March 6th through 10th is Peoria Unified's Safety Week. While our district makes safety a top priority every week of the year, during Safety Week we will be focusing on ways that we can all be involved in keeping each other safe both physically and mentally. Through this campaign, we will be encouraging staff and students to join us in taking an active role in their safety. We hope students and families will report anything concerning they see or hear to a trusted adult so that it may be properly addressed.
With that in mind, we are asking students in the district to "Take the Pledge" to See Something, Hear Something, Say Something, Do Something. If you would like to pledge to do your part to support a safe learning environment for all students and staff at your school, click here to Take the Pledge. Families interested in seeing details for the student pledge can view it here.
We are also inviting high school students to design their own safety poster and the winner at each school will have their artwork displayed on campus for the remainder of the school year. Submissions are due by April 7, 2023. Click for more details on the safety poster contest.
If you'd like to learn more about safety in Peoria Unified, you will find additional information on this page and on the additional links. You can also download our new Safety one-pager that puts all of the vital information in one location.
SEE SOMETHING, HEAR SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING, DO SOMETHING
The Peoria Unified School District offers a Safe School Line, 623-486-6199, for students, parents and community members to anonymously report threats or suspicious activity. Any messages will be retrieved during the district's regular business hours and reported to the appropriate school principal. Peoria Unified families and students are encouraged to report anything concerning that they may see or hear to school administration so that it can be investigated.
A Message Regarding Social Media Threats
Safety has always been on the top of our minds. Now more than ever, we are seeing a rise in threats that have been made or shared on social media, or even those which have been verbally shared by students at school.
Please take a quick moment to view this video from the Peoria Police Department which addresses school threats.
Thanks to our bond dollars, Peoria Unified has made updates to our schools over the last few school years to include additional fencing at some campuses, single points-of-entry, renovations to front offices and more. A team of individuals regularly conducts safety audits of our school sites to look for any areas that may need improvement. When voters approve a bond, it provides much-needed funding to help essential improvements at school sites.
MENTAL & BEHAVORIAL HEALTH
Our goal is to provide support and resources to meet the needs of every student, every day in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade in schools throughout the Peoria Unified School District.
When a student is struggling emotionally or behaviorally, the school Student Support Team (made up of administration, nursing, emotional support staff and teachers) will assess, create and implement a student-specific support intervention.
This may include referral to outside agencies for support groups, social skills groups, one-on-one behavioral support or mentor support.
SHELTER IN PLACE
The shelter-in-place protocol provides safe refuge for students, staff and visitors at the school.
This might include a situation taking place in the community, near the proximity of the school or a biohazard situation. During a shelter-in-place, students and staff will remain indoors with the doors locked, as directed by either law enforcement or the school principal, although the educational learning environment may proceed as usual.
SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS
All Peoria Unified high schools have a school resource officer to provide support on their campus. Their role includes security but extends well beyond that, to include teaching, increasing community engagement, serving as a mentor and role model. They also establish relationships and provide additional support to each of the elementary schools near their high school.
EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER
Members of Peoria Unified’s Emergency
Operations Team have been trained in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Incident Management System (NIMS) and routinely participate in drills to evaluate the district’s response to crisis situations. Each year, the EOC team reviews its Emergency Operations Plan and makes updates as necessary. The EOC team also provides regular updates to district administrators so that principals and other district and school leaders are trained in effectively responding to a crisis situation.
Lockdowns may be issued in situations involving dangerous intruders or other incidents that may pose a threat to a student or staff’s immediate safety. During a lockdown, all interior and exterior doors will be locked. Parents and visitors will not be allowed on campus during a lockdown.
During a lockdown, do not come to the school unless instructed to do so. We realize how difficult it will be for you to keep your distance from the school, but it will be crucial to keep the surrounding streets and parking lots clear for emergency vehicles. Additionally, school staff may not have the ability to safely check out your child from school during a lockdown.
VISITORS & VOLUNTEERS
All visitors are required to enter and exit through the front office. Guests may be asked to present their identification and will sign in on the guest log. Visitors may also be asked to wear a visitor sticker or badge. Peoria Unified requires background checks. Visit our Volunteer website for additional information on volunteering at our schools.
Parents will be notified during a school crisis or shortly thereafter, depending on how long the event lasts. It is critically important that parents follow the district’s protocol in the event of an emergency. The school will not answer their phone during an emergency. Parents and visitors will not be allowed on campus until the campus has been deemed safe.
Detailed information regarding the emergency situation will be shared on the district’s website at www.peoriaunified.org/updates and will be updated as additional details become available.
Parents will also receive a phone, email and/or text message through ParentSquare with details about the event.
It is important to keep your contact information updated at your child’s school site. The staff’s number one priority is to ensure everyone’s safety on campus. The district’s Communications and Public Relations Department will share information with families once it has been verified, which may include discussing facts with police, fire, school administration, etc.
Depending on the type of crisis situation, students may be asked to text their parents and let them know that they are safe. In some crisis situations, students will not be allowed to use their phones.
The district’s Evacuation protocol includes everything from evacuating from a room to another room – evacuating from one building to another – evacuating from a building to the school grounds – or evacuating off-site to an alternate location.
In the event of an off-site evacuation, the district will implement its Reunification Plan and families will receive communication from the school district, advising them of the location and area in which they can pick up their child. Please note that proper identification will be required to further ensure student safety.