Capital facilities improvements and training thanks to community support of district levies and bonds help to ensure safety at every school throughout the district
WOODLAND — Woodland Public Schools makes safety for students and staff the top priority with new technology; regular review and updating of security procedures; staff training; and holding practice drills at all schools. Capital facilities improvements and training thanks to community support of district levies and bonds help to ensure safety at every school throughout the district.
Many of the capital facilities improvements were made in the 2015-2016 school year:
- At Woodland Primary School, the main office was relocated to the main entrance of the school with a brand-new entrance. The old location was near the center of the school which permitted visitors access to classrooms and the gymnasium before checking in at the main office.
- A new entrance was built at Woodland Middle School where the assistant principal’s office was previously located. This change created a security corridor for entering visitors. Visitors must check in at the main office before entering any other part of the school. In addition, fencing around the school encloses the campus featuring exits for students and staff that lock behind them so no one may enter the school through the fences.
- A new entrance was installed at Woodland Intermediate school where a window once was. At Woodland Intermediate the only building access during the day is through the office.
- The Woodland District Office was relocated, allowing for a secure main entrance which requires visitors to check in before entering any other part of the school buildings.
- Woodland High School, opened in 2015, features state-of-the-art security including nearly 100 security cameras to track student and visitor movement; automatic lockdown of exterior doors following the start of the school day; and the ability for the administrative team and secretaries to lockdown the entire school remotely.
Woodland Public Schools also uses a combination of training and technology to ensure schools remain safe:
School buildings offer many exits, but only one entrance.
After each school day begins, the exterior entrances to all district buildings lock automatically using secure electronic entry systems. The only unlocked entrance for each building leads to the main office. Yale Elementary School is the exception as all doors remain locked until a visitor rings a special door bell notifying school staff that someone wants access.
To protect against possible intruders or natural disasters, students and staff may exit buildings from any door during the course of a normal school day with the door locking behind them automatically.
To prevent unauthorized access to the rest of a school building from a main office, all offices are equipped with lockdown systems which enable staff members to lock the doors from the office into the rest of the facility.
All visitors must check in with no exceptions.
No visitor may enter any Woodland school building without first checking in at the main office. Visitors must physically sign in and provide photo identification before being permitted entry to the school where they are accompanied by a staff member. At Woodland Primary and Woodland Intermediate all visitors have their ID scanned through an instant background check system that checks them against sex offender databases nationally.
Upon departure from the school building, visitors must also sign out so school staff remain aware of all persons on campus at all times in the event of an emergency.
Technology enables effective and efficient building lockdowns.
Every school office is equipped with a lockdown button permitting staff to lock exterior office doors in the event of a school emergency. Offices are equipped with panic switches which lock interior doors and contacts law enforcement for immediate deployment.
In addition, security cameras installed in school facilities are directly linked to the Woodland Police Department so dispatchers can quickly deploy police to specific areas of any Woodland school.
Schools practice regular safety drills.
Woodland Public Schools routinely practice, review, and improve their safety procedures,to prepare students and staff to respond to any hazard. Staff receive regular training with Woodland Police Department and local law enforcement to work through different scenarios to prepare for many possible events. Woodland Public School staff members complete training for “Run, Hide, Fight,” a strategy endorsed by law enforcement for responding to active shooter situations.
Each school conducts monthly drills so students and staff know what steps to take in the event of any emergency including evacuation, earthquake, Shelter-In-Place, and both internal and external lockdowns.
All threats are taken seriously.
Woodland staff, students, and community members are encouraged to report any and all threats heard on- or off-campus as well as through social media to local law enforcement and school officials. “Our schools take all threats seriously,” explained Superintendent Michael Green. “In the event of an incident, we also inform our community about what happened and what steps our staff took to protect our schools.”
Plans and procedures are reviewed and updated regularly.
With many staff members’ own children attending Woodland’s schools, safety stays at the forefront for planning and review. “We remain vigilant and proactive when it comes to our children’s safety with clear plans and procedures to deal with threats and other emergency situations,” said Superintendent Green. “Since many of us are parents as well as staff members, we are acutely aware of the concerns facing both our staff and our students.”
Woodland Public Schools offers suggestions for parents to keep kids safe.
Woodland Public Schools encourages parents and guardians to help keep schools safe and prepare for emergency situations by following these suggestions:
- Report any potential threats. Parents should encourage children to report any threat they may see or hear both in and out of school as well as online, including on social media, to their school principal and/or law enforcement.
- Update contact information. Parents may review and update their contact information on-file with the district in case of emergency by visiting Skyward Family Access from the Woodland Public Schools’ website (www.woodlandschools.org) or by calling their school’s office.
- Help children feel safe. Parents and staff can help children feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security by talking with students about their fears. The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) recommends the following strategies:
Reassure children that they are safe.
Make time to talk.
Keep your explanations developmentally appropriate.
Review safety procedures.
Observe your child’s emotional state.
Limit television viewing of violent events.
Maintain a normal routine.
In addition to the procedures discussed above, Woodland Public Schools supports the safety of the district’s schools by holding regular fire inspections; ensuring facility repairs and maintenance are performed in a timely manner; offering counseling and nursing services; and holding annual employee safety trainings. “The administrative team, in cooperation with our staff, constantly evaluates our safety procedures to review strategies and technology that may make us better prepare and more secure,” said Superintendent Green.
Superintendent Green commends the community of Woodland for remaining vigilant, “We are fortunate to have a strong sense of community where the well-being of others is a vital part of a healthy and supportive environment with safe and supportive schools being an integral component here in Woodland,” he said. “Our staff works hard to maintain respectful and nurturing learning environments free from bullying and harassment.”
If parents, guardians, or community members have any questions or concerns, they are encouraged to contact school administrators or the district office. Contact information and additional information for Woodland Public Schools is available from www.woodlandschools.org.
Information provided by Woodland Public Schools.