Keeping all students safe is of paramount importance. The District employs a comprehensive approach to school safety that includes:
- Social emotional learning and prevention
- Emergency preparedness, response and recovery
- School facility and system improvements focused on safety and security
These efforts involve staff, students, and parents, as well as community partnerships with local fire and police departments, and mental health professionals. Here are some of the major programs and initiatives in place, intended to keep Snoqualmie Valley students and staff safe and secure.
See Something, Say Something!
One of the most important aspects of keeping a school safe is simply – "See something, say something." Everyone in the school community is urged to report anything that seems “off.” Please reach out to a principal, teacher, staff member, or trusted adult to report a concern. Providing as many details as possible can greatly help administrators investigate and respond quickly, as needed.
Snoqualmie Valley schools have a Safe Schools Alert Tipline that anyone can use, at any time, to report concerns anonymously. Tips can be made by phone call, web, or text message to: 360-587-4726. Or, email a concern to email@example.com.
Students are uniquely positioned to be aware of a troubled peer or someone who threatens to harm themself or others. Parents are strongly encouraged to talk with their students about why reporting concerns is vitally important. For tips on how to have these kinds of conversations with students and address concerns about school shootings, this resource on the American Psychology Association website may be helpful.
Parent Guide for School Emergencies
Have you ever wondered what you should do, as a parent, when your child’s school is in lockdown? Or, where to look for reliable information? This brochure summarizes a parent’s role during a school emergency — how best to support a school and emergency responders on the scene, during an actual emergency event. It defines school protocols for evacuations, shelter-in-place, and lockdown responses, as well as instructs parents/guardians what they will need to know (and bring with them) for reunification with their child. Click here to read the Parent Guide for School Emergencies, and learn where to look for updated information from the District about an incident.
Comprehensive School Safety Plan & Protocols
The District is continually assessing strategy, tools, and its overall approach to safety and security. The District has a Comprehensive Safety Plan, and each school has a building-level plan that aligns to the district plan. The District’s Risk Assessment Team brings together local law enforcement, first responders, mental health professionals, social services, principals, and district administrators to review concerns and recommend safety interventions or enhancements.
Active Shooter Training
The District hosted a series of four dynamic trainings for all students and staff in grades 6-12, in 2016, as well as an evening session to which all parents were invited. Nationally-recognized School Safety Expert Jesus Villahermosa conducted the sessions, and continues to serve as an advisor when the District updates its emergency response protocols and staff safety materials to reflect best practices in the event of an active shooter/intruder. At the start of the 2018-19 school year, more training was provided for all staff.
Building Safety Enhancements
Through funding from the 2015 Bond, many building safety enhancements and systems have been implemented throughout Snoqualmie Valley schools and buildings. All schools have a new Visitor Management System that requires visitors to check in at the office and scan their government-issued identification for approval to enter the building. In addition, schools received new door locks (which allow for an automated lockdown), as well as new clocks with audio messaging in all classrooms. All staff are required to wear ID badges, and visitors receive a sticker badge upon checking in, to help confirm all adults who are approved to be on campus. Additional security cameras have been added throughout Snoqualmie Valley schools and buses.
Currently, the District is in the process of adding video entrance systems to the front entrance of schools (similar to the system that Fall City Elementary has been piloting). Since doors are locked during the school day, this system requires a visitor seeking entrance to the school to push a button outside of the front door, which then allows school office personnel to view the person by video, before granting the visitor permission to enter by “buzzing” them in. Looking ahead, state-of-the-art safety systems are prominent in the new Mount Si High School design.
School Resource Officer (SRO)
A School Resource Officer (SRO) is a full time uniformed police officer who serves in the schools through a joint agreement with a city or county. The Snoqualmie Valley School District works with an officer from the Snoqualmie Police department, who is based at Mount Si High School. The officer not only provides a presence that promotes safety and security, but also connects with students. As the SRO gets to know students and gains their trust, the officer is often the person who students will confide in about possible safety concerns. Local law enforcement agencies prioritize schools in their day-to-day work. In addition to the school resource officer, other officers often visit the schools, as time permits.
Social Emotional Learning and Support for Students
All SVSD schools implement Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) — a multi-tiered program that helps establish positive school environments, teach social skills and behavior expectations, identify additional support some students may need, and deliver discipline consistently across schools.
Together, counselors at each school, school nurses, and district psychologists on staff, help identify at-risk students, work with those who need extra support, and connect families to critical behavioral health resources. The District collaborates with local agencies — including Friends of Youth, Sound Mental Health, UW Forefront Suicide Prevention, and Snoqualmie Valley Community Network — to increase access to social/emotional/mental health supports for students.
The District also promotes programs to help students acquire skills to build healthy relationships, respect others, overcome adversity, and promote kindness, as well as how to deal with social and emotional challenges, and bullying and harassment.
Drills Prepare Staff and Students
Regular drills and practice for staff and students helps reinforce that appropriate steps are followed consistently and automatically in an actual emergency. State law requires six fire drills each year. However, Snoqualmie Valley schools exceed the legal requirement and practice at least eight drills annually with students and staff. A lockdown drill is practiced three times each year, evacuation/fire drills are also done three times, along with a shelter-in-place drill, and another drill of the school’s choice (typically an earthquake drill).
Emergency Radios Connect Schools
The District has a radio communications system in place to enable schools to communicate with the District Office and one another, if an emergency disables other communications systems.
Suicide Prevention Support, Training and Advocacy
Youth suicide is a tragic loss which impacts the entire community. To help all SVSD students stay safe, healthy, and feeling supported, this important topic continues to be a focus of support and education. The schools have engaged students and staff in a variety of prevention activities in recent years, in partnership with experts around the state. Most recently, Mount Si High School has been participating as one of 29 high schools in King County in a three-year UW Forefront Suicide Prevention in Schools program that provides training, resources and support to schools. In January 2018, a Mount Si student joined the Forefront team to testify before the state legislature to advocate for more prevention funding and mental health resources for all Washington State schools; read the full story. Click here for other Suicide Prevention Strategies implemented in SVSD schools.
Stop the Bleed Kits and Staff Training
The Snoqualmie Valley School District is the first school district in Washington State, thanks to a generous donation from the Snoqualmie Fire Department and community groups, to fully equip its schools and classrooms the emergency "Stop the Bleed" kits. During the 2018-19 school year, hands-on training is also being offered to all school staff. The Stop the Bleed resources are part of a national initiative to empower individuals on the scene of an emergency, with the means to help save the life of an injured person, until trained professionals may be able to respond.