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 has re-adopted and is implementing 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 voter approval of 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 entrance utilized at the high school. The set up filters visitors through the main office prior to being admitted into the core of the building. The main entrance at each of the schools, including the district office entrance, is locked throughout the day and vistors are screened through a camera system prior to entry.
Protocol for Parents & Guardians
As a general practice, parents and guardians are not 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 this protocol at each of our buildings.
Active Shooter Response Training
At the district’s back-to-school assembly in August 2018, 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 in January 2019. 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.
Emergency related trainings continue to be a topic of discussion, and are woven into staff trainings in a variety of ways throughout the school year.
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.