- School Safety Plan
Letter from the Superintendent
Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Community Members,
Providing a safe, nurturing learning environment for our students and staff is one of Chesterfield County Public Schools' top priorities. We continue to work with schools to ensure all reasonable precautions are taken. Parents entrust their children to us and expect we will provide a secure environment. It is our intention to do that. We believe children cannot learn effectively if they do not feel safe.
While the community's awareness of school security again has increased with the unfortunate events at Virginia Tech, our school division and schools remain on a heightened state of awareness year-round. While we do not share specifics about our crisis prevention and management efforts for obvious reasons, below is general information about our efforts:
Emergency Management Plans
- The school division has a crisis management plan, which includes response and prevention efforts. This document was revised last year and crisis teams from each school participated in countywide training and a mock exercise. Each school has its own crisis management team and customized response and prevention procedures. Included are evacuation plans in the event of an emergency. School crisis management teams meet throughout the year to plan, test and analyze their efforts.
Individual School Prevention Efforts
- Individual school prevention efforts include but are not limited to ID badges for visitors, stopping visitors without badges in hallways and monitoring access to entrance points. The importance of these prevention efforts was stressed with principals again this week. With the help of PTAs and volunteers, schools have worked this year to increase monitoring of access to front entrances.
- Schools also have procedures for securing on-site trailers. They include but are not limited to locking doors when students are in the trailers, locking doors when the trailer is empty, using the buddy system when a student needs to leave the trailer, taking the entire class on a bathroom break if needed, and providing trailers with two-way radios so there is contact with the main building.
Chesterfield County Security and Safety Committee
- School officials have been meeting with safety experts for the past four months to develop additional plans for securing our schools and grounds. The group's members include representatives from School Security, Administration, Community Relations, Building Administrators, Chesterfield County Police and Fire Departments, Chesterfield County Risk Management and other external safety experts. This group is nearing its stated goal of developing a safety checklist to be used while auditing all schools.
School Security Personnel
- Chesterfield County School Resource Officers are assigned to the high and middle schools. High schools also have security monitors who work to ensure a safe learning environment. In addition, the division is in the process of hiring a security coordinator who will oversee the division's efforts to create and maintain safe, nurturing learning environments.
In the event of an emergency, the school division will publicize a message on its web site; via ParentLink, a new parent notification system that provides the ability to record and send messages via web and telephone; on Comcast cable Channel 96; and through local media outlets as permitted.
Please be assured that we will take all precautions necessary to ensure the safety of our students. If you have questions or concerns about school safety, please feel free to contact your child's school principal or the school division's Community Relations Department at 748-1405. Thank you for your understanding, assistance and support.
Marcus J. Newsome, Ed.D.