March 1, 2017 – Last Thursday, the Washington Federation of Independent Schools (WFIS) held their first Private School Safety Summit in Seattle Academy’s STREAM Building. The event drew over ninety participants from forty-five different schools. Most of the schools represented are in Western Washington, but people traveled from as far away as Yakima and Wenatchee to attend the summit.
The event, which will also be held in Spokane in May, was the result of much planning by Suzie Hanson, the Executive Director of WFIS, with assistance from Loyal Hanrahan, SAAS Transportation Manager, and Sharon Ricci, WFIS Event Coordinator. JoAnn Jordan, former Public Education Coordinator for the Seattle Office of Emergency Management, gave the keynote speech on the importance of safety plans. The following experts also presented during breakout sessions on topics such as Mapping and Communication, Growing a Strong Reunification, Personal Preparedness, and Staying Current with Best Practices and Legal Requirements.
- Dave Corr: Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs
- Mike Donlin: Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction
- Ryan Ellsworth: Prepared Response
- Annie Heitzel: Puget Sound Educational Service District
- Sean Spellecy: New Dawn Security
- Nat Taylor: Ellis, Li & McKinstry PLLC
- Kristin Tinsley: Office of Emergency Management
Many of the schools in attendance from the Capitol Hill area met after the summit to discuss how they could continue to work together to improve school safety.
Above (left-to-right): Sean Spellecy (New Dawn Security), Loyal Hanrahan (SAAS Transportation Manager), Suzie Hanson (WFIS Executive Director), and Sharon Ricci (WFIS Event Coordinator) answer questions at the end of the summit.
Below: Presenters from Rapid Responder review improvements to the state’s endorsed first responder online mapping and communication system.