The Central Bucks School District is committed to protecting the safety of all our students and staff members. We are continually assessing and improving our safety procedures and programs to respond to safety concerns. We have plans in place to deal effectively with emergency situations that could occur in and around schools and our goal is to be as proactive and as prepared as possible for any potential situation. We have safety committees in every building and also a district level team. These teams, which include school staff and community members, meet on a regular basis and review policies, procedures and specific concerns related to building safety and security issues.
Questions and Answers on School Safety
Q. How often do you practice safety drills and what procedures do you practice?
A. We have monthly fire drills and we also practice three standard responses to emergency situations. These three emergency responses are:
· Lockdown: This action protects students and staff from a threat inside or outside the building. This response involves students remaining in a secure location in the building, locking the doors and remaining out of sight.
· Evacuation: This action moves students and staff out ofthe building to escape a threat inside.
· Shelter-in-Place: This action occurs during a weather event, natural disaster or other situation when it is not safe to go outside the building. The specific location within the building is determined by the event.
It is not possible to practice every situation which may occur but we require schools to simulate a number of different scenarios. The safety teams use these experiences to review their procedures and refine their responses to meet the unique circumstances of their building and student population.
Q. What has the district done to make our buildings themselves safer?
A. We continually review and update our security enhancements, procedures, and processes. Our facilities are constructed so that all visitors must be “buzzed” into the building and check in with the main office. Our facilities are equipped with swipe card access for all staff along with exterior security cameras located around the perimeter of each building.
District staff are required to wear identification badges at all times (these badges also function as their access card to enter the building). Visitors are required to sign in and receive a visitors badge.
Q. If there is an emergency how will I be contacted?
A. The Central Bucks School District has various means of communication available for the dissemination of important information. Depending on the specific circumstances of the emergency, any or all forms of communication may be used. Examples of communications media that may be used include:
· District Website: www.CBSD.org
· Email: Email blasts may be sent to existing email addresses on file with the district. In order to add or change your email address, please update through the Parent Portal or contact your school’s main office.
· Text Messages: In order to receive a text message from the school district, your cell phone number must be on file with the district AND you must sign up to receive text messages using your cell phone. For more information on the sign-up procedures visit www.CBSD.org/alerts.
· CBTV: Comcast cable channel 28 or Verizon FIOS channel 40.
· Media Outlets: Local media outlets may be contacted by the school district to help disseminate information, including radio and television stations (and their websites).
· Alternate District Website: In the event that our website is not accessible, an alternate website may be able to provide information at www.CentralBucks.org.
Q. If there is an emergency will I am able topick my child up from school?
A. Whether you can pick up your child(ren)will be specific to the situation. It is important to first check any available emergency information before coming to the school. Also note that local law enforcement and/or the fire department may be on the scene and in those situations they be in charge of all activity.
Q. Can I review my school’s emergency plans?
A. School emergency plans should include procedures on how information will be communicated to parents in the event of an emergency, lock down, evacuation or shelter in place situation. Parents may also inquire about school admittance procedures during school hours and the types of drills practiced during the school year. For security reasons we are not able to share every detail of our emergency preparedness plans.
Resources for Parents
Children are exposed to events locally, nationally and across the world that may impact their feelings of safety and security. Children will look to you as parents for information and direction on how to react. You can help your children cope and there are many resources that provide guidance for how to respond.