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 a district-level safety committee, which includes district staff from a variety of backgrounds, that meets on a regular basis to review policies, procedures, and specific concerns related to district and school 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 of the 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 shelter location within the building is determined by the event.
While it is not possible to practice every situation that may occur, school emergency response teams simulate several 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 while in the buildings. Visitors are required to sign in and receive a visitors’ badge. The district has security personnel that cover all 23 of our schools at varying times and we have school resource officers from local law enforcement agencies at three of our schools.
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. 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.
- Media Outlets: Local media outlets may be contacted by the school district to help disseminate information, including radio and television stations (and their websites).
Q. If there is an emergency will I am able to pick my child up from school?
A. The answer to this question will be completely determined by the nature of the emergency. The district will make every effort to ensure reunification is as typical and easy as possible. However, there may be circumstances when picking up your student may need to be done in an alternate format or at an alternate location.
If there is an emergency at your child’s school, it is important that you do not go to the school until the emergency has concluded and the “all clear” has been given. Keep track of the situation by monitoring the district website, your email, and text messages from the district. Also note that local law enforcement and/or the fire department may be on the scene and in those situations, they will have incident command of all activity at the location.
Q. Can I review my school’s emergency plans?
A. For operational security reasons, we are not able to share every detail from our district’s emergency operations plan. However, if you have questions about procedures on how you will receive information, or how you will be reunified with your child during an emergency, lock down, evacuation, or shelter-in-place event, then please feel free to speak with your child’s school administrator. Additionally, parents may also inquire about school admittance procedures during school hours and the types of drills practiced during the school year.
Please know that the Central Bucks School District places a high priority on the safety of our students and staff. We strive to make our district a safe place to learn, play, and work. To that end, your support and cooperation is critical. Thank you for taking the time to better understand how CBSD is working to keep your children safe.