PRIORITY NOTICE: Resources to help schools keep students and school staff safe

Maine schools have long taken security seriously, working with local fire, police, and County Emergency Management Agencies to update emergency operations plans and exercise those plans at the local level.

Maine has worked at the State and local levels to strengthen the safety and security of its schools. Efforts have included free day-long security workshops in partnership with the Maine Principals’ Association and Maine School Management Association in addition to extensive tools to inform local planning, training, and preparation.

A 2014 Legislative report on the preparedness and facility security of Maine schools created by national and local experts praised the positive climates in Maine schools.

However, in light of recent high profile national incidents, the Department is reminding districts of resources available to support schools in their ongoing efforts to keep students and school staff safe.

Available on the Maine Department of Education website are, a free school security guide created for Maine DOE by Safe Havens International entitled Twenty Simple Strategies to Safer and More Effective Schools and a similar resource specific to building safety entitled Seven Important Building Design Features to Enhance School Safety and Security.  These guides are evidence-based strategies.

In addition, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has available a cyber security awareness campaign called Stop.Think.Connect. which focuses on raising awareness about how to be safer and more secure online.

After a horrific incident like what happened recently in Florida, people want to take action. The safest response is to slow down, have local conversations about security (schools, fire, police, and county emergency management agencies), and take account of what is in place first before taking action.

For more resources, including training and emergency operations planning, from Maine DOE and its emergency planning partners, visit: or contact Pat Hinckley at 624-6886 or by email at .