International School Safety Convention to Focus on Partnering

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School safety movers and shakers are invited to register for an open leadership summit, the International School Safety Convention, April 22-23, 2010, at the Denver campus of Johnson & Wales University, College of Business.

Amanda Annan

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School safety movers and shakers are invited to register for an open leadership summit, the International School Safety Convention, April 22-23, 2010, at the Denver campus of Johnson & Wales University, College of Business.

Online registration is now open for the event at

There is no charge to attend the convention, which will break new ground on next-generation school safety and its impact on the schools of tomorrow, according to program co-chair Alan Ford, AIA, at School Safety Partners. All sessions are tuition-free in order to bring together a broad range of stakeholders and launch community partnerships.

Attendees will qualify for a newly-introduced Certificate of Training for Safe School Design, issued by Johnson & Wales University, College of Business, and its school safety research center, the Foundation for the Prevention of School Violence.

Ford explains that the convention will combine fast-paced interactive sessions and high-energy networking. The goal is to open the school design process to more people, and share latest resources that can be used in attendees' own communities, or in projects across America and around the globe.

"You might be sitting next to a school architect, a filmmaker, a first responder, a human rights activist, a lawmaker, a volunteer, an educator, or a community leader," Ford said.

Ford will serve as the editor of the convention's final report, "100 New Ideas for Creating Safer Schools for a Safer World." A school architect himself, Ford is the author of "Designing the Sustainable School," a widely-read compendium of ideas from architects and facility planners worldwide.

The convention features a line-up of national and international school safety experts.

For the morning sessions, two well-known authorities, Michael Dorn and Randy Atlas, will explore the realities of school crises everywhere, including school construction nightmares that have hurt owners and their communities. They will then lead the attendees through a step-by-step process for avoiding these mistakes and thinking through solutions that promote safety, security, emergency management, and a nurturing school climate.

Michael Dorn is the Executive Director of Safe Havens International, the world's leading nonprofit campus safety organization. Safe Havens works with K-12 schools, institutions of higher learning, and faith-based organizations worldwide. Its analysts have published more than two dozen books on campus safety and have worked in more than 20 countries. Dorn co-authored "Jane's Safe Schools Planning Guide for All Hazards," a standard reference for school systems around the world.

Randall (Randy) I. Atlas, Ph.D., AIA, CPP, is both an architect and criminologist, and is the author of "21st Century Security and CPTED: Designing for Critical Infrastructure Protection and Crime Prevention." Dr. Atlas is a nationally recognized speaker, trainer, and writer on Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CEPTED) and has worked in these capacities for the National Crime Prevention Institute, the American Institute of Architects, and the American Society of Industrial Security.

Other sessions will cover the global context and ways stakeholders can take action at home and abroad. The following is an outline of featured sessions.

JAMBO JUMBO - Amanda Annan, niece of Nobel Peace Prize winner Kofi Annan, is a documentary producer and activist dedicated to providing educational opportunities for girls in five African nations. "Jambo Jumbo," financed by Richard Branson, chronicles her construction of a safe school in Kenya.

EDUCATION UNDER ATTACK - Brendan O'Malley is a journalist, author and documentary maker. He is author of the UNESCO reports, "Education Under Attack" (2007 and 2010), global studies on targeted political and military violence against education staff, students, teachers, union and government officials, and institutions.

NEXT-GENERATION SCHOOL SAFETY - Tod Schneider is a leading authority on Safe, Healthy, and Positive Environmental Design for schools. He is the senior author of "Safe School Design: A Handbook for Educational Leaders," and covers next-generation school safety for the National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities.

SAFETY FROM THE GROUND UP - Steven Turckes, AIA, REFP, LEED AP, leads the K-12 Educational Facilities Group of Perkins+Will. In his 20-year career his work has focused on the programming, master planning, and implementation of nearly one billion dollars of PreK-12 projects across the nation and abroad.

REAL WORLD EXAMPLES - Dennis M. McCarthy is the director of safety and security for the Blue Valley School District in Kansas, and was a contributor to the "U.S. Secret Service Safe School Initiative." He will discuss how his work informs Perkins+Will's new school planning and design in his district.

MAPPING OUR SCHOOLS - (TBA by Andy Purdy) Donald (Andy) A. Purdy, former U.S. "Cyber Czar," helped draft the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, and was an advisor to the drafters of the Colorado Safe School Act. For the convention he serves as special co-chair for Cyber Safe Schools.

SOLUTIONS SHOWCASE - Robert Smilowitz is a principal with Weidlinger Associates of New York, and is a principal author of the FEMA reference book, "Primer to Design Safe School Projects in Case of Terrorist Attacks." His team will showcase projects to illustrate concepts in the book.

LEADERSHIP SUCCESS STORIES - Sara Strizzi is Competition Manager for the Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) grant program of the U.S. Department of Education Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. The program has funded more than 700 school safety initiatives around the country.

COMMUNITY PARTNERING - Dick Caster is the Executive Director of the National Association of School Resource Officers and has 30 years experience as a public school administrator. He is joined by a panel of public safety leaders to discuss how responders fit into school planning, design, construction, and renovation.

COLORADO RISING - Dave Cullen is the author of the New York Times bestseller, "Columbine." For over 10 years, Cullen has studied the social issues associated with the Columbine shooting, and tours the country to discuss these issues with students. Joining him at the convention are prominent Colorado school design experts.

As part of the convention, there will also be 2 sneak previews of "We Are The People We've Been Waiting For," a new feature film from Academy Award winner David Puttnam ("Chariots of Fire," "The Killing Fields," "The Mission"). The documentary begins with a stark challenge about the future of education, that will be used to orient the sessions to follow:

"If we are going to survive, we desperately need the next generation to be smarter, more adaptable, and better prepared than any that have gone before. Our only chance is to improve the way we teach our young, to equip young people with the skills and attitudes that might steer this world of ours to a far safer place than at present looks likely."

The International School Safety Convention is co-sponsored by SchoolSAFE Communications and the Foundation for the Prevention of School Violence.

For more about the agenda, and to register online, visit

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