Elika Bean, a sophomore at Big Picture School, shares her experiences interning with BSD’s Safety and Security department over the past year, as part of Big Picture’s Learning Through Interests (LTI) internship program. The internship program enables students to explore career paths and get real-world job experience.
About the Internship
Throughout her internship, Elika spent time learning about emergency response protocols, disaster preparedness, how to engage young learners, and presenting age-appropriate safety information. To build her knowledge in the fields of safety and security and emergency management, Elika also completed Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Incident Command System courses, participated in district safety trainings, and received one-on-one mentorship from BSD’s Safety and Security staff.
“Elika was invaluable at applying her student perspective and passion for teaching to help advance safety and preparedness throughout the district,” said Emergency Management Program Coordinator, Jason Moore. “Watching her embrace some key points of school safety, and then very effectively teach them to BSD students and staff was awesome. What a great opportunity for her to get some professional experience while also helping the Safety and Security Department better connect with and learn from our student community. It was truly great being her mentor.”
Preparing BSD Students and Staff for Emergencies
In addition to learning practical skills like fire safety, wound packing, and the application of tourniquets, Elika also had the opportunity to teach others these valuable skills. Noted as one of her favorite parts of the internship, Elika supported district staff in their learning at the BSD Safety Academy, by giving demonstrations and assisting with various stations designed to offer hands-on safety training.
Throughout her internship, Elika also connected with young BSD students, helping them gain the knowledge and skills to prepare for emergencies. She recently presented to first graders at Sherwood Forest Elementary about the importance of emergency fire drills, being aware of their surroundings, how to advance their fire drills, and how to safely evacuate from classrooms. The presentation included a brief discussion, then Elika led an exercise where students had a chance to practice getting in a “ready position,” assessing their situation, identifying any hazards, then evacuating the classroom through the safest route.
Promoting Safe School Environments
BSD’s Safety and Security team provides districtwide supports to ensure students and staff have the resources and awareness needed to act in the event of an emergency. In addition to offering training, every school in the district is also required to complete at least one emergency drill every month that school is in session. This includes a minimum of three evacuation drills, three lockdown drills, two earthquake drills, and one shelter-in-place drill.
“It’s important to share this stuff because if we don’t learn how to be safe during fires, earthquakes, or any other emergency or disaster, things could go wrong. Making sure that people are safe during and after [emergencies] is really important,” Elika shared.