Student and staff member safety is essential. That’s why the district works hard to make our schools into secure places where teaching and learning can flourish.
Creating safe environments is a complex effort that includes:
- District resource officers and school resource officers
- Security cameras
- Controlled access to building and/or entrance monitoring
- Staff training and drills
- Changing school cultures
The district also is a member of the Clark County Safe Schools Task Force, a regional group that collaborates to improve school safety. It’s just one more way that we work to protect Vancouver Public Schools.
Frequently asked questions
DROs receive extensive, ongoing training, including training from local law enforcement and fire agencies. As a result, they are equipped to help staff members learn how to recognize and respond to a variety of issues.
School resource officers, or SROs, are employed through the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and Vancouver Police Department. Like DROs, SROs work to have positive effects on school communities and heighten the sense of safety. They also support the reduction of juvenile crime and delinquency on campuses and near schools.
While they do not carry firearms or deadly force equipment, they are trained in the use of Tasers, pepper spray and handcuffs, in case these tools are necessary to control a situation and ensure safety.
High schools have security kiosks staffed by DROs.
All visitors to VPS schools must sign in at the front office before entering other parts of the building.
Typically schools are put into lockdown by law enforcement as a precaution because of activity in the surrounding area that is unrelated to the school. Lockdowns often occur with little or no advance notice and are lifted within minutes. Most of the time, classes continue as usual. In these cases, the district does not notify parents and guardians.
But parents and guardians also should be prepared for the possibility of a prolonged lockdown. We know that everyone wants the most immediate updates and information both during and after this kind of situation. However, driving to the school or calling the office during a lockdown can tie up staff resources and seriously impede the work of law enforcement and district security personnel.
School leaders, local law enforcement and school-safety experts have worked together to establish guidelines that balance safety with communication. During a lockdown, only limited information will be released, via one or more of the above communication methods, at the discretion of law enforcement and district administrators, for the safety of students, staff members and first responders. As incidents unfold, often it is difficult to verify details and facts may be delayed. News sources may speculate or report hearsay, but we will work to provide accurate information.
If you are in imminent danger and/or need an immediate fire, police or ambulance response, call 911.
- Keep your emergency contact information up to date with your child’s school.
- Report safety concerns and also encourage your child to report them.
- Sign in at the main office during school hours and wear a visitors’ badge.