School & District Management Opinion

School Improvement RFP of the Week

By Marc Dean Millot — April 28, 2008 3 min read
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Offered a day early because I plan to write more on integrated emergency planning for school districts.

From Monday’s issue of K-12Leads and Youth Service Markets ReportAnnouncement: District-wide Strategic Security And Safety Plan Due May 21 (Apr 21) Los Angeles Unified School District, California

Their Description:

The purpose of this Request for Information is to “identify” Interested Parties with expertise.... to help prepare a Request for Proposal to develop and implement a comprehensive Strategic Security and Safety Plan....The Los Angeles Unified School District... has over a million students and 83,000 employees at 1,200 sites in an area of nearly 710 square miles.... Parents expect a safe... school climate that encourages effective resolution of conflict.... that is physically secure, free of significant health and safety risks, and well-prepared for emergencies....

The District employs its own police force, interagency assistance, closed circuit television and intrusion alarms.... [N]o single entity is responsible.... with many reporting lines that meet only at.... the Superintendent.... The District is experiencing both an increased need for safety measures and a decline in funding, making it critical to develop a more comprehensive and cost-effective strategic approach....

(A) conference will be attended by the District’s executive staff and managers representing School Police, Risk Management, Information Technology, Instruction, and Facilities as well as school principals and other staff who deal with security and safety issues on a daily basis. A panel representing the above... will... respond to any questions.... [F]irms, and individuals with expertise in security and safety services are welcome to share industry best practices... The... exchange... will... inform... a future Request for Proposal.... soliciting proposals through open competition... to provide a comprehensive Strategic Security and Safety Plan to the District....

The District anticipates.... [F]irms will need to meet the following requirements identified at the time of the RFP proposal due date.... 5-7 years experience in developing strategic security plans for large public and/or private sector organizations.... developing plans or making recommendations in... prevention/mitigations, emergency preparedness, and crisis response & recovery.... utilizing and assessing advanced security technology.... performing site assessments, conducting risk/threat assessments and site surveys....
developing... security communications plans....

In addition, Interested Parties are required to address..... understanding of the legally mandated requirements.... the tenets of Standard Emergency Management System (SEMS) and national Incident Management System (NIMS).... approach to site assessments...risk/threats assessments and site surveys.... putting into place advanced security measures, advanced security products & equipment, and advanced security technology....

5. How would your firm approach developing a strategic security plan for security for all schools and their support functions in the District?

My Thoughts: K-12Leads clients know that I have been interested in the management challenge and revenue potential of a trend towards comprehensive emergency planning and support services for school districts for several years. This goes well beyond security products and services - indeed it makes sense of them.

In the May 23, 2005 edition of SIIW • Online I first discussed the business implications for school improvement providers of threats to stable teaching and learning environments from student obesity, teacher cheating on exams, sexual abuse, and armed student attacks on schools. Of particular interest was the need to link relevant professional development of teachers, administrators and other staff to the inevitably technical and technological flavor of initial security RFPs.

Approaches that integrate human factors with school districts’ emergency plans will get far more bang for the back. Firms that offer this insight will gain competitive advantage in the sale of related technology and services. This RFP and conference provide an opportunity for providers to help a leading price-sensitive buyer think about this bigger picture.

More tomorrow.

Marc Dean Millot is the editor of School Improvement Industry Week and K-12 Leads and Youth Service Markets Report. His firm provides independent information and advisory services to business, government and research organizations in public education.

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