It included components such as planning, community outreach, virtual reality simulation training, training teachers and students, trauma response go bags, and curriculum for children at younger ages.

Dr. Salmon reviewed the diagram included in the county’s application and stated that it looked great.

Dr. Salmon called for a motion to approve Anne Arundel County’s application which was seconded by Mr. Frosh. Dr. Salmon called for the vote and the application was approved unanimously.

Ms. Barrett discussed the next application which was for Caroline county. She informed the group that the county is requesting for training for the “Train the Trainer” courses, a new PA system or a signal beacon. Ms. Barrett noted that the application’s focus was technology based. It was also noted that Caroline County did not ask for the total amount it was eligible for under the Safe Schools Fund Grants formula developed by the MCSS.

Secretary Beatty asked Ms. Hession to have the Center reach back out to Caroline County and see what other needs they may have so they could apply for the balance of eligible funding.

Ms. Hession advised that the Center will reach out to the county to see if they can use the rest of the money allocated.

Dr. Salmon called for a motion to approve Caroline County’s application. Secretary Beatty called for the motion and it was seconded by Mr. Frosh. Dr. Salmon called for the vote and the application was approved unanimously.

Ms. Barrett reviewed the application for Dorchester County. The application focused on access control, camera systems, and communication devices, such as radios.

Mr. Gorrell mentioned that in some counties radios have trouble inside of buildings.

Col. Pallozzi agreed and stated radios inside of buildings can reduce service.

Dr. Salmon called for a motion to approve Dorchester County’s application. Mr. Frosh called for the motion and it was seconded by Secretary Neall. Dr. Salmon called for the vote and the application was approved unanimously.

Ms. Barrett reviewed the application for Harford County which focused on Active Assailant Training in-house, reunification training for school administration, and mental first aid materials.

Dr. Salmon asked who will be doing the training. She asked if it would be a contractual service or if it would be overtime for staff.

Ms. Barrett then explained the training will require a trainer-the-trainer course then those trained can train attendees such as families and students. The training would happen during the evenings, holidays, and/or weekends, and during the summer. She then explained initial training would be provided by already trained Harford County officials. They will then will train four volunteers at all 54 schools who will in turn train all staff and students at their facilities.

Dr. Salmon called for a motion to approve Harford County’s application. Secretary Neall called for the motion and it was seconded by Secretary Beatty. Dr. Salmon called for the vote and the application was approved unanimously.

Ms. Barrett reviewed the application for Montgomery County. The application focused on mental health training, behavioral health training, community outreach, summer classes, speakers, behavioral threat assessment training, charges for copies for materials, guides and materials, trauma intervention, travel expenses, mental health first aid, and flashlights that attached to guns in case of power outages.

Col. Pallozzi stated that type of attachment to a gun is not to be used as a flashlight. He mentioned there is a policy or protocol to be followed as to when to use those lights. He also questioned who would pay for the specialized holsters required to house such a weapon.

Ms. Barrett questioned whether the county could include employee benefits as an indirect cost in the grant application.

Dr. Salmon advised that grant funds may not be diverted for indirect costs.

Dr. Salmon called for a motion to approve Montgomery County’s application with the exclusion of grant funds allocated to employee benefits and flashlights mounted to guns. Secretary Neall called for the motion and it was seconded by Secretary Beatty. Dr. Salmon called for the vote and the application was approved unanimously.

Ms. Barrett reviewed the application for Somerset County which focused on security cameras, communication devices like phones, and intercom systems. Dr. Salmon called for a motion to approve Somerset County’s application. Secretary Neall called for the motion and it was seconded by Secretary Beatty. Dr. Salmon called for the vote and the application was approved unanimously. Ms. Hession mentioned that Baltimore City, Calvert, Cecil, Frederick, Garrett, Queen Anne’s, Wicomico, and other counties that have not yet submitted applications under the Safe Schools Fund grant program have all been contacted to remind them of the upcoming deadline for submission of applications. All counties responded that they will be sending their applications in by the due date. The Center was not able to reach Kent County.

Dr. Salmon informed the group that the next meeting will be February 25, 2019 at 10AM in the Governor’s Reception Room.

Secretary Neall asked if schools will be receiving stop the bleed kits.

Dr. Salmon informed the group that most schools are purchasing them and they will potentially be placed in schools near the AEDs.

Dr. Salmon asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. Col. Pallozzi called for the motion and it was seconded by Mr. Frosh.

Meeting was adjourned at 11:21 AM