Safety is a top priority in our District. As part of our continuous improvement work, we recently had a third party conduct a safety assessment at all of our buildings. While there are many procedures and physical features in place to enhance safety for students and staff, there are still opportunities for improvement. We are prioritizing the recommendations that were given to improve school safety and will continue to roll them out during the next three years.
Keep reading to learn more about some of our existing safety programs and the improvements we are working on.

District Safety Team

The District has a safety team that evaluates and implements improvements regarding school safety.

  • Each building has a safety coordinator on the team
  • Team meets monthly to review and provide feedback on safety improvements
  • Conducts table top exercises at each building to simulate different scenarios, such as intruders, accidents and medical emergencies
  • Ensures that their school holds practice drills for events such as fires and severe weather

Additionally, a Police School Liaison is assigned to each school. The liaisons are also part of the District safety team and provide feedback and expertise on safety topics. Decisions on safety improvement ideas made by the District Safety Team are brought back to each building for implementation.

Why Does Safety Change?

There are several key factors that drive the changes and improvements that are made for District safety. The primary drivers are the continued school shootings across the nation, as well as updated recommendations from the FBI and Homeland Security, and mandates from the State of Wisconsin.
The recent safety assessment was done by the Wisconsin School Safety Coordinators Association and also came with recommended changes for each building and facility.

Safety Assessment Recommendations

Each building reviewed the assessment feedback and identified their top priorities to put into action in order to increase safety. Each building actively makes assessments through safety practice events and recommends improvements.

Intruder Safety

The District utilizes the Run Hide Fight (RHF) intruder model which is recommended by the Department of Homeland Security.  Each building completes RHF drills annually.
This year, communications about RHF were shared with parents in their school’s newsletter. This video created by the Federal Way School District provides an overview of the Run Hide Fight model in a school. The schools will continue to work on increasing student awareness of Run Hide Fight.
Additionally, a See Something Say Something awareness campaign will be tied to the social and emotional outcomes in the District’s Plan for Excellence. Awareness and training of Run Hide Fight will be integrated into building level safety practice.

Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a national program intended to increase safe pathways for students to access schools and help the community connect to school facilities.
During the last two years, the District and SRTS have been working with parents, local municipalities, community members and staff to prioritize areas where improvements can be made for the safety of students, staff and community members when walking, biking or driving to access District facilities. Also, each building has created a plan to increase safety around their facility.

Social and Emotional Well-being

Students face issues that go beyond academics. Far too often students need support and intervention to protect their mental well-being. The District strives to make sure that every child in our district feels connected and supported as they address these social and emotional challenges.
The District’s Plan for Excellence has several goals related to social and emotional well-being for the next five years. These goals include all students having at least one person in their life they can talk to; connecting students at risk of harmful behaviors to support, and creating an environment of belonging. 
The See Something Say Something awareness campaign is related to the social and emotional well-being goals because it takes a community effort to recognize when someone needs more support.

See Something Say Something Safety Campaign

graphic of See Something Say SomethingWe are starting a safety campaign around the concept of “See Something Say Something.” We are encouraging school and community members to become the eyes and ears of the Kimberly Area School District in order to provide information that protects the wellbeing of students and staff.

If you see something concerning, such as bullying, discrimination, mental health concerns or thoughts of self-harm, we are asking for your help to report it immediately so it can be addressed.

The culture we work on with our students is one built on respectful relationships and creating a space where students feel like they belong. We are reinforcing that our schools have no place for intolerance. We invite you to create an environment of kindness and respect for all. View a flyer with more details here.

Additional Resources

Safety is a top priority for the Kimberly Area School District and has many components and considerations. Upgrading facilities and infrastructure are important, but staff and students must also be prepared for a variety of emergencies through drills, trainings and awareness. Communication between staff, students, parents and community agencies builds awareness of safety and improves the response to emergency situations. It takes everyone working together to improve school safety.