St. Charles Community Unit School District 303 is committed to the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff. The District’s dedication in supporting school safety is constant and will continue to seek new answers, innovation, and contemporary best practices.
Our practices include the following:
Community Unit School District 303 uses the Standard Response Protocol (SRP), a service of the I Love U Guys Foundation, in our school safety and emergency response plans. It is a trusted brand for several preK-12 school districts and higher education across the country. Locally, the SRP is utilized in many area school districts and has the support of the St. Charles Police Department and other local emergency response agencies.
The SRP is designed to provide consistent, clear, shared language and actions among all students, staff and first responders. Protocol terms and action steps are as follows:
When a HOLD is called, it is due to a situation in the hallways that does not pose a threat to students or staff. During a HOLD, hallways need to be kept clear, even during class changes. Teachers should continue learning as usual and instruct students to stay in classrooms until the “All clear” is announced.
When a LOCKDOWN is called, it is due to a threat inside the building. During a LOCKDOWN, classroom doors are locked, lights are turned off, students and staff stay silent and doors are not opened until first responders come into the room.
When a SHELTER is called, it is due to a situation outside such as severe weather. During a SHELTER, students may be instructed to relocate within the school and take cover.
When a SECURE is called, it is due to a possible threat outside of the building. During a SECURE, students and staff will remain inside or be moved inside, with doors remaining locked. Learning continues as normal inside with increased situational awareness.
When an EVACUATE is called, it is due to a hazard inside. During an EVACUATE, students are moved to a safe location in a quick and orderly process.
For additional details on the new Standard Response Protocol, visit the following links:
We promote a safe school climate built on a culture of respect, trust, and emotional support for students. We encourage communication, intervene in conflicts and bullying, and empower students to share their concerns. We use a Multi-tiered Student Support System (MTSS) to recognize and support positive academic achievement and social behavior.
We have expanded our social-emotional learning capabilities. We recognize that in order to prepare our students, we must care for the entire student. We seek to engage our students and their families holistically, teaching them not just the fundamentals of traditional education but emotional well-being as well.
We have expanded the role of personal engagement and mental health treatment within the district as well as partnered with many community-based support services that provide treatment and other needed services.
Support from employees. Every teacher, paraprofessional, counselor, administrator, coach, bus driver, food services, technical, administerial and maintenance, and operations employee takes seriously our duty to protect the safety and welfare of our students. Every day countless moments of kindness, concern, caring, instruction, and preparation poured into, over, and around each and every student emerge safely into the world, future-ready and secure in the promise of love and care they so richly deserve.
We have hardened the vulnerability of our schools. We’ve adopted a two-tiered security system that requires visitors to use the main entrance, identify themselves, and provide their reason for visiting before being allowed into the lobby area. In order to proceed into the building, they would have their identification scanned and be required to wear a badge during their visit. These types of systems create important threat deterrents while offering an environment where our students are and do feel safe.
Visitors will be required to bring one of the following forms of identification to be scanned when visiting a school:
Information that is scanned from the ID includes date of birth, partial license number, and photo for comparison with a national database of registered sex offenders. Additional visitor data will not be gathered and no data will be shared with any outside company or organization.
All visitors and volunteers granted access into the school building during the day while students are present must have their form of identification scanned and wear a visitor badge. Once your ID is scanned, the information will be stored in the system making subsequent visits more efficient.
The process pertains only to granting access into the school beyond the main office during the school day while students are present. It does not apply to parents who are simply dropping off a forgotten item or who are picking up their student from school.
These procedures do not apply to school activities OUTSIDE of the normal school day. These procedures do apply ANY TIME a visitor will be granted access into the school during the day while students are present regardless of the nature of the visit.
We have a dedicated safety and security support team. The District 303 Safety Committee is composed of building and district level administrators, a union representative, Board members, and local emergency response personnel. School Resource Officers at Thompson Middle School, Wredling Middle School, East High School and North High School work tirelessly to promote school safety. In addition, every teacher, staff member, and student can support safety through meaningful connections with our students. The value of these relationships, combined with the physical safety of our buildings and prevention and response strategies, is key to the effectiveness of our overall safety and security protocols.
We utilize a Standard Response Protocol (SRP) in cases of emergencies or disruptions to school operations. This ensures consistent, clear, shared language and actions among all students, staff and first responders. We have partnered with the I Love U Guys Foundation and local law enforcement to implement the SRP throughout our schools.
The I Love U Guys Foundation is a trusted brand for school districts and higher education across our country, and the SRP is utilized by several districts in our region.
We practice our safety and emergency response plans and partner with local emergency agencies. Our plans have been developed in close partnership with law enforcement authorities and are regularly practiced by our faculty and staff. Our drills are routinely observed by these agencies to ensure our safety protocols align with research and best practice. Our partnership allows for specific, timely feedback, leading to continuous improvement. Our leadership team has a tremendous amount of experience managing and leading the District through all types of events from unexpected snowstorms to a pandemic. All of these events have informed and honed our response protocols.
We have worked with consultants to establish the Salem-Keizer Student Threat Assessment System. Teams of school personnel including faculty, staff, administrators, coaches, and school resource officers manage the system and create individualized plans to mitigate identified risks. The primary function of the threat assessment is not a criminal investigation but behavioral and social, emotional intervention.
We have defined concerning behaviors, including those that are objectively concerning or prohibited, which trigger an immediate intervention and support (e.g., threats, violent acts, or weapons on campus), and other signs of behavioral changes (e.g., depressed mood, interest in violent topics, or conflicts between classmates).
In the majority of threatening or violent situations, there was a warning by the attacker ahead of time and students and families are uniquely positioned to identify and report these threats. We offer an anonymous online bullying/incident reporting form. This on-line system provides parents and students with a safe and confidential place where they can report bullying activity or other school-related incidents impacting District 303 students. All reports made through this form are sent directly to district and building administration who will identify and investigate reported behavior with appropriate discipline and interventions.
We have a robust communication system to share important and timely information with our students and families. Our Finalsite system (formerly Parent Link) can send mass communications to students, staff and parents through text, voice and email at the District or school-level. In addition, emergency communications are posted to the District website and social media platforms.
Be sure to get the latest communications from the District by ensuring that your contact information is up to date in Home Access Center (HAC).
Providing our students and staff members with safe and secure learning environments is one of the greatest responsibilities we have in District 303. We also believe it is important that we partner with families to keep students safe while they are at home or in the community. The District 303 Safety Committee has asked that information about safe gun storage be shared with our families.
Daily there are news reports that tell the stories of people who have been victims of gun violence. A recent survey found that 57% of U.S. teens are concerned that there will be a shooting in their school. Additional studies of school-based gun violence show that, in most cases (78%), the firearms were obtained from the home of a parent or close relative. Unsecured guns in the home pose a risk to students beyond gun violence in schools. Every year, 350 children accidently shoot themselves or someone else, and another 600 children die by suicide using a firearm.
Parents may believe their children do not know where a firearm is hidden, but 60% of children surveyed have handled their parents’ firearms. Storing firearms safely protects children and can decrease the number of accidental shootings per year. It is also important that parents ask about safe gun storage practices in the homes visited by your children.
As a public service, District 303 is asking that parents and guardians who own firearms make sure they are stored securely as outlined on the Be Smart For Kids website linked here. The site has additional resources and tools families can use to spread the word, learn about gun safety, talk to your children about guns, and keep your family safe.
In addition, the St. Charles Police Department has a supply of free gun locks available to community members. If you would like a free gun lock, please visit the St. Charles Police Department at 1515 W Main Street, St. Charles.