The safety of the school environment where your children spend much of their day is a top priority for the York County School Division. The start of the school year is a good time to review safety information with your child.
All schools have comprehensive crisis plans in place to address a wide variety of emergency situations. These plans were developed in conjunction with safety officials and are reviewed annually. In general, each plan involves the designation of an emergency incident management team; development of evacuation, reverse evacuation, shelter-in-place, and lockdown procedures.
Over the course of the school year, schools will hold several drills to help ensure that students and staff know what to do in the event of an emergency. These drills include, but are not limited to, fire, tornado and lockdown. Drills are not typically announced to students and staff prior to taking place in order to accurately assess emergency response procedures.
Reporting Safety Concerns
Students, parents and staff are encouraged to share in the responsibility for a safe and orderly school environment. Information about drugs, weapons, bullying and cyber bullying behaviors or other factors which may be harmful to the school environment should be reported. Reports may be made to a teacher, to a school administrator or to other staff. Anonymous reports may also be made online in the Student Safety & Wellness section of the division website, yorkcountyschools.org, or by placing a call to the division’s Hotline at 757-890-5000. Students should also immediately contact an administrator, teacher or counselor if they have been the victim of discrimination, harassment, or other violations of the Code of Conduct.
Access to school facilities may be limited during an emergency as it may be necessary to keep the streets and parking lot clear for emergency vehicles. If it is hazardous for students to be released, everyone will be kept inside the school until notified by the authorities that it is safe outside. Schools will act with the safety of students in mind, and school officials will always follow the directives of emergency personnel.
Parents are asked not to call or come to a school during an emergency. We understand and respect your concern, but it is essential that the telephone system is available for emergency communications and that staff are handling their emergency roles.
Principals and division administrators will inform parents of events if:
- There is a potential threat to the students, staff, or the building
- There is an interruption to the school's daily routine
- There is a high level of discussion, inquiry, rumor or misinformation
When a situation warrants communication from the school or the division, parents will be contacted either by Blackboard, the division’s rapid notification system, email, or a letter home. Alerts will also be made via the division's social media sites.
Please make sure that your child's school has your current phone number and/or email address on record to ensure you receive these communications.