school safety tips

School Safety Tips
A Comprehensive Resource

“What makes a child gifted and talented may not always be good grades in school, but a different way of looking at the world and learning.” ~Chuck Grassley. Explore the world inside and outside of school….safely!

Fire Drills

Fire drills must be held at least once a month while school is in session.

  • Schools located in climates where weather is severe have the option of deferring monthly drills
  • Principals, teachers or other school staff must inspect all exits daily to ensure that stairways, doors and other exits are working properly and are unblocked.

On the day of the drill, the emergency drill alarm should be sounded on the school fire alarm system.

  • Make sure that everyone can recognize the sound of the alarm and knows what to do when it sounds
  • Teachers, officials and staff should be familiar with the school's fire protection system, including the location of fire alarm pull stations and sprinklers.

Every room in the school should have a map posted identifying two ways out. In schools with open floor plans, exit paths should be obvious and kept free of obstruction.

On the day of the fire drill, everyone in the school should participate.

  • Students with specific needs should be assigned an adult or a student buddy to assist them
  • Fire drills are a good opportunity to identify who among the student population requires extra assistance.

While it's important to make sure that students leave the building as quickly as possible, order is more important than speed when it comes to conducting a safe fire drill.

Once everyone has safely exited the building, they should remain outside at a predetermined location until the 'all clear' has been given to re-enter the school.

  • Use rosters to ensure that every student is accounted for.

Fire drills should be held both at expected and at unexpected times, and under varying conditions in order to simulate the conditions that can occur in an actual emergency.

School fire drills are a model for students to use in their homes. Encourage students to practice their escape plans at home—just as they do at school.

Did You Know?
More school-age pedestrians have been killed during the hour before and after school than any other time of day, according to NHTSA. (4) In one month, nearly 6% of high schoolers stayed home because they felt unsafe at or on their way to school. (5) In recent years, assault by weapon, cases of intimidation and bullying, and alcohol possession have all more than doubled on school properties. (5) Some of the signs of bullying include: 1) physical marks, such as cuts or bruises, 2) fear of riding bus to school, 3) depression, anxiety, or moodiness lasting more than a couple of weeks, 4) sudden loss of friends. (5 (5)
Action Items
  • Make sure students get to and from school safely
  • Have a relationship with the school administrators and/or other parents...be involved.

Parents of Students Safety Tips

Learn the school's emergency procedures.

  • Emergency plans and phone numbers are usually included in school handbooks and posted in classrooms
  • Taking a few extra minutes to familiarize yourself and your child with emergency information can give him/her the confidence (s)he needs to act quickly in emergency situations.

Know travel routes to and from the school.

  • Make sure you and your child know both primary and alternate routes. In an emergency, roads can be blocked and it's important to have a backup plan.

Know and follow school security and safety measures.

  • These might include signing in when visiting the school, being escorted when walking through the building, or wearing a visitor pass
  • Following these procedures also sets a great example for your kids.

Talk with your child about safety.

  • Be specific. Talk about instinct and paying attention to funny feelings of fear
  • Explain what to do if (s)he doesn't feel safe (find a teacher, call 911, etc.). Make sure (s)he knows how to contact you or a trusted neighbor who is likely to be at home.

Inform school staff about health and emotional concerns.

  • Whether your child has a food allergy, a physical disability, or has been subject to bullying, make sure to keep your child's teachers and principal in the loop.

Get involved.

  • Talk with the principal about what you can do to increase school safety, such as organizing parents to form a neighborhood watch before and after school
  • Sometimes parent groups are highly successful in making improvements in traffic safety during drop off and pick up times.

School Administrator Safety Tips

Enforce zero-tolerance policies toward the presence of weapons, alcohol, and illegal drugs.

  • Establish and enforce drug- and gun-free zones.
  • Establish policies that declare that anything that is illegal off campus is illegal on campus.

Engage students in maintaining a good learning environment by establishing a teen court.

  • Develop protocols between law enforcement and the school about ways to share information on at-risk youth.

Develop resource lists that provide referral services for students who are depressed or otherwise under stress.

  • Involve teens in designing and running programs such as mediation, mentoring, peer assistance, School Crime Watch, and graffiti removal programs.

Insist that all students put outerwear in their lockers during school hours.

  • Require all students to tuck in their shirts to keep them from hiding weapons
  • Develop and enforce dress codes that ban gang-related and gang-style clothing.

Establish a policy of positive identification such as ID badges for administrators, staff, students, and visitors.

Deny students permission to leave school for lunch and other non-school-related activities during school hours.

  • ddd.

School Bus Safety

Getting on the Bus

  • When waiting for the bus, stay away from traffic and avoid roughhousing or other behavior that can lead to carelessness
  • Do not stray onto the street, alleys or private property
  • Line up away from the street or road as the bus approaches
  • Wait until the bus has stopped and the door opens before approaching the bus
  • Use the handrail when boarding.

Behavior on the Bus

  • If seat belts are available on the bus, buckle up
  • Don't speak loudly or make loud noises that could distract the driver
  • Stay in your seat
  • Don't put your head, arms or hands out the window
  • Keep aisles clear of books and bags
  • Get your belongings together before reaching your stop
  • Wait for the bus to stop completely before getting up from your seat

Getting Off the Bus

  • Use the handrail when exiting
  • If you have to cross in front of the bus, first walk at least 10 feet ahead until you can see the driver
  • Make sure the driver can see you
  • Wait for a signal from the driver before crossing
  • When the driver signals, look left, right, then left again. Walk across the road and keep an eye out for sudden traffic changes
  • If your vision is blocked, move to an area where you can see other drivers and they can see you
  • Do not cross the centerline of the road until the driver signals it is safe
  • Stay away from the rear wheels of the bus at all times
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