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Safety Protocols and Practices in Douglas County Schools back button

Our mission is to provide a quality education to all students in a safe, supportive environment. To that end, as a system and collectively at individual schools, a multi hazard/threat approach has been adopted and implemented. Crisis and Safety Plans are developed each year at the District and School level and have been approved by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and the Georgia Office of Homeland Security. Crisis and Safety Plans provide step-by-step guides for how principals and administrators should respond to a wide variety of scenarios ranging from but not limited to severe weather, fire, bomb threats, and intruders or threats of violence.

Safety Drills and Exercises

Depending on the nature of the incident, we will implement one of the following emergency procedures, which schools drill each semester:

Evacuation - if it is unsafe for students and staff to remain inside the building, we will conduct an evacuation. If necessary, we will relocate students and staff to another safe location. We will then follow the directions given by public safety officials. 

Lockdown - if there is an intruder or threat of violence on or near the campus, we will conduct a lockdown. All students and staff will remain behind locked doors. We will then follow the directions given by public safety officials. 

Shelter-in-Place - if there is a threat of severe weather or of hazardous conditions outside the school, we will conduct a shelter-in-place procedure. All students and staff will move to safe locations inside the building (interior classrooms and away from windows and doors). We will then follow the directions given by public safety officials.

Safety Plan Components

Additionally, we should be reminded of the various components of our Safety Plans which reflect our commitment to providing a safe and supportive environment for students and staff by eliminating, mitigating, and when necessary responding to various hazards/threats.

·        Coordination and cooperation with local law enforcement and emergency agencies. Within past eight years we have had two full scale drills (chemical spill, active shooter) involving multiple agencies along with various table top exercises  

·        School Resource Officers in each middle and high school

·        BLAST (Bringing Life and Skills Together): Six officers/deputies assigned to teach the BLAST curriculum in all elementary schools

·        Security cameras in each school and on buses

·        Photo ID badges for all employees

·        Visitor sign in procedures and identification required for student checkout

·        Each school has a minimum of one Automated External Defibulator (AED). Key staff members from each school are AED/CPR trained every two years

·        Extensive background checks on all employees and others working directly with students

·        Health monitors trained annually in basic first aid and care of students with specific health needs

·        Each school has a quick reference emergency and first aid flip chart

·        School Safety inspections annually. Monthly building inspections by maintenance department

·        All schools equipped with crisis radio and weather radio

·        Random drug testing of high school students in privileged activities

·        Key system personnel are NIMS (National Incident Management System) trained

·        Anonymous school safety hot line number

·        Four School Crisis Assistance Teams (SCAT) consisting of school psychologists, social workers, counselors and nurses are in place and trained every two years

·        School System Safety Committee meets monthly or as needed to discuss safety matters

·        “Notify Me” for emergency notification. Parents are encouraged to register to receive these notices

 Communication and Trust

Perhaps most important is the trusting relationship within our system between students, teachers and administrators. Often, reports or rumors of suspected threats are shared with our staff. When shared, these reports or rumors are investigated thoroughly and action taken, resulting in our goal of providing a safe and supportive environment for our students and staff. Every principal at each school works closely with District and local school staff to ensure sound safety practices are in place at their schools. Parents should work closely and cooperatively with their child’s principal to gain a full understanding of these practices and share concerns when and if they exist.

Douglas County School System • 9030 Highway 5, Douglasville, GA 30134 • Phone: (770) 651-2000 Copyright © 2018 Douglas County School System SCHOOLinSITES