Safety First & Emergency Planning
County and Schools Work Together
Prince George County Public Schools has the highest concern for our students’ safety. Since September 11, 2001 and the sniper attacks of 2002, our schools are acutely aware of potential risks to our students, staff, and community. Each school has a well-developed crisis management plan in place that addresses many kinds of school emergencies. Although the plans are similar, each school’s crisis management team will implement a response that is appropriate, taking into consideration the facility, the age-level of the students, and the specifics of the emergency. Our strong partnership with the Police Department, Fire and Emergency Medical Services, and other community based organizations are part of the emergency plans.
Security Measures in Place
Security measures in place within Prince George County Public Schools and buildings comply with the federal school safety plan and ensure that the school division is responsive to a variety of crises and emergencies. These measures include:
- employee and visitor identification using the Raptor System;
- security cameras in elementary and secondary schools;
- daily review of local, national, and global events by the superintendent and his/her senior staff;
- maintaining a heightened state of vigilance;
- Crime Solvers anonymous tip line;
- emergency communication and messaging systems;
- county police officers in all middle and high schools;
- video cameras on school buses;
- threat assessment; and designation of Emergency Team responsibilities;
- No Child Left Behind security devices installed on every bus;
- global positioning system located on every bus and car used to transport students;
- global positioning system located on vehicles assigned to Construction & Maintenance and Bus Garage staff for monitoring of calls and maintenance of buildings and grounds and fleet.
Crisis Response Readiness of Schools
School division policies and the division Crisis Management Plan provide the framework for addressing emergencies that may occur during school hours and business hours. The Crisis Management Plan manual includes guidelines on how to respond to biological, chemical and terrorist attacks, and natural disasters.
Each school has emergency and contingency plans in place to respond to weather, weapons, or medically related emergencies. Staff members from the Prince George County Public Schools conduct on-site crisis training. Schools follow up on this crisis response training and pre-plan for emergencies including command post and crisis communication issues, logistics, release of information, sheltering, evacuation, student accounting/release to parents, medical response, media coverage, and post-event counseling for students and staff. All buildings have evacuation plans and conduct periodic drills to assess the effectiveness of the evacuation procedures.
Prince George County Schools has the highest concern for our students’ safety. Since September 11 and, more recently, the sniper attacks this past October, our schools are acutely aware of potential risks to our students, staff and community.
Each school has a well-developed crisis management plan in place that addresses many kinds of school emergencies. Although the plans are similar, each school’s crisis management team will implement a response that is appropriate, taking into consideration the facility, the age-level of the students, and the specifics of the emergency. Our strong partnership with the Police Department, Fire, EMS and other community based organizations are part of the emergency plans.
YOU CAN HELP US BY MAKING SURE YOU PROVIDE YOUR CHILD’S SCHOOL OFFICE WITH UP-TO-DATE CONTACT INFORMATION SO THAT WE CAN EASILY REACH YOU IF THERE IS AN EMERGENCY.
In the event of an emergency, please follow these guidelines:
- Your children are sheltered in place, do not come to the school.
- Do not call the school--this will tie up emergency lines.
- Tune in to the radio or television. The media, web site and hotlines will be activated for communications. Log on to the Prince George schools’ web site if possible: http://pgs.k12.va.us
- You will receive information from the media or web site on the place and time you can be reunited with your children.
- If a chemical emergency involves schools, school officials will take necessary precautions, will communicate closely with the police, and will not allow people into the building. Coming to school in such a situation will endanger you and others.
In addition to the emergency response plan, we are reviewing all school sponsored instructional field trips in light of the national alert status. The approval of field trips is contingent upon the existence of a safe climate for travel at the time of the departure of the group. If the national security alert goes to red, no field trips will be permitted. During orange or high alert, all field trips will be reviewed on an individual basis and may not be permitted. With yellow/blue/green status, trips will be reviewed in accordance with Prince George County School Board policy.
Recognizing we live in a time in which threats are a reality that we must acknowledge and for which we must prepare, we must work together to maintain a secure environment and school days that are as normal as possible in these extraordinary times.
Thank you for your cooperation.