Safety and Security

Intruder Drill

Student and staff safety is always a top priority of the Francis Howell School District. Whether it is driving safely in school zones, teaching students to safely walk or ride their bikes to school, or reporting suspicious activity, everyone plays an important role in helping to keep our schools and community safe. This page is intended to provide you with valuable information and resources related to school safety.

FHSD has made arrangements to deal proactively with a variety of crisis situations that could happen in or near our schools. While the hope is that a serious incident never occurs, the objective of FHSD is to be prepared for any possible emergency. At all times the District’s priority is to protect students and staff from harm during any potential incident of school violence, severe weather, fire, or natural disaster.

Every FHSD facility has a comprehensive emergency operations and safety plan. While the District won’t share specifics about the plan that could jeopardize student and staff safety, we can tell you that the plans are designed with the assistance of professional law enforcement, counselors, federal officials, administrative staff members, and public health officials. The plans, which are regularly updated, include procedures to respond to a variety of crisis events. Each school in the District annually conducts 17 different safety drills including fire, tornado, earthquake, and three different active shooter drills. These exercises are supervised and evaluated by local law enforcement and fire departments.

We work closely with our first responders to implement best practices and incorporate lessons learned from previous incidents like Columbine, Sandy Hook, and  Parkland. The District has developed collaborative relationships with local law enforcement and fire agencies, and any safety incident is debriefed in order to improve emergency responses. A safety task force comprised of first responders, administrators, teachers, and District office personnel was convened in 2013 as a result of the Sandy Hook incident. Currently, the District safety committee meets monthly to review safety protocols and identify improvements in all FHSD buildings.

FHSD staff are annually trained regarding safety procedures, and the District has also partnered with the St. Charles County Police Department to provide 4E (Educate, Evade, Escape, and Engage) training for all administrators. 4E training is an intensive preparedness program conducted by law enforcement officers that includes active shooter simulations. This training will be implemented with all District staff over the next 24 months.

The District partners with local law enforcement agencies to provide armed School Resource Officers that are assigned to all middle and high schools in FHSD. These officers are trained to respond to any safety situation in the District, and also support our elementary schools as needed. These officers also work to develop relationships with students in order to proactively address potential issues before they occur. The District also employs 18 Educational Support Counselors who work with students, particularly those that might have social-emotional issues.

FHSD has retrofitted all district buildings with a buzz-in security system. Additionally, our high schools have a safety vestibule at the entrance. The buzz-in system allows all doors to be locked during the school day. The main entrance has an intercom that allows visitors to speak with the main office receptionist. Upon entering, all visitors are required to sign-in. This process greatly increases the ability to control access to our schools. Interior locks have been installed on all classroom doors, and a “fob” system has been installed on exterior doors that provides access to a limited number of staff members.

The District Safety Manager regularly conducts audits of safety protocols and “safe places,” areas where large groups of students convene during the school day. Each school has an alternate location identified where students can be evacuated to in case of an emergency. Surveillance cameras and public address systems are also checked monthly to ensure that they are working properly.  

FHSD also shares safety information with our school community on the District website, including resources for stopping school violence, emergency response and awareness, crisis communications, and suggestions from psychologists on helping students deal with school violence.

We also need the help of our community to reduce the possibility of any incidents of school violence. Please report any threats or suspicious activity to any school administrator, or use one of the communications channels listed below. FHSD teaches students that if you see something, say something. Parents can encourage this behavior at home, and also talk to their children about appropriate behaviors at school.

In an effort to make it possible for anyone to communicate with school administration regarding potential threats to school safety and security, the District has set up a Safe Kids e-mail account at safekids@fhsdschools.org. We will assess and follow up on all information received on Safe Kids, and will maintain the confidentiality of information sources. Please use Safe Kids responsibly.

The Missouri School Violence Hotline (SVH) is housed in the Department of Social Services, Children's Division. The School Violence Hotline is a centralized reporting and referral service that promotes the timely sharing of critical information to improve outcomes for youth and promote a safe school environment. The hotline is staffed Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The program provides an anonymous means to report school violence. The information is immediately relayed by phone and the report is faxed or e-mailed to the appropriate law enforcement agency and the District.

Four Ways to Report It! (Tips can be anonymous)

  • Call 1-866-748-7047, toll-free
  • App: Download the free “MO ReportIt” App
  • Web: Fill out a form online anytime
  • Text to 847411 using keyword, “ReportIt”

 


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