Working closely with the passionate staff who rely on Ruvna is one of my favorite aspects of my job as CEO. Over the past month and a half, I had the pleasure of traveling all across the country to meet with schools and districts alike, helping them all become as safe as possible with our Ruvna School Safety Training Program. From getting stuck in the airport in Texas, to driving up the beautiful eastern side of Wisconsin, it was quite the tour! This is the first part of my two-part round-up of my travels.
Every time I work with a school, be it an independent day school, a public high school, or a parochial middle school, I’m reminded of the importance of teacher buy-in when it comes to emergency and drill procedures. The difference between everyone knowing how to quickly, and safely account for every student during a lockdown, or suffering from a communication breakdown after evacuating a building rests squarely on making sure every teacher, faculty member, and staff employee feels comfortable and confident with Ruvna. They need to be notified quickly in a crisis, and they need to know how to respond to ensure the safety of the students.
The first leg of the school safety tour kicked-off in Early August with trips to a charter school in Las Vegas followed by a beautiful rural Colorado public school district. With Ruvna’s teacher and administrator training sessions, as well as a handful of fire-drills to dry-run in the course of the day, trainings continue at quite the brisk pace.
Ruvna conforms to the way our schools handle emergencies, not the other way around. We always make sure to focus on the specific challenges our schools face; like earthquakes in the West or hurricanes in the south. During every session, I work with school staff on how Ruvna can be critical in any scenario. In the case of an earthquake, for example, when cell phone signal can be weak and doorways can be blocked, Ruvna’s staff accountability, group-wide messaging, and notification capabilities are key to a successful response.
After a quick stop at a Florida Catholic school, I swung back towards the middle of the country. I had the chance to work with some of our new Midwest independent schools. Having open campuses comprised of many buildings that students typically traverse individually, independent schools face a unique challenge when it comes to securing their campuses. Many of Ruvna’s first clients were in the Philadelphia & New York independent school communities. To help them, we developed our student self check-in feature to specifically enable students to account for themselves, or get help if they need it, and to provide administrators with critical information to ensure their safety and security.
August came to an end with a full week of trainings at a variety of different East Coast schools and districts. While training is important at every Ruvna school, for large public schools, where Ruvna use on cell phones is less guaranteed, the importance of achieving complete buy-in is on clear display. One of the things I always focus on during my training sessions is not only how to use Ruvna, but why Ruvna is so important for student and staff safety. At one of the first trainings I ever led, at teacher came up and gave me a large hug. Confused, I looked over and responded to the teacher, “thank you so much, but what was that for?” Immediately, she replied “Because you just helped solve a problem I’ve been worried about for nearly 30 years.” This interaction has influenced me and every training session I have led since . While, of course, I know that won’t be the reception at every single training session (but we can try) – aiming to communicate the importance of the problem we are solving, and not just how Ruvna works, is critically important to the success of our trainings and the security of our schools and districts in the long term.
With that done, I finally managed to head back to Ruvna HQ in NYC to get some work done before part 2 of the School Safety Tour started! To be continued in Part 2…..