February 15, 2018
Dear Parents, Staff and Community,
The recent school tragedy in Florida has had a profound effect on every community across the country. Many of you have called or emailed your concerns regarding the safety of our children. I hope this communication will help you understand what is already in place and reassure you that the safety of your children is our priority.
Additionally, you will find some of the security measures in place in Chandler Unified School District.
- Increased accurate and timely communications to parents and staff utilizing text- and email-based School Messenger system.
- All CUSD phones are 911 enhanced which means emergency responders will know the exact location/classroom at the site of an emergency call.
- Security fencing and gates provide limited access to our schools. Additional fencing projects are in progress.
Added safety features to include keyless door locks.
- Parking lot and exterior lighting has been enhanced at a number of sites that are heavy with evening activities.
- Security cameras have been installed at all of our schools. It is important to note that the police have remote access to our cameras to observe and assess an emergency situation.
- All school buses are equipped with security cameras.
- High school and junior high school campuses have police and security officers on site. We have six security officers that work with our elementary schools.
- Each school has an Emergency Response Plan (ERP) that delineates procedures to follow in an emergency... whether it is an evacuation or lockdown. Those plans are reviewed and revised annually with the assistance of security staff and the police department.
- We have directed all principals to review their site plans in collaboration with local law enforcement agencies and monitor points of entry.
- Schools are required to conduct fire drills monthly and at least two lockdown drills each semester. Safety officers, security staff and local law enforcement officers participate in lockdown and evacuation drills.
- The police departments have aerial maps and schematics of all our sites to assist them in an emergency. Local law enforcement have used our schools for Active Shooter Training in order to familiarize themselves with our facilities.
- Police and Fire Departments have access to master keys to enter the buildings.
- District personnel meet regularly with Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Chandler Police Department and Gilbert Police Department to keep open lines of communication and to update practices based on recent events.
- All employee and volunteers who have unsupervised contact with students are fingerprinted for clearance from DPS. Additionally, all outside contractors and their workers are fingerprinted for clearance as well.
- All school district personnel have district-issued photo identification badges.
- Schools incorporate a visitor management process.
- An active district Crisis Response Team composed of district counselors, social workers and psychologists are prepared to respond to any emergency in support of our students and staff.
- Future bonding capacity will continue to assist in overall safety efforts.
In closing, we will continue to look at the Parkland, Florida tragedy and what lessons we can learn from this. In addition, we will continue to review and update “best practices” with our security advisors and law enforcement. In the meantime, your support and understanding is especially appreciated.
Camille Casteel, Ed.D., Superintendent