D300 School Safety Plan and Parent Resources
D300 takes the safety of our students, staff, and visitors extremely seriously. While there is no plan that can totally prevent a random act of senseless violence like this, our district has a school safety plan in place that has been developed in close partnership with law enforcement authorities and regularly practiced by our faculty and staff.
The following are some features of our school safety plan:
- D300 employs a full-time District Safety Officer, Mr. Todd Rohlwing. Todd has over 27 years of law enforcement and safety experience, serving as the District Commander for three districts with the Illinois State Police Department. In Illinois, very few districts have a full-time security expert on staff.
- Through Mr. Rohlwing's efforts, the district works closely with the numerous police, fire, and sheriff's departments throughout the district's 15 municipalities. These first responders have all been provided copies of our school floor-plans and have been trained on D300's internal processes, so that they know exactly where to go and what to expect within our schools in the case of an active shooter or other dangerous situation.
- Each year, everyone who works with our students receives training on how to handle the potential for a violent situation. This includes regular and substitute teachers, office and support staff, bus drivers, administrators, and others.
- Each year, D300 students and staff review and practice lockdown procedures.
- D300 schools are all equipped with video surveillance.
- D300 schools all require visitors to be buzzed-in for entry.
- Police liaison officers from the local police departments work in all of our high schools.
- A safety hotline is available that allows students and adults to provide anonymous tips, 24 hours a day, about weapons, violence, bullying, and drugs. The hotline number is 847.551.8477. Tips can also be sent via email to SafeSchoolTipLine@d300.org.
Important Information Regarding D300 Safety Procedures:
The decision to activate our safety procedures is based upon multiple factors including recommendations by local law enforcement, proximity of an event to our schools, and the severity of the event. Based on this information, we determine the schools and facilities that are directly impacted. When activated, the District will initiate the communication protocol to keep those directly affected by an emergency informed. To ensure a comprehensive communication process, the District uses a combination of our Rapid Communication System (RCS), district website, and social media to relay information.
The RCS system consists of phone messaging and email. In an emergency, the RCS system will only utilize email functions. Phone calls will not be part of the initial communication protocol. Instead, regular updates will be provided via the email function of the RCS tool. This allows phone lines to remain open for staff to maintain communication with our administrators and various law enforcement and emergency agencies. The use of social media (Facebook) will also be utilized to post the same messages conveyed through the RCS system. This ensures consistency of what is being communicated and that we are capturing the greatest possible audience. Once detailed information is available, the phone messaging system will be activated.
The District utilizes several emergency codes that help staff determine the proper level of action and the specific steps needed to ensure the safety of our students. The district codes are as follows:
- Building Evacuation – Fire Alarm
- Fire Alarm Notification will come by an audible tone and flashing white strobe lights.
- Staff will follow evacuation routes out of the building to staging areas away from the building to predetermined locations away from the main structure involved.
- Severe Weather – Tornado Sheltering
- Severe Weather Notification will come by an audible tone and voice over the PA system.
- Move to pre-determined shelter areas within the building. The tornado shelter map in the room will guide staff and students to a safe shelter area in the building. The map is especially important for classes that may be located in exposed areas or outdoors.
- Shelter-in-Place – Heightened Security
- Restricted movement within the building and no movement allowed outside of the building.
- Shelter-in-Place may be used during a hazardous material release, danger in the community, threatening criminal event in the community surrounding the campus or to keep students inside their classrooms during a search. Limited movement may be allowed as determined by the school administrator and driven by the incident. Taking shelter inside a sealed building is highly effective in keeping students and staff safe.
- Code Red Lockdown – Violence
- “Code Red Lockdown” indicates that a violent incident is occurring on school campus.
- There is no movement as students and staff remains secured in their classroom or alternative shelter location.
- Doors are locked and staff/students within the classroom area move away from all doors and windows.
- “Lockdown Drill:” a practice for a violent event:
- Code Red “ACTIONS” above are followed
Each term is specific to the response and actions required. You will notice we do not use the term “Lockdown” for all incidents. This term is reserved for the most serious of incidents and we do not want terminology becoming a barrier to our ability to react accordingly.
In some instances, we may require students to remain on campus after the scheduled dismissal time. We do not want to dismiss students who may inadvertently find themselves in the middle of a police action. In a situation where there is a “shelter-in-place,” students will not be dismissed. Parents may come to the school to pick up their child. Parents should be certain to have a photo I.D. to expedite the process. Notifications will also include any delays in transportation for both the school affected and any neighboring school that uses the same busses at a subsequent dismissal time.
In the unfortunate circumstance where we employ a “lockdown,” students and staff will not be dismissed until the locations is cleared by law enforcement. While your instinct is to go directly to the school, knowing the level of anxiety and concern you will have, parents/guardians should not come directly to the main campus. Each school has a predetermined off-site relocation area and this information will be shared directly with affected families. A “lockdown” will mean that there are multiple law enforcement and other emergency responders on scene. As such, the site will be secured and visitors will not be allowed access to the building or site. In most instances, the surrounding roads are blocked by law enforcement to serve as a security barrier and to ensure that emergency vehicles have open routes.
I hope that this message helped address any questions or concerns you may have regarding our procedures. Please feel free to contact me should you have any additional questions or concerns.