Safety and Security
The Pella Community School District is dedicated to fostering a safe and welcoming environment for all students, staff and visitors. We are preparing a comprehensive plan that will support school safety by addressing prevention, intervention, preparedness and emergency response.
A school emergency can present itself in a number of ways: inclement weather, medical, environmental, building damage, verbal or written threats, physical threat, or threatening activity at a location in close proximity to the school.
Strategies we have in place are explained in the following sections below:
- Building Safety
- Safety Drills
- Parent/Guardian Roles
- Standard Response Protocol (SRP)
- Run, Hide, Fight
- Recent construction has allowed for all schools to have one main entrance*.
- *The High School has two entrances: South entrance, by the main office; East entrance, by the athletic offices.
- All schools are equipped with security cameras inside of the buildings.
- All visitors are asked to check in at the main office.
- All visitors must wear a badge, sticker, or lanyard when in the school.
- Staff members will notify the school’s office of any scheduled visitors.
- If the office has not been informed about a visit, a staff member will come to the office to escort the guest into the building.
PCSD will practice fire, tornado, and lockdown drills throughout the academic year.
- Each school will run 4 fire drills during the academic year, 2 per semester.
- Drills will include staff and students.
- Each school will run 4 tornado drills during the academic year, 2 per semester.
- Drills will include staff and students.
- Each building will run 2 lockdown drills during the academic year, one per semester.
- Drills will include staff and students, and will be in conjunction with the Pella Police Department.
- Parents/Guardians will be informed via email after the lockdown drill has been initiated.
“If You See Something, Say Something®“
Parents/Guardians play an important role in school safety and we ask that you report any concerns to the school or contact our local law enforcement. If there is an emergency, call 9–1–1.
During a School Emergency
The first instinct of many parents/guardians when hearing of a school emergency is to call or show up at the school. We ask that you please avoid calling or coming to the school during an emergency situation. Our main priority will be to keep students and staff safe, and we will need our attention directed toward that goal. In the event that law-enforcement is involved, a crowd forming at the school can hinder them from safely neutralizing the situation and executing rescue efforts when needed.
- The best action parents/guardians can take during a school emergency is to stay close to their phones and/or computers so they can receive communication with updates and instructions from the school.
After a School Emergency
Parents/Guardians will be updated as soon as it is determined safe to do so.
PCSD has adopted the work of the I Love You Guys Foundation, and the Standard Response Protocol (SRP).
- The SRP identifies five actions that can be taken in response to a variety of emergency situations:
- Lockout – When there is a threat outside of the building. Students, staff and visitors are secured inside the school to reduce the risk of exposure.
- Lockdown – When there is a threat inside the building. Room doors are locked, lights are out and individuals move out of sight.
- Students and staff will hear an announcement: “Locks, lights out of sight.”
- Evacuate – Move to a new location.
- Shelter – When there is a hazard requiring the need for personal safety.
- Hold – Stay in the classroom to keep hallways clear.
- Please see the Standard Response Protocol Flyer for more detail.
To enhance preparedness in the event of an active shooter, the US Department of Homeland Security advises remembering the phrase: “Run, Hide, Fight.”
1) RUN if there is an escape path, keep your hands visible, and call 911 when you are able.
2) HIDE in an area out of the shooter’s view, lock or barricade the entrance, silence your cell phone.
3) As a LAST resort, FIGHT to attempt to incapacitate the shooter.
The district’s first priority is the safety of students, staff and visitors. We will communicate with parents/guardians as the situation allows.
- The best action parents/guardians can take during and after a school emergency is to stay close to their phones and/or computers so they can receive communication with updates and instructions from the school.