SHOP@USC and school police join forces for school safety
SHOP@USC, a student-run business that combines STEAM opportunities, business skills and life skills, joined forces with the Upper St. Clair School District police for a school safety and preparedness initiative.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students recommends the creation of “Go Kits” to enhance school preparedness. Go Kits, bags with essential supplies, were designed specifically for emergencies, field trips, or any time a class is out of the classroom for an extended time. Sample items in each bag include a facemask, first aid kit, clipboard, duct tape, whistle, paper towels, garbage bags, gloves, water and safety vests.
Students enrolled in the class “Partners in SHOP@USC” personalized each Go Kit for every classroom in the school district. The backpacks arrived at the end of February fully assembled, but the students had to unpack the contents, iron on a room number, and repack each Go Kit.
“Every Partner is matched with a student from the Life Skills program to complete tasks. It is wonderful to report that we have more Partners (from the general population) enrolled than we do students from the Life Skills program,” Michelle Zirngibl, special education department chair and SHOP@USC coordinator, said. “This provides an outstanding social opportunity and support for our students with special needs. They are developing friendships they may not otherwise have the chance to build.”
School Police Chief Joe Conners, other officers and school staff were critical to the distribution and training of the staff on the use of the Go Kits. All packs were distributed in mid March.
- Photo 1: Adam Grainger and Noah Markovitz proudly hold up a recently re-assembled Go Kit
- Photo 2: Brendan Pacalo, Tanner Gensler, Jamie King, Hanna Harris, Adam Grainger (the boy with the back to the camera is Noah Markovitz).