Castle Rock School District is committed to maintaining a healthy and safe learning environment for students. This message is prominently displayed at the entrances to our buildings:
Welcome to our school!
This is a
Everyday, all day, by everyone
Tobacco-Free Zone: RCW 28A.210.310
Drug-Free Zone: RCW 69.50.435
Weapons-Free Zone: RCW 9.41.280
Keeping students safe at school*
How does Castle Rock School District respond to emergency situations?
The first step Castle Rock School District takes in response to emergencies is to prepare for them. All Castle Rock schools have an emergency preparedness and response plan, developed in cooperation with local fire, police, health department and other first responders. The response to any emergency will differ at each building, depending on the circumstances of the crisis situation. The provisions of each building plan include evacuation, shelter-in-place, and lockdown procedures; as well as identification of key crisis management personnel and resources for help during and after a crisis event. Emergency preparedness and response plans are reviewed annually, and staff is trained as needed in updated procedures.
Supplemental to the district crisis plan, an annually published and distributed emergency handbook is located in the principal’s office of each building. The handbook contains contact information for fire, police, and medical emergency responders, as well as step-by-step procedures school staff are to use in medical emergencies; weather, fire or natural disaster-caused situations; assault and threats to persons; vandalism or other property violations; and industrial accidents. The handbook also contains clear instructions to staff outlining the correct procedures for communications with media in times of crisis.
Please review the school district's emergency policy and procedures to learn how staff and students prepare for potential emergencies, and what specific actions would be taken during an actual emergency event.
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What is a lockdown?
An emergency that would prevent the safe evacuation of a school building and require isolation of students to protect their safety may result in a school being locked down. In lockdown situations, all students are kept in classrooms or other designated locations away from the danger, and not allowed to leave the safe area until the threat is past and parents retrieve their children. School personnel secure the building entrances and exits and ensure that no unauthorized person enters or leaves the lockdown area. If and when it is safe to do so, parents are allowed to enter the building and remove their children. The decision to lock down depends on a number of factors, including the level of threat to the safety of students and advice of local, state and federal public safety agencies.
What is shelter-in-place?
Shelter-in-place is a response to a hazardous outdoor environment created by contamination to the atmosphere in the area surrounding the school building. In shelter-in-place response, all students and staff, including those in modular classrooms, are brought indoors for a short period to separate them from the hazard; all windows and doors are closed and ventilation systems are shut down to create a neutral pressure that will not draw airborne contaminants into the building. Students will be released to parents as soon as the air outside the buildings is safe to breathe.
Contacting or picking up children in an emergency situation
Parents are request to NOT call the school in emergency situations so that telephone lines are accessible to public safety personnel and for handling the situation. Parents will be kept informed through the FlashAlert Texting emergency information system and local radio and television updates.
Parents may pick up their children in an emergency unless the school is sheltering-in-place or has been informed by public safety officers not to release students because of any other reason requiring restricted access to the facilities. School staff will maintain an environment within the building as close to normal and safe for children as possible. If school is determined to be the safest place for students, school will not be canceled; the decision to cancel classes is not automatic in crisis situations, but depends upon the nature and circumstances of the emergency situation.
Students riding school buses at the time of an emergency
School bus drivers will be in immediate contact with the transportation office for instructions in event of a crisis while students are being transported. Bus drivers are instructed and expected to use common sense and safety guidelines and not to travel toward the emergency location. Parents will be kept informed through the FlashAlert Texting emergency information system and local radio and television bulletins. Students will not be released from school buses to any unauthorized parent or family member (and authorization has been verified by the transportation supervisor or his designee), nor until it is clear that there is no further danger to students.
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Safety On and Around the School Bus
Our transportation team has clear expectations for the behavior of students and staff who ride with them. Our priority is the safety of students in our charge while traveling to and from school, and those who ride the buses during extra-curricular trips. The District has developed concise rules for riders stating what is and is not allowed for students while on the bus, and instructions for parents needing to arrange a variation from the student's regular travel routine.
Basic safety rules for riders boarding and exiting the school bus
A reminder to drivers sharing the road with school buses
Teach your children road safety
Safety page for student bus riders
Safety Rules for Walkers
- Pay attention and respect other walkers and crossing guards.
- Pay attention when crossing streets and walking past driveways.
- Don't run, walk on curbs, or in people's yards. Walk on the sidewalk; or if there is no sidewalk, on the left side of the street (facing oncoming traffic).
- Keep your hands, feet and comments to yourself.
- Respect people's property and pets. Stay out of yards and avoid stray animals. Don't loiter.
- Don't eat while you walk.
- Be cautious when using an umbrella; it can impair your vision.
- Do not speak with strangers. If you are approached by a stranger, walk away and report the incident with the stranger as soon as you get home or to school.
- If you have any questions or concerns about walking to or from school, please contact the principal of your school..
Suggestions for safe and comfortable walking
- Wear comfortable and weather-appropriate clothing and shoes or boots. Dress in layers.
- Carry a water bottle on hot days.
- Avoid puddles; wet feet are uncomfortable.
- Stay away from the street when posible; cars can splas water.
- Always be aware of your surroundings. Report any strangers or concerns to adults.
According to the National School Report Card, the first concern of US citizens regarding the nation’s schools is the safety of students. Though incidents such as the tragic school shootings at Virginia Tech and Columbine High School in Littleton Colorado makes prominent and immediate media headlines, violent crime on school campuses has actually declined in the past few years. Less than 1% of child and teen murders in the US are school related; the likelihood of a student being struck by a bullet at school is less than being struck by lightning.
Though some schools are much safer than others, and for a few school districts serious violent crime remains a very real threat, overall schools have a lower risk as homicide crime scenes than students’ homes or neighborhoods. There is no evidence showing that school-related homicides are increasing.
However, violence in school extends beyond mass shootings. Though fewer students are getting involved in fights or bring weapons to school than in the past, many districts continue to struggle to lessen activities such as bullying, verbal threats, physical fights and assaults, and gang violence. Bullying, particularly, continues to be a serious problem in middle schools. Castle Rock is committed to a policy of zero tolerance for harassment and bullying in our schools, neither in our buildings, on the playgrounds, or online.
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Students learn best in an environment that provides and promotes security, safety, and care. Castle Rock School District is committed to a safe, orderly school climate, and the district has a zero tolerance policy for violence. Parents shouldn’t hesitate to ask building or district administrators about the steps the district takes to ensure safety of the students enrolled in our schools. School personnel respond immediately to parent concerns for the safety of their children. Administrators, teachers, and support staff hold students responsible and accountable for their actions, and want to assure parents ready access to clear, fair discipline policy and student conduct standards. Parents need to know that the district has specific reasons why a student may be suspended or expelled from school, and that there is a clearly defined process to deal with such situations. Parents also should understand that our schools have authority to search student lockers and vehicles with reason, that outside visitors are required to check in to enter school facilities, and that identification must be worn by an outside visitor to any of our schools.
The schools use a variety of safety and security measures, such as periodic fire drills and evacuation of buildings, electronic alarms and secured locks, and miniature camera surveillance on buses. Our school facilities are routinely inspected by fire department personnel and building safety inspectors, and special measures are taken to safely dispose of laboratory and cleaning chemicals and materials.
Student safety at school is a responsibility that requires cooperation from the entire community, and is the result of the combined efforts of parents, school staff, law enforcement, business and social agencies, religious and civic organizations.
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Keeping students safe online
Castle Rock School District has well-defined rules and procedures for to maintain Internet safety for students while using computer resources. Methods the district uses to protect students online include instructing them in the acceptable use policy, constant teacher and paraeducator presence around all computers, random monitoring of student Internet traffic, filtering and blocking programs, and offering parents who do not want their children to access the Internet a means to opt them out of Internet research and learning and provide alternate means of learning.
Here are some guidelines and tips to help ensure your students' continued safety online while at home.
Sites, and articles about school safety and tips for keeping students safe at school and on the Internet:
Office of Superintendent Public Instruction sites for guidance, technical assistance, and resources about keeping students and staff safe in schools
Washington State School Safety Center
School Safety Center Resources for Families
School Climate Family Resources
High school safety issues
High School Survival Guide
A coalition for safely prepared school meals
National Coalition for Food-Safe Schools
Preventing electronic bullying; tips for safe surfing
OSPI cybersafety brochure
PC Magazine articles:
Online safety at school
Do you know where your kids are clicking?
Resources for parents
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(*Some information in this section courtesy of National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center)