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The Missouri School Boards’ Association and the Missouri Department of Public Safety have announced the formation of the Center for Education Safety (CES). A joint effort of MSBA and the State of Missouri, the CES will work with Missouri pre-K to 12 schools and higher education, both public and private, in various aspects of emergency planning, preparedness, and safety and security. The CES will be housed at the MSBA Communications Center in Jefferson City and will be administered by staff of both MSBA and the Department of Public Safety. The CES will officially begin operations on September 1.
MSBA Executive Director Dr. Carter Ward notes that the Center for Education Safety is a unique public and private partnership. “The CES will enable Missouri’s education community to benefit from a valuable resource in the provision of safety and security for young people of all ages and those who work in schools and post-secondary institutions. The CES will focus on how local communities can play an important role in ensuring that our schools, colleges and universities are as safe as possible for students, staff and others.”
Department of Public Safety Director John M. Britt says that the Center will enhance the level of services to citizens of Missouri while bringing efficiencies and economies from state government. “The Center is an outstanding example of what can happen with strong public-private partnerships,” said Britt. “It will focus on local communities to foster education safety and security, not just the local school or college.”
MSBA and the Department of Public Safety have collaborated on other safety and security initiatives for Missouri’s public and nonpublic schools and colleges. Examples of these collaborations include the Missouri Alert Network, a state level emergency notification system for schools and higher education, and the co-production of the annual Missouri Safe Schools and Colleges Conference.
Guidance on specific programs and services to be available from the Center for Education Safety will be provided by an advisory committee comprised of senior level representatives of state agencies and a cross section of representatives from pre-K to higher education, law enforcement, and other first responders. The initial meeting of the advisory committee will be held in September.