Maintaining a Safe and Secure Learning Environment

Friday, January 28, 2022

In PVSchools, keeping campuses safe is a top priority and working daily to maintain a variety of safety measures is key. These measures work in conjunction with the support of our students, staff, and community. 

It’s important to know that each school in the district has an Emergency Response Plan that is reviewed and updated annually by the school Emergency Response Team. These plans include protocols for potential incidents that help better prepare our students and staff. 

Furthermore, evacuation and lockdown drills are practiced regularly with students. In addition, each School Emergency Response Team meets throughout the school year, to review current safety practices, tabletop exercises, and conduct school site safety assessments. The District Emergency Response Team also meets to conduct tabletop exercises during the school year to rehearse and discuss a range of potential crisis scenarios. Additionally, every PVSchools employee receives annual school safety training each year. Being prepared is just one way our schools work to maintain their own safe little piece of paradise.

Here are five things that every parent can do to help maintain school safety: 

  • Know the school “lockdown” and “shelter in place” procedures. Remember, students cannot be released to parents and guardians when a school is in lockdown or sheltered in place. 

  • Remind students that their cellphones should be turned off during a lockdown. When placed in lockdown, it’s best practice to avoid texting or calling from a mobile device.

  • Ensure that the Annual Update (Emergency Card) in Infinite Campus is updated each school year. It’s important to always have this information up-to-date. If there is an emergency, parents and guardians will receive communication from the school or PVSchools using the provided contact information.

  • Parents and legal guardians should opt-in to receive SMS messages from the district’s mass notification system. If the mobile number is already on file with the district, you can opt-in at any time by texting the word YES to 67587.

  • It’s important to talk to your children about the severity of making threats, even when considered a joke or social media prank. These types of threats can have severe consequences. 

What Does 'Shelter in Place' Mean?

Shelter in place means finding a safe location indoors and staying there until you are given an “all clear” or told to evacuate. Staff and students may be asked to shelter in place due to a variety of potential hazards.

What Is a Lockdown?

Out of an abundance of caution, schools are routinely ​​placed in lockdown due to police activity in the surrounding neighborhoods. The front doors to the school remain locked for the duration of the lockdown and no one is permitted to enter. The lockdown is lifted when law enforcement gives the school administrators the “all-clear.”

During an emergency lockdown (when there is an imminent danger on campus), the doors remain locked for the duration of the lockdown.

What Is an Evacuation?

An evacuation happens when students and staff leave a potentially dangerous situation and assemble in a designated place. A fire drill, gas leak, or other potential hazards can cause the evacuation of a school building.

Describe Reunification

When it is unsafe to remain on campus, an off-campus reunification with parents and guardians is needed. This decision is not made lightly since everyone will need to be moved to the off-campus location. Parents, guardians, and emergency contacts are notified regarding the incident and are provided with reunification instructions. It’s important to know that students are released from the reunification site only to people listed on the emergency card who must show a valid photo ID.