Parent Safety Letter

2019-2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Safety continues to be an ongoing conversation with our staff and students. We want to inform you about a new communication procedure regarding safety. This year, soft and hard lockdown communication will be sent districtwide because we have more students who travel between high schools for classes. District communication will include the school/campus where the soft or hard lockdown is happening so all D155 parents are aware of the school/campus.

We also feel it’s important to remind you about our safety procedures. As required by law, we practice evacuation drills, lockdown drills, shelter-in-place drills, and bus evacuations throughout the year to make sure we are prepared for an emergency.

To clarify the difference between a hard and a soft lockdown:

  • A soft lockdown would typically be a result of something happening in the community with no direct threat to the school or our students. In a soft lockdown the doors remain locked and students are not allowed to leave the building unless a parent contacts the school and comes to pick them up (we discourage parents from picking up their kids in this situation unless it is an emergency). A student will only be able to the leave the building with a parent. Students still move from class to class as normal unless directed otherwise. Announcements are made over the intercom to keep them informed and staff receive emails with additional information when available. Additionally, students with early release, students who are 18 years old, and students who are in the work program will not be allowed to the leave the building, unless a parent picks them up or the soft lockdown is lifted. 

  • A hard lockdown would be the result of a direct threat to our school and our students on school property. In a hard lockdown, students are secured in classrooms and various secure locations throughout the building. No one other than emergency personnel may enter the building. Students will ONLY be evacuated when directed by emergency personnel or designated staff.

Please keep in mind our first responsibility is to make sure our students and staff are safe. In both lockdown situations, all D155 parents will be communicated with as soon as possible by an auto call, email, and/or text message. It’s important for you to listen to the entire voice message before calling the school. Email allows us to communicate more specific information. To receive text message notifications, you must opt-in; to do so, text the word Alert to 22300. 

We work closely with the police department and it takes time to gather and confirm accurate information. We certainly understand you are looking for specific details in our communications; by law we can not release student information or disciplinary action. 

Each of our schools has a designated School Resource Officer (SRO) on duty, and each high school also employs two security guards. The security guards and SRO monitor the interior and exterior of the building. 

We encourage students, staff, and parents to be vigilant and report information if they see or hear something. You can contact the school or submit concern through the “Report a Concern” form on the website. When students, staff or parents report concerns, the student services team along with administration, and the School Resource Officer investigate the concern. 

Safety is our number one priority. If you ever have questions about school safety, please contact your principal or vice principal.