What if there is an emergency, how will parents be informed? How will parents or guardians be told what to do?
Since May 2007, the District has used a rapid notify system for communicating with parents for general messages and emergencies called ConnectEd/Rapid Notify. General messages are only sent to the main phone number. Emergency messages are sent to all phone numbers and e-mails listed when a student is registered for school, including emergency contact numbers.
The best thing a parent or guardian can do is stay by the phone. As soon as possible, a message will be sent alerting parents of the situation, the current status of the school and what parents should do next. Rushing to the school would likely cause confusion and take first responder resources away from an emergency.
Do schools have safety plans and do they address the same issues?
In the past each school had a site based school safety plan. As of March 2008, all District U-46 schools follow one Comprehensive Safety and Crisis Response Plan. Each school building will have individual needs but the essential crisis response procedure and drills to practice those procedures will be the same.
What security is in place at schools?
School security involves multiple layers and requires the cooperation of school staff, parents and students. During school hours the exterior doors are locked to prevent entry. Visitors are directed to a main or visitor entrance that has a security entry system. These systems help control access to visitors who have legitimate purpose at the school. Once inside the school, all visitors are required to check-in and provide their name and purpose. Any visitor granted access is required to wear a school visitor name tag. You can report any security concerns to the District Safety Department at (847) 888-5000 ext. 4263 or on the anonymous tip line of your school.
Is the District working with first responders? How will they know where to look for students or the layout of a building?
Yes. Collaboration is essential to any emergency response plan. The police and fire departments within the boundaries of U-46 are ready, willing and able participants. U-46 benefits from the professionalism and commitment of all police and fire chiefs toward school safety. Resources such as maps, site safety plans, building tours and on-site training opportunities for emergency responders are being actively shared.
Are there police officers working in the schools?
Yes. Specially trained officers from Bartlett, Elgin, South Elgin and Streamwood Police Departments work at all U-46 middle and high schools. The purpose of the School Resource Officer Program is to facilitate, promote and help maintain a safe and secure environment on campuses that is conducive to learning and child development.
Can the police department and school share information if a student commits an illegal act?
Yes. Reciprocal reporting agreements can occur between schools and police departments under state law. These agreements require school board and municipal/city board approval. Reciprocal reporting agreements allow police and school officials to communicate regarding offenses committed by juveniles that are otherwise protected by confidentiality laws protecting their identity. Specific offenses are covered under the agreement, such as gang activity, weapon violations, drugs, fights, abuse, neglect and runaway issues. Also covered under the agreement are other offenses that could impact the safety of students or community members on or off campus. Police officials only communicate with specific school administrators. Information shared under the reciprocal reporting agreement is not part of a student’s academic record and guidelines specify information sharing protocol.
What can be/is being done to address gangs in the schools?
Educating parents, school staff and students about street gangs is crucial. Street gangs have been identified in the northwest suburbs. School administrators and the middle and high school resource officers educate staff, students and parents of gang trends, colors, signs and activity. Gang behavior in school can be followed by discipline depending on the circumstances. You can report possible gang activity to the District Safety Department at (847) 888-5000 ext. 4263 or on the anonymous tip line of your school.
What about Illegal drugs in school?
Drug issues discovered or reported during school are immediately handled by school staff with the help of the school resource officers. You can report possible drug activity to the District Safety Department at (847) 888-5000 ext. 4263 or on the anonymous tip line of your school.
There are a variety of drug prevention and awareness programs conducted or offered at U-46 schools. Student drug possession is a serious disciplinary matter and can result in a referral to the local police department. More importantly, if a young person is involved with drugs, school and outside services are there to help. Parent awareness is key and essential to prevention and interdiction efforts.
All middle and high schools conduct random checks for drugs in the common areas of schools using specially trained police dogs. These random checks occur during the school day when students are in class so the police K-9 do not have contact with any students. The search area is selected randomly and may include hall lockers, gym lockers and parking lots.
What about weapons in school?
Weapons of any kind are prohibited from school property. This include knives of any size, pocket knives, box cutters, any type of gun (which includes BB guns, air soft guns or look alike guns), or any other suspicious object believed to be a weapon. Student weapon possession is a serious disciplinary matter and can result in a referral to the local police department.
Please take a moment to remind your son or daughter that items like this should never be brought to school. If students observe weapons at school they should report it immediately to any school employee. You can report any weapon concerns to the District Safety Department at (847) 888-5000 ext. 4263 or on the anonymous tip line of your school.