In the wake of Columbine, Sandy Hook and Parkland, schools across the country have implemented active shooter drills and taken precautions to keep dangerous people from getting on campus. While school shootings are a very real threat, schools face a myriad other safety concerns each day – everything from field trip travel to sexual abuse.
Steve Mandell wants to ensure schools have the resources, education and information they need to keep students safe on all levels. As a result, Mandell has created a membership portal that gives both private and public schools access to information and experts in a collaborative online community.
The membership platform, Mandell on Safety and Security, launches this month with the topic of student travel, which could include athletic trips, choir/band trips or field trips. Members will receive a wealth of information over the course of the month: an assessment tool for determining problem areas in their own school, videos, newsletters, case studies and a live webinar with Q&A featuring a national expert on the month’s chosen topic.
Future topics include:
- Crisis management
- Athletics and spectator security
- Visitor control
- Information security
- Vehicle management
- Child sexual abuse prevention
- Importance of faculty training
- Start of school preparation
Mandell spent nearly 25 years in education, most recently as the head of school for Pinewood Preparatory School in Summerville. He also held several administrative positions in independent schools around the country, including chief financial officer and guidance director, where he created numerous programs and curriculum for student guidance, faculty professional development, and health education.
After leaving Pinewood Prep, Mandell founded Big Back Pack (www.bigbackpack.org). He travels the country consulting with schools on safety and security as well as helping them hire key professionals in the areas of school finance and operations. Mandell is a certified school safety manager through the Institute for Safety and Health Management as well as a facilitator for Darkness to Light Stewards of Children Training.
Mandell draws both on his training and his first-hand experience when it comes to school safety & security. Under his leadership at Pinewood, the school instituted new policies designed to safeguard students against a plethora of issues and challenges ranging from armed intruders, visitor control, vehicle management, student travel, and the prevention of child sexual abuse.
Mandell also recalls the school shooting at Sandy Hook as parents and teachers worried about their students, looking to him for direction. “It was the first time as a school administrator, I felt utterly helpless,” he said. “That’s when I knew that something more had to be done.”
Now, school safety – in its many iterations – has become Mandell’s passion. He’s creating this new online community for conversation and learning, helping schools see the many ways they can protect their students, teachers and staff.
Schools can join the membership site for $95 a month for individual access or $195 a month for school license. Sign up at www.mandellonsafetyandsecurity.com.
Mandell has two business partners in this project. Peter Ricciardi, CEO and chief launch officer of Ten9Eight7, a marketing and operations consulting firm. Ricciardi is focused on branding and content development for Mandell on Safety and Security.
Don Kassing is founder and president of Aspire2, which provides tested methods to grow brands in the e-commerce space and in particular how to best leverage Amazon. Kassing has helped design, develop and implement the technical side of the membership site and created the launch plan.