School Safety in 203: Never Sacrifice Safety for Convenience
In Naperville 203, the safety and security of our students, staff, and volunteers is our top priority. Through partnership with local agencies, such as the Naperville Police Department, we align our practices and initiatives to create safe schools for our community. We believe the foundation of safe schools begins with relationships that are developed between our students, staff, caregivers and community members. Below are specific steps we take to maintain safe schools:
Planning in 203
Under the leadership of our Director of Safety & Security, Naperville 203 meets with first responder agencies on a regular basis to update emergency operating procedures. Local law enforcement agencies also utilize Naperville 203 facilities to conduct armed intruder training during non-school hours. Our Director of Safety & Security is also a member of the Northern Illinois School Safety Administrator Association and the DuPage School Safety Task Force.
Training in 203
This is much broader than traditional safety training. While we conduct safety drills and align safety training with ALICE strategies, our training also provides teachers and staff with tools to create a welcoming environment within our classrooms. Research is clear: Students and staff must feel they belong and have strong connections to others to truly feel safe while at school. Therefore, we put a lot of effort into building positive relationships with one another so everyone feels comfortable and supported.
Safety Drills in 203
Each school year, our faculty and students participate in multiple safety drills. These drills include severe weather, fire, bus evacuation, and armed intruder. Serving students between age 3 and 21, our drills are supervised by our staff and organized with age appropriate language to ensure even our youngest learners are developing situational awareness in their learning environment. By Illinois code, our safety drills are also observed by local fire and police agencies annually to ensure we are meeting a high standard. Additionally, we coordinate with the Department of Homeland Security to conduct cyber attack testing of our network.
Communication in 203
In the event of an emergency, our priority is to ensure students, staff and visitors are in a place of safety. Simultaneously, we are preparing communication to inform the community of the emergency and provide updates as new information is learned. Parents/guardians can expect to receive emergency notifications via email and text.
Resources in 203
With an ongoing commitment from the Board of Education, safety and security continues to be a priority in our schools. This is best achieved through layered efforts including:
Staffing: Students at each of our schools have access to school psychologists, social workers, and highly qualified teachers. Junior high schools and high schools are also staffed with counselors and deans. Additionally, starting in the 2022-2023 school year, we have added Outreach and Student Belonging Directors to support students and families within our district. Each of these staff members provides necessary support in creating an overall environment of belonging for our students, staff and community.
Monitoring: Visitors to each of our schools are greeted at the entrance prior to gaining access. Screening ensures we understand who and why individuals are visiting before they are allowed to enter. Upon entry, our visitors are also screened further through our robust check-in system which requires a valid identification scan against multiple databases. All visitors are required to check-in, wear a visitor badge, and check-out when leaving school grounds. Video cameras are also installed throughout our schools and their exteriors to assist in maintaining a secure environment. First responders are also provided access to video feeds in the event of an emergency situation.
Reporting in 203
Research is also clear that school safety and security is the responsibility of the community. We emphasize and remind our students, staff, parents/guardians, and community members to SAY SOMETHING if you SEE SOMETHING. Report any unsafe action to a 203 staff member and/or through our online Tip203.
Working together, we can continue to ensure our schools are the safe, welcoming places every student, staff member and volunteer deserves!