School safety is a nationwide focus and an issue we take seriously. Our commitment to creating and maintaining physically- and emotionally-safe learning environments that support the social-emotional and academic excellence of every child is a top priority in the Sumner-Bonney Lake School District. We are committed to school safety every single day, not only when a tragedy strikes elsewhere.
Our unwavering and relentless commitment to safety is visible in various ways throughout the district with vigilant staff, secure facilities and strong partnerships with law enforcement agencies. Here are some of our safety and security measures we take as a district to help keep students and staff safe:
- Emergency Drills: Every month all schools perform emergency drills, which include fire/evacuation, lockdown, earthquake, shelter-in-place and safety-related. Any emergency plan is only as good as the ability of students and staff to execute it, which is why regular drills are paramount in our schools.
- Secure electronic entry systems: From a security perspective, the most important function of a door is to control entry. Most schools have either a safety vestibule or secure electronic entry systems into classroom areas. Schools slated for construction will incorporate these features.
- Internal Locks: Staff can lock most classroom doors from the inside of the room. When facing a lockdown situation in school, securing classrooms from the inside protects students from potential threats.
- School Resource Officers: School Resource Officers monitor all of our schools located within Sumner and Bonney Lake city limits. They are a welcomed part of our school communities, helping maintain safe environments. For schools located outside city limits, the District is in discussion with the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department and will have SROs at those schools in the future.
- Campus Safety Officers: There are campus safety officers at our high schools and middle schools. These District employees help maintain order and discipline, prevent crime, and help investigate violations of school rules and policies.
- Security Cameras: Security cameras are installed at all of our schools.
- Partnerships: Partnerships with law enforcement and emergency management agencies include ongoing conversations and activities such as safety meetings, coordination of emergency drills, staging, risk assessments and staff trainings. The School Board recently adopted new and revised policies on District Relationships with Law Enforcement and Other Government Agencies (4310) and School Safety and Security Services Program (4311).
- Training and Preparedness: District staff is trained on effective school emergency management and regularly drill as an Emergency Operations Center re-enacting a wide range of possible threats and hazards that may impact a school. Training supports protocols of local emergency management resources and first responders to provide a cohesive, coordinated response in the event of an emergency. Safety and security staff receive a number of trainings with local law enforcement and local jurisdictions to enhance our ability to respond quickly and effectively when there is a threat to student safety.
- Our Safety Advisory Committee, formed October 2018, has worked to review safety issues, strategies, policies and procedures, and make recommendations as appropriate to increase the effectiveness of addressing student safety and emergency preparedness. One key outcome from the 2019-20 school year's active shooter sub-committee work was adopting a new Standard Response Protocol safety plan, which will be implemented soon.
We all share the responsibility of creating safe learning environments so students can achieve their highest potential. Here’s how you can help:
- Report any potential threats. If your child sees something that may be a threat at school or online, please report it to your school principal or law enforcement. You may also use our anonymous Report It system via phone, text, email or web.
- Make sure your school has up-to-date contact information on file in case we need to notify you about an emergency situation. The Family Communication Protocol lets families know how and when they will be informed about a schoolwide emergency situation.
We’re thankful for our vigilant staff, secure facilities and strong partnerships with law enforcement agencies to help maintain safe schools.