Safety & Security
Our administration team is continuously evaluating and improving safety and security across the district. This is an ongoing focus that will continue to be improved upon throughout the school year, as well as annually.
Emergency Operations Plan
The district is working to re-adopt and implement a multi-hazard emergency response plan to address general functions that may need to be performed in an emergency. The goal of this plan is to establish guidelines to assist staff members in providing a safe and secure environment.
Secure Entry Points
With the construction projects that were approved in the 2017 bond referendum, more secure entry ways are now available at the middle school and West Elementary. These access points are similar to the current entrance at the high school. The set up filters visitors through the main office prior to being admitted into the core of the building. At Central Elementary, office staff currently screen visitors through a camera system prior to entry; however, the goal is to reconfigure the entrance in order to offer the same security measures as our other school buildings.
New Protocol for Parents & Guardians
Parents and guardians are no longer allowed to escort their student(s) to or from class. Parents are welcome to walk their student(s) into the building, but we ask that you report to the office and refrain from venturing elsewhere once inside. This not only helps us to provide a secure learning environment, but it also minimizes distractions and additional traffic in our hallways. While this change primarily impacts our elementary schools, we’d like to ask for your help in abiding by new protocol at each of our buildings.
Active Shooter Response Training
At the district’s back-to-school assembly in August, all staff members were trained on the ALICE program. ALICE, which stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate, provides options on how to more proactively handle the threat of an active shooter or violent intruder. Compared to the traditional “lockdown only” approach, ALICE has become the preferred response because it’s option-based tactics increase survival chances and saves lives. Additional trainings will be incorporated into professional development throughout the school year.
Additionally, district staff members participated in Active Shooter Training at each of our schools on January 14. The trainings were led by Deputy Blaylock, who serves as our district’s School Resource Officer, and several law enforcement officers from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Polk City Police Department. The training was based on the ALICE program, and included various scenarios such as a traditional lockdown, evacuation drill, and counter attack options that will help to minimize fatalities in the event of an emergency. Staff members actively participated in scenarios which highlighted options to handle the threat of an active shooter.
Safety is a Top Priority
The safety of our students and staff is a top priority. As we continue to improve upon our policies and protocols, information will be shared with you. In the meantime, if you have questions regarding school safety or emergency planning, please contact our superintendent or your building principal.