School Safety and Security Workshop

March 1st - 2nd, 2019 • Dallas, Texas

Public education is being scrutinized today. Safety for school children has the nation’s attention. Every aspect of educational safety and security is under review and school districts are contemplating best practices to employ to safeguard both students and staff.

This School Safety and Security Workshop Event will take a deeper dive into the issues related to school safety and security as well as the short/ long term solutions that are being developed by numerous entities impacting the education sector.

These solutions should include aspects of all or some of the following topics:

  • School Facilities: including facilities assessment tools, site planning, CPTED principles utilized, and school design measures taken
  • Policy and Procedures: demonstrate unique board policy solutions and the procedures employed to enforce them
  • Preparedness and Response: describe measures adopted to prepare and respond to emergency situations
  • Educators, Students, and the Community: Share unique programs for educators, students and community such as mental health initiatives, reporting programs, behavioral health and wellness programs, etc. and design issues related to the implementation of these.

Symposium Schedule

March 1, 2019
12:30 pm Registration Check-in
1:00 pm – 1:15 pm Welcome
1:15 pm – 2:30 pm School Security: “A Work in Progress”
Phil Santore

    2.75 LU/HSW

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In recent years, a rash of deadly violence in our nations’ schools have thrust educational security into the daily conversation, both within and outside of the professional security industry. Opinions on the subject range from a hands-off approach to tactical preparation and response. Is there a balance to be struck?

How can we work to generate pragmatic and meaningful standards and best practices? For new schools that are being designed with security in mind, what is the latest thinking on how to create a secure learning environment without impacting the educational mission? How can we address existing schools?

This workshop focuses on preventing an event from ever happening – not responding to one that already has.

Learning Objectives:
  • What is our mission?
  • Review school security stakeholders and the importance of their role in ensuring that the educational mission is not compromised.
  • Review architectural design parameters for new schools (CPTED) – i.e., ballistic/force resistant materials and construction, visitor processing, etc.
  • Review of what was implemented at Sandy Hook.
  • Outline various constraints when it comes to educational security, including budgets, limited manpower, and opinionated stakeholders.
  • Discuss the role of technology in securing schools, particularly given the most common levels of dedicated school security staffing and budget.
  • Discover whey there is no “one size fits all”.
  • Building a successful security program.
2:30 pm – 2:45 pm Break
3:00 pm – 4:15 pm Continuation – School Security: “A Work in Progress”
Phil Santore
4:15 pm – 5:15 pm “SafetEEE in Numbers”
Joe Vela, AIA, Principal, Aedis Architects
Cheryl Galloway, Manager of Facilities Use, Safety and Energy, Gilroy Unified School District

    1 LU/HSW

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Creating secure school campuses is a complex task that is critical for all school districts but can be cost prohibitive. Gilroy Unified School District in Norther California has gone beyond basic state and education code requirements to increase school safety using three E’s – Engagement, Environment, and Education. In this workshop, learn about utilizing internationally recognized safety programs, implementing simple measures at schools, and collaboratively designing sites to increase safety and security across the board.

Learning Objectives:
  • Participants will create a step-by-step plan for improving safety and security at their school districts.
  • Participants will learn of experiences, pitfalls and successes shared by District staff and the design Architect.
  • This workshop enables administration, M&O, and Facilities Managers to use Engagement, Environment, and Education to cost effectively improve SafetEEE in Numbers on all district sites.
  • Participants will walk away with a plan to implement design elements, increase engagement, and educate school community members on making a safer place for all students to thrive and learn.
March 2, 2019
8:00 am – 9:30 am “Designing for Emerging Threats in School Security and Safety with CPTED”
Facilitator and Presenter:
Randy Atlas, Ph.D., FAIA, CPP

    1.5 LU/HSW

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The plenary session and break out sessions will address the methodology for conducting crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) risk assessment and the value of involving the security team and survey in the architecture and design process for new schools and renovations and retrofits. The fast pace of security technologies for schools is posing a challenge to schools because of the integration of the new technologies with old existing technologies. This session will demonstrate the priorities of what are reasonable and achievable goals to provide security to the assets of your schools – students, faculty, buildings, data, and image and reputation. Participants in the session will see examples of good and bad applications of security technologies, barriers, and design choices.

Key Points:
  • What are the assets that demand protection in school environments
  • How do you determine the level of risk from the school vulnerabilities and threats
  • What is CPTED and how does it apply to schools
  • What are the emerging technologies to protect schools from active shooters
  • How do you negotiate and balance life safety decisions from security crime prevention decisions
  • Demonstrations of how to use CPTED into the plan review and architectural design process for your schools and facilities
  • The breakout session will look at a local school for sample presentation
  • Open question and answer session and discussion of topics raised by participants
9:45 am – 11:00 am “Well Students, Safe Schools”
Dr. Poonam Desai, Ph.D., LSSP, NCSP, Licensed Specialist in School Psychology, Dallas Independent School District
Dr. Giyoung Park, Senior Design Researcher, HKS, Inc.
Ashley Flores, Education Strategist, HKS, Inc.

    1.25 LU/HSW

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To minimize the destruction that comes with the unthinkable, we install safety vestibules and cameras in schools, practice lockdown drills regularly, adopt rapid communication protocols, and write policies – like requiring clear backpacks for students. We expend tremendous energy and resources on these efforts but often fail to attend to that which might have prevented the unthinkable in the first place: mental health and wellness in students. Among high school students in 2017, 31% reported they felt sad or hopeless almost every day for two or more weeks in a row; 17% reported they seriously considered attempting suicide. There’s been a significant increase in depression among teens that has not been met with a commensurate increase in mental health supports. And worst of all, a third of students reported that they were bullied at school last year, up from a quarter two years ago. Join us for a panel discussion on how an understanding of and attention to childhood trauma as well as mental health and wellness can contribute to more inclusive, supportive, and safe school environments.

Learning Objectives:
  • To understand the state of mental health and wellness among young people today and how it has changed over time.
  • To consider how design can be a lever for community and inclusivity as well as mental health and wellness among students.
  • To discuss the intersection between mental health and wellness and safety at school.
  • To explore real examples of how schools are leveraging design to support student mental health and wellness.
11:00 am – 11:30 am Networking Break
11:30 am – 12:30 pm Lunch Working Session with Randy Atlas continued – “Legal Issues”
Randy Atlas, Ph.D., FAIA, CPP

    1 LU/HSW

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1:00 pm – 2:00 pm “Designing and Implementing Low-Cost, High-Impact Solutions to Safety and Security: A Case Study”
Michael McCullar, Executive Director, Construction & Planning, Comal Independent School District
Joseph McKenna, Ph.D., Director of Safety and Security, Comal Independent School District
Andrew Kim, Superintendent, Comal Independent School District

    1 LU/HSW

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This session will highlight safety and security strategies implemented in a fast-growing public school district in central Texas, with a focus on high-impact and low cost solutions. With all educational institutions being mindful of budget, but also needing to ensure the safety of security of their students and learning environment, solutions such as these are attractive, and in some cases necessary. The presenters will discuss, from a design and building standpoint, as well as a policy and procedure standpoint, the implementation of a lockdown alert system, building access control improvements, the design of new schools, and other features implemented to improve safety and security across the district.

Learning Objectives:
  • Participants will become familiar with the safety challenges of a fast-growing central Texas school district as well as the low cost high impact solutions to address these challenges.
  • Participants will learn about how these low-cost, high-impact solutions were designed and implemented in a variety of different school throughout the district.
  • Participants will learn about the policies and procedures designed to support the implementation and use of these new solutions.
  • Participants will learn about design features that this district has worked into new construction to support safety and security.
2:15 pm – 3:15 pm School District Presentation – “A Response to Governor Abbott's Plan to Address School Safety”
Scott Collins, Chief of Police, Aubrey ISO Police Department
Tony Chojnowski, Chief Operating Officer, True North Consulting Group
Mikayla Jacob, Licensed Master Social Worker, Inpatient Psychotherapist

    1 LU/HSW

In response to Governor Abbott’s call to action, this panel of experts will delve into urgent needs that schools face in addressing student health, safety, and welfare concerns. Panelists will address the bigger picture of what makes a student feel safe at school, including physical/structural, procedural, organizational, cyber/technical, digital/social media, behavioral, and social emotional security. This session will use a facilitated discussion approach.

Learning Objectives:
  • At the end of the session, participants will be able to justify the advantages of assessing and planning for the learning community’s alignment of policy, funding, support services, and operations to increase support for architectural features intended to limit or prevent injuries and death among users of school facilities.
  • At the end of the session, participants will be able to explain to a group of stakeholders how student safety is impacted by public perceptions of safety and what they can do to increase positive emotional responses among users of buildings or sites.
  • At the end of the session, participants will be able to apply new ideas for designing with student health, safety, and wellness in mind by broadening their definition of safety to include physical, procedural, organization, cyber, digital/social media, behavioral, and social emotional security.
  • At the end of the session, participants will be able to identify and articulate some of the salutary effects of Governor Abbott’s Plan for School Safety and will be able use the plan to justify incorporating key HSW elements into designs for current and future projects.
3:30 pm – 4:30 pm “School Safety & Design: How do you engage the community?”
Peter Noonan, Superintendent, Falls Church Public Schools
Bill Bradley, PhD, AIA, LEEDap, Senior Associate, Stantec
Jeff Bonvechio, Regional Vice President, Brailsford & Dunlavey

    1 LU

View presentation »

The conversation around safety and security in schools is already incredibly tough between industry professionals and school administrators as we debate and collaborate on solutions, what about the next layer of talking to your communities about it. Discussions that could derail project schedules or scopes. This presentation is aimed to provide you with some go to techniques that will help decrease that burden and allow you to focus on design. Falls Church City Public Schools (FCCPS) is completing the design documents for a new 285,000 SF, $120M High School . The 1,500 student high school is located 7 miles outside of Washington DC within a community that is only 2.1 square miles. The project is transitioning this community from a suburban style high school campus to a 5-story vertical 21st century school. The community needed to discuss and understand the challenges with this transition as well as the sensitive and passionate topic of school safety and security. The community discussion related to school security and safety could have de-railed the entire design process but instead because of the engagement approach taken by FCCPS and the project team, the topic was given the needed attention and gave the community the certainty that is was being properly addressed. Attendees will hear from the FCCPS Superintendent, the Design Principal, and the Program Manager about the design strategies and challenges for multi-story high schools and how those design strategies and safety and security were discussed with the larger school community. This discussion will cover the community subcommittees formed, the process by which subcommittee members were selected, how the team interacted with the subcommittees, and how the subcommittees reported out to the community as a whole.

Learning Objectives:
  • Participants will understand new formats and structure for collaborating with the community
  • Participants will learn methods for receiving and responding to feedback received during the design process
  • Participants will learn about design strategies for multi-story high schools
4:45 pm Closing

Presenter Bios

Randy Atlas Randy Atlas

Randy Atlas is America's only architect / criminologist. Atlas received his Doctorate of Criminology from Florida State University, a Masters in Architecture from the University of Illinois, and a Bachelor of Criminal Justice degree from University of South Florida. Atlas is president of Atlas Safety & Security Design Inc., based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He is a registered architect in Florida, nationally accredited with National Council Architectural Registration Board (N.C.A.R.B.), and is a Fellow with the American Institute of Architects. Dr. Atlas is a Certified Protection Professional (CPP) from the ASIS International, and past chairman of the ASIS Security Architecture and Engineering Council, and an appointed member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Premises Security Committee. Atlas is a professor at Florida Atlantic University where he teaches a CPTED course on line for the schools of Architecture and Criminal Justice. He is a member of the Florida Design Out Crime network, the International CPTED Association, a member of the International Society of Crime Prevention Practitioners, and the International Association of Counterterrorism and Security Professionals. Dr. Atlas is a nationally recognized trainer and author on Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design. Atlas authored the book 21st Century Security and CPTED in 2008, and the new 2nd Edition in 2013. Dr. Atlas has conducted a risk vulnerability assessment security survey for many school environments including: Georgetown University; Tennessee State University; Harvard University Science Building; Barry University; University of Louisville; Ohio State University; University of Miami; and the Clark Country School District in Las Vegas; Bibb County Georgia: Chicago School District, Lowell MA School District, Richmond VA School District, Broward County School District.
Phil Santore Phil Santore
Vice President, Managing Principal

Phil has over 38 years of experience in consulting and design engineering for several commercial, educational, federal and high risk facilities. He possesses extensive experience and knowledge in Threat and Risk Assessments and Security Program Development. His extensive background in electronic security countermeasures development is conceived in the context of practical applications as a result of significant years of professional contracting management, equipment procurement, and installation oversight. His expertise is also a participant in the development of security, facility, and law enforcement personnel interaction with security components and systems as necessary to affect an intuitive and efficient man/machine interface.
Joe Vela, AIA
Aedis Architects

Joe has 35 years of construction experience. He has worked on a wide variety of building types from private projects, prisons, churches, police stations, fire stations, hospitals and education projects. For the past 23 years, Joe has focused on educational architecture. Joe has also worked in the public safety sector as firefighter, EMT, and for the Sherriff’s Department Search and Rescue Team. He has used these experiences to assist in designing safe and secure projects.
Cheryl Galloway
Manager of Facilities Use, Safety and Energy
Gilroy Unified School District
Dr. Poonam Desai
Licensed Specialist in School Psychology
Dallas Independent School District

Dr. Desai is a licensed psychologist and a licensed specialist in school psychology. She currently serves as a school psychologist in the Dallas Independent School District and previously served as a mental health trainer at Momentous Institute.
Dr. Giyoung Park
Senior Design Researcher
HKS, Inc.

Dr. Giyoung Park is an environmental psychologist and registered architect. She serves as a senior design researcher at HKS and studies human wellbeing and behavior in relation to environmental design.
Ashley Flores
Education Strategist
HKS, Inc.

In the Education Studio at HKS, Ashley serves as Vice President and Education Strategist and works to advance teaching and learning through the built environment. Ashley formerly served as Director of Planning and Special Projects at the Dallas Independent School District, leading the effort to reimagine the educational experience for students through the implementation of personalized learning districtwide. She started her career as a middle school Spanish teacher and coach of new teachers.
Michael McCullar
Executive Director, Construction & Planning
Comal Independent School District

Michael McCullar is the Executive Director of Construction and Planning for Comal ISD. In this role, he oversees the maintenance and operations of district facilities, as well as the building and construction of new facilities. Mr. McCullar holds a B.S. in Agricultural development from Texas A&M as well as a Masters in Business Administration from Texas State University.
Joseph McKenna, Ph.D.
Director of Safety and Security
Comal Independent School District

Dr. Joe McKenna is the Director of Safety and Security for Comal ISD, and oversees all safety and security efforts for the district. Dr. McKenna holds a B.S in Criminal Justice from Roger Williams University and an M.S and Ph.D. from Texas State University.
Andrew Kim
Comal Independent School District
Scott Collins
TCOLE Master Peace Officer
Chief of Police
Aubrey ISD Police Department

Scott Collins is the Chief of Police and Emergency Manager for Aubrey ISD Police Department. Chief Collins is cross-trained in Police, Fire, and EMS and has worked with the learning community to prevent and mitigate school threats and upgrade school security. Collins is a certified instructor who enjoys teaching school-based law enforcement and emergency management to his peers and the community. He has earned numerous honors and advanced certifications in his chosen profession.
Tony Chojnowski
Chief Operating Officer
True North Consulting Group

Tony Chojnowski is the Chief Operating Officer and Senior Security and Technology Consultant for True North Consulting Group. Mr. Chojnowski is experienced in security and technology systems project management; premise physical security systems, including electronic access control, intrusion detection, and video surveillance systems; and voice, data, and video cabling infrastructure. Chojnowski leads a team that has assisted numerous school districts in assessing current security practices/tools and developing multi-year plans for improvement.
Mikayla Jacob
Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), Inpatient Psychotherapist

Mikayla Jacob is a Licensed Master Social Worker. She currently serves as a Special Education Counselor with Lewisville Independent School District, as well as Inpatient Psychotherapist for Carrollton Springs Hospital in the DFW metroplex. Ms. Jacob has experience with supporting and responding to the health, safety, and welfare needs of all members of the learning community. She is a published author, speaker, trainer, and advocate of high-quality mental health treatment for all ages.
Peter Noonan
Superintendent, Falls Church Public Schools

Dr. Peter Noonan was selected as Superintendent of Falls Church City Public Schools in May of 2017. Dr. Noonan began his career as a special education teacher in New Mexico where he was named Teacher of the Year in 1993. Most recently, Dr. Noonan served as Superintendent for Fairfax City Public Schools after serving for 11 years in the Fairfax County Public Schools division. At Fairfax County, he was assistant principal several middle schools and high schools, then roles as principal at a middles school and high school, as well as assistant superintendent for Cluster VII schools. Finally, Dr. Noonan was assistant superintendent for the Instructional Services Department overseeing academic programs for the system's 180,000 students. Dr. Noonan has bachelor and master's degrees from the University of New Mexico. He also completed studies to obtain the education specialist designation in educational administration. He completed his doctorate in education from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).
Bill Bradley Bill Bradley
Senior Associate, Stantec

Bill is an architect and educational planner for Stantec, a multi-national specializing in the planning and design of educational facilities. Beyond his expertise in design, Bill lends his background as an educator having studied in and taught at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education before going into practice to plan and design schools. Bill has worked with school districts across the country for over 20 years. Bill is a past-president of the Virginia chapter of the A4LE, a past-president of the southeast region of the A4LE, and now serves on the A4LE's international board of directors as its representative from the southeast region. He is a two-time winner of A4LE’s Planner of the Year Award, and he chairs both the SchoolsNEXT and MacConnell Award juries. Bill received his BS in Architecture Design from Clemson University and his Master of Education and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Virginia.
Jeff Bonvechio
Regional Vice President, Brailsford & Dunlavey

Jeff joined B&D in 2018 with nearly 20-years’ experience in the design and construction industry, primarily focused on the planning, design and construction of public education, recreation and library facilities. Prior to coming to B&D Jeff served as the Director of Capital Projects for two major DC Government Agencies, most recently leading the DC Department of General Services Capital Construction Division. In this role Jeff was responsible for a division budget ranging from $250 Million to $500 Million. From 2007 – 2015 he led the building of new or the substantial renovations to 17 of the 24 District of Columbia's Neighborhood


Commercial Member: $250
Commercial Non-Member: $450
School District Member: $200
School District Non-Member: $250
Student: $50


Please contact Carla Cummins at [email protected] to be wait listed.


The symposium will be held at:
350 N Saint Paul Street
Suite 100
Dallas, Texas 75201

Get directions »

Suggested Hotels

A4LE does not have a preferred hotel property. Participants are encouraged to make reservations close to HKS corporate offices.

Sheraton Dallas Hotel
Sheraton Dallas Hotel
400 North Olive Street
Dallas, TX 75201

Cambria Dallas
Cambria Hotel & Suites
1907 Elm Street
Dallas, TX 75201

Call for Speakers

The Association is seeking presentations for the upcoming School Safety and Security Workshop Event to be held in Dallas, Texas on March 1-2, 2019.

We invite potential speakers to submit presentations of solutions that are being employed by school districts around the country.

Please note the sessions are to be educational in nature. Sales, product, or marketing presentations will not be accepted.

Call for Presentations Closes: January 17, 2019