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Creativity Abounds with Safe Schools Week

NHA Communications Team  |  November 05, 2021
Sixty-one schools participated in Safe Schools Week Oct. 18-22. Safety Doesn’t Happen By Accident was the theme, meant to highlight that it is everyone’s responsibility to think about safety and to act when you see something that is unsafe.
Participation in Safe Schools Week is one of the items needed to earn a Safety Eagle Award. Several schools and their activities are highlighted here. School safety specialists and their committees are very creative in the types of events they organize and the types of materials they create.
People around a sign that says Safety Does Not Happen By Accident.

The Service Center Safety & Health team collected participating schools’ photos, PowerPoint presentations, videos, and other safety materials the schools produced. They can be found HERE. Take some time to check out what other schools have done and created.
“Thank you to the school safety specialists and their teams for putting in time and effort to create engaging activities for our students to participate in,” says Brian Gard, Director of Safety & Health. “I am always amazed at the ways staff find to teach important safety lessons to our scholars.”
Achieve Charter Academy
Achieve showcased its school safety by conducting school drills, writing letters to area healthcare workers and first responders, participating in a school-wide coloring contest, presentations during opening ceremonies for each wing, and by creating posters/videos/and images of students showing their school safety. Achieve created a slide show to share all its efforts.
Advantage Charter Academy
Advantage had their students dress in all black for school safety week. The topics they decided to create awareness around were suicide, bullying, and school safety. The students created a video titled, Blacking Out for School Safety 2021. The Baker Fire Department came to the school to lead a safety assembly and showed students the fire truck and discussed fire safety. They gave out hats and pencils. The scholars really enjoyed these events.

 People dressed as traffic cones holding a stop sign.

Andrew J. Brown Academy
At Andrew J. Brown, scholars practiced fire and reverse evacuation drills. In addition, students created posters displaying how to stay safe in school and posted these all around school. Letters were also written to safety personnel, thanking them for their service. Staff and students continue to learn and practice safety together throughout the year.
Aspire Charter Academy
Aspire created a 4.5-minute video showing all the things they do to stay safe. The video showed proper distancing in hallways, using the handsfree water fountain, proper removal of garbage and any items that may be a safety risk for maintenance staff, going to the nurse’s office with a buddy, cafeteria staff sanitizing the lunch carry bags, and how to conduct a fire drill and a re-evacuation drill to re-enter the building safely. Aspire staff and scholars take safety seriously.
Bennett Venture Academy
Bennett did different safety activities for the grade levels. The K-2 students colored safety pictures. The 3-8 students wrote and illustrated safety rules for hallway, bathroom, fire, tornado, lockdown, PE class, recess, walking to school, riding a bus, and being in the classroom. Top students’ safety rules from each room were selected for display and were read on the morning announcements. Pictures of staff who were using safety gear correctly were included and sent in emails highlighting the why behind its importance. At the Moral Focus assemblies, a reverse evacuation drill was run with each grade level band, recording one for compliance. The theme Bennett uses often is, “Emergencies don't make appointments!”
Brooklyn Scholars Charter Academy
Brooklyn Scholars had a week of activities: Monday was crazy hat day, where teachers talked about Halloween safety tips with students; Tuesday was National Save Day and teachers talked about pedestrian safety tips; Thursday teachers discussed Internet safety tips while students designed Internet safety signs; and Friday was school safety tip day, where students decorated face masks and talked about school safety. The school also had a visit from the 75th Precinct Community Police who gave a safety presentation. Lastly, middle school students could participate in a basic life support class. Nurse Jackie Chapman, a certified CPR trainer, and mother of a Brooklyn staff member, taught the scholars CPR, ventilation, use of an AED, and other basic life support skills.

 Children holding awards.

Buffalo United Charter School
Buffalo United reported having a wonderful time during Safe Schools Week. They practiced drills, talked about school safety, had a “How to keep our school safe” poster contest, and welcomed fire fighters to come talk to some individual classrooms about fire prevention. They even had their firefighting gear on for these presentations. On Wednesday, they focused on keeping everyone safe from bullying for Unity Day, combining it with Safe Schools Week. They also created a fun video featuring some of the deans.
Cross Creek Charter Academy
Cross Creek celebrated Safe Schools Week with all sorts of activities, including:
  • Extra drills and re-teaching of drills.
  • Facebook messages to parents.
  • Card project to veterans in the hospital.
  • Giving icatch tickets to those who practiced good safety.
  • Making a Board presentation.
  • Hosting fire fighters and their Dalmatian mascot with their fire truck. They taught fire safety measures.
Detroit Enterprise Academy
The goal of the school safety specialist at Detroit Enterprise Academy is to strive to make the school the safest school in the city of Detroit every single day. Throughout the week, teachers were encouraged to speak with their classes about school safety and practice drills on their own. To add to this, there was a week of activities: Monday was a coloring page activity; Tuesday was letter writing, or classroom poster, to encourage nurses and doctors that are on the front lines of the pandemic every day, and the middle school scholars participated in an OK2SAY seminar; on Wednesday, students created a home fire plan; on Thursday, Mrs. Papadhima gave an anti-bullying lesson; and on Friday, Mrs. Papadhima lead a meditation and deep breathing session for all students.
Greensboro Academy
Greensboro created a PowerPoint show with their week of activities. They combined a daily theme with safety items. Monday was rest easy with a safe environment and pajama day. Tuesday was putting unsafe choices behind you with backwards hat day. Wednesday was wearing a shirt with a positive message for a positivi-tee day. Thursday was turning negativity inside out where kids could wear their clothing inside out. And on Friday, scholars wore a green T-shirt to represent safety and donated a dollar for the Greensboro Safety Town group.
Students practicing CPR on a dummy.

Landmark Academy at Reunion
Landmark celebrated Safe Schools Week in a variety of ways:
  • During morning announcements, a safety tip of the day was shared.
  • Students completed coloring pages to showcase ways to be safe.
  • All classrooms posted Safe2Tell posters, the Colorado anonymous safety tip line for schools – see it, report it, stop it.
  • A K-5 assembly was held to promote safety by watching a video on how to use Safe2Tell and give students discussion opportunities to practice.
  • Middle schoolers had homeroom presentations on Safe2Tell.
  • There was a whole school fire drill.
  • Teachers reviewed expectations for all types of drills, ensuring these procedures are clear for substitute teachers.
  • Parents were made aware of Safe Schools Week in the Landmark Lead newsletter.
Linden Charter Academy
Safe Schools Week offers schools a dedicated time to remind students, staff, and their communities about the importance of school safety. Linden participated in exciting and informative activities for scholars and staff.
  • Monday – Healthcare/Frontline Workers. Scholars created thank-you cards for healthcare and frontline workers in the Flint Community. Tiffanny Thompson, school safety specialist, personally delivered the thank-you cards to local hospitals, urgent cares, police, and fire departments within the Flint Community.
  • Tuesday – Safety Fire Drill. The Safety team planned a school-wide fire drill. Staff members followed NHA safety expectations using their yellow vests, red backpacks, and walkies. Linden completed a building clearance in one minute and 37 seconds!
  • Wednesday – Ok2Say Michigan. Police Officer Don Ferguson, from the state of Michigan, presented a 45-minute OK2Say virtual meeting safety program with our fifth to eighth grade scholars. It allowed them to discuss confidentially reporting tips on potential harm or criminal activities directed at students and schools. Linden scholars discussed cyberbullying, sexting, online safety, bullying, anxiety, stress, and health service programs provided by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. In addition, each student received materials and OK2SAY emergency cards.
  • Friday – Safe Schools Day. To complete the week, staff, and students had the opportunity to wear an orange or red top pledging, “Safety Doesn’t Happen by Accident.”
  • All Week Art Class. Mrs. Carpenter, art teacher, incorporated the Safe Schools Week theme with the K-8 students participating in a mask-decorating contest/keep school safe poster contest. Each grade level winner received a ribbon and certificate.
  • All Week Technology Class. Mrs. Garcia, technology teacher, implemented Common Sense Safety Education lesson plans with the K-8 scholars, on topics such as how to stay safe online, fun online gaming, password powerup, private and personal information, digital friendships, and social media.
PreEminent Charter School
Safe schools week at PreEminent was busy. The week was started with a poster contest for each classroom/homeroom. For the contest, students used this statement: This is how we are safe at school. One finalist was chosen from each grade level and then a first-, second-, and third-place winner were chosen and awarded prizes. The school had two drills – a fire drill and a lockdown drill. On Friday, students were allowed to dress in blue or black jeans and wear an orange or yellow shirt to represent safety. Also, safety reminders were emailed each day.
Summerfield Charter Academy
Summerfield started early by having a visit from Safety Man (Principal Rudy Swofford) at the Friday assembly on Oct. 15. Safety Man was there to encourage participation and lay out the Safe Schools Week details:
  • Door Decoration Contest Classrooms were encouraged to decorate their door with safety messages.
  • Safety Man Classroom Visits and the Wheel of Drill Safety Man visited every classroom during the week and each class had the opportunity to spin the Wheel of Drill. Students then had to either answer safety questions or conduct the safety drill wherever the spin landed. Drills included lockdown, fire, and room clear.
  • Safety Man visited at assemblies on Oct. 15 and 22.
  • A school-wide fire drill to add more fun to the week.
People holding up safety signs.

Vanguard Charter Academy
Celebrating safe schools week at Vanguard Charter Academy included:
  1. A fire drill with two decoys for classrooms to find an alternate route.
  2. During the fire drill, it was confirmed that teachers had green and red cards to signal if they needed help or were all set, as well as wearing their safety vests.
  3. Lower elementary classes watched a fire safety video. They also participated in reading scholastic news and making hats and coloring pages around fire safety.
  4. Older students wrote letters to firefighters that were delivered to different local fire stations.
What a fun week at Vanguard!
About National Heritage Academies:
National Heritage Academies is a network of 98 tuition-free, public charter schools across nine states, serving more than 60,000 students in kindergarten 12th grade. For more information, visit