“TIPS is a comprehensive platform of tools for intervention, prevention and documentation of all those actions that safety teams and individuals have taken along the way. We started in higher education and are now moving to K-12,” Shaw said.
Awareity is working closely with school leaders to identify the changing needs of risk management, student safety, threat assessment and behavioral intervention teams, he explained, and then developing the tools to meet their needs. The TIPS platform includes anonymous survey capabilities that help school systems better gauge the specific concerns of students, parents, faculty and other staff, including those in student transportation.
“When an incident report comes in — whether through a teacher, student or parent — our platform takes a report that is submitted online, for instance, when a bus driver notices an incident on his or her school bus,” Shaw said.
With TIPS, transportation directors can ensure all school bus drivers have completed safety training and reviewed department policies and procedures. Additionally, school administrators can make sure all bus drivers are consistent in reporting incidents.
“Very few organizations have tools to measure an incident, to track it and document it. The first stage is being aware of what you’re looking for, and the next is teaching people how to report the incident,” he continued. “When it comes to most bullying, cyberbullying and sexual assault, only one or two out of 10 incidents are reported according to recent research.”
Scottsbluff and Tulsa Public Schools in Nebraska and Oklahoma, respectively, began utilizing TIPS at the end of last year. Besides bullying, TIPS also allows for the anonymous reporting of weapon possession, school vandalism, drug or alcohol use, harassment, assault, suicide risk, child abuse and neglect.
“Our teachers and staff are ever vigilant, but you can’t prevent situations you don’t know about. TIPS will provide us with one more way for students, teachers, parents and members of the community to alert us to potential problems – either inside or outside our schools. Then we can be proactive and intervene appropriately,” said Dr. Keith Ballard, superintendent for Tulsa Public Schools.