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Orchard earns MSBA School Safety Specialist certification


West Plains R-7 District officials are congratulating Matthew Orchard, district director of human resources & student services, on earning a School Safety Specialist certification through the Missouri School Boards Association Center for Education Safety Academy.

Topics at the academy included establishing support systems for behaviors, legal aspects of school safety, trauma-informed and mental health resources, intervention and de-escalation, emergency preparedness and plan building, behavioral risk and threat assessments, and cyber security fundamentals, explained officials.

With this certification Orchard is positioned to be in a role to provide safety and security services to the district, buildings, school grounds and areas adjacent to the schools to ensure the best possible teaching and learning environment, said district officials. He will collaborate with the school resource officers — law enforcement assigned to school buildings — and with outside agencies, including law enforcement and emergency first responders.

Orchard will also assist with emergency crisis planning and response and provide safety and security training for all district staff, said officials.

Orchard has served as the West Plains School District Director of Human Resources & Student Services since 2022.