Keeping schools safe

We work hard to maintain the security of our schools so that 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
  • Visitor management system
  • Staff training and drills
  • Positive 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 the people of Vancouver Public Schools.

Students and district resource officer at Jason Lee Middle School
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days per year that school grounds are monitored

Frequently asked questions

District resource officers, or DROs, are proactive, uniformed presences in schools, at district athletic events and at community functions on school properties. They strive to have positive interactions with their school communities. Many have received Employee Excellence Awards, the district’s honor for outstanding staff members.

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 crime reduction and delinquency on campuses and near schools.

Elementary and middle schools have electronic locks. During the school day, visitors must be buzzed in by office staff.

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. A visitor management system helps keep everyone safe and streamlines the check-in process.

Occasionally, our schools go into lockdown. Lockdowns are performed for the safety of students and staff members. Exterior doors are locked and no one is allowed to enter or leave a building for the duration of the lockdown.

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.

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 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. We will always work to provide accurate information.

Yes. Night patrols monitor schools all year.

If something doesn’t look right, report it immediately to the school office staff.

If you are in imminent danger and/or need an immediate fire, police or ambulance response, call 911.

You also can send an email to the district’s safety office or call 360-313-1044.

  • 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 visitor badge.