Safety and Security Measures
The San Marino Unified School District prides itself on its focus on the importance of student and staff safety. The District’s mission statement includes a reference to safe schools for this reason. The District is a member of the West San Gabriel JPA for property and liability and workers’ compensation. Both JPA’s provide an abundance of resources, expert consultants, and training tools to the District. In 2022-23, the District conducted an updated assessment of its physical safety and security measures and the majority of the recommendations were implemented.
Additionally, the District has invested in staff, resources, training, and programs related to mental health awareness, student wellness, anti-bullying, and disaster preparedness. The following information provides references to the District’s emergency planning, training, drills, physical security measures, and cyber-security. The information includes descriptions of the District’s safety and security measures and programs to support the safety of its students and staff.
- All SMUSD schools have Comprehensive Safe School Plans that address all types of threats including weather emergencies, utility outages, fire, earthquakes, active shooters, etc. The CSSP’s are referenced as living documents and used during emergency drills and evacuations. All plans are updated annually in cooperation with each School Site Council, District administrators, and SMTA and CSEA representatives. The CSSP’s are reviewed by SMPD and SMFD and then submitted to the Board for approval.
- All Student Handbooks and the Titan Guide include information on student safety, school rules, and regulations for students, and information for parents on school resources.
- Each classroom has emergency backpacks and supplies, and all schools have containers with emergency supplies for water, shelter, and first aid. The PTA’s work with the elementary and middle school on ensuring that the backpacks are kept current. The SMHS Red Cross Club works with the PTSA to ensure that the high school’s backpacks are up-to-date with emergency supplies on an annual basis.
- Emergency drills are conducted on an ongoing basis at all school sites with students and staff for situations such as fires, lockout/lockdown, and earthquakes. All school and the District Office hold regular fire, earthquake, lockdown drills.
- A live active shooter drill was held in February 2018 at SMHS in coordination with San Marino Police and Fire Departments. SMPD has provided active shooter training for all school employees.
Safety and Security Training
- The District uses the Catapult Emergency Management System (EMS) to improve two-way communications among staff to streamline student accountability in the event of an emergency. Catapult EMS is mobile-friendly, alerts-based, and integrates data from the District's student information system for improved incident responses. Catapult EMS will be used in future drills and safety/security exercises. All District employees are currently being trained to use Catapult EMS.
- All employees are required to complete mandated reporter, suicide prevention, and sexual harassment training on an annual basis through Target Solutions.
- All school site and District Office personnel are completing ALICE training. Several key administrators and personnel have completed the 2-day ALICE trainers training as well.
- The District has held several series of First/Aid CPR and Disaster training over the past four years. CPR/First Aid was conducted on August 9, 2018, for over 200 employees including coaches, classified and certificated staff, and substitutes.
- Staff members receive ongoing training and information on safety-related topics through online courses, presentations distributed and/or facilitated by district-level departments, memos, discussions at staff meetings, and video training.
- After a school emergency, school administrators, District staff, and public safety personnel meet to conduct an after-action review of the incident to identify areas that may need improvement related to prevention, crisis mitigation, response, and recovery.
- After a major school safety incident occurs in this country, the District’s emergency plans and safety practices are evaluated against the facts of the incident. Adjustments to the plan are made when needed.
- School administrators have the ability to communicate to staff, students, and parents via mobile communications tools, including the School’s public address “PA” system, mobile app, text messaging, email, and phone.
- The District Office and key school site staff have participated in the Cybersecurity Education Program, a comprehensive professional development program designed to engender a culture of cyber-secure, cyber-aware, and cyber-enabled workforce.
- The District has a formal Safety & Wellness Committee in place that consists of administrators, parents, police, fire, and community groups. Each school site also has a Safety Committee comprised of teachers and staff to discuss campus safety standards and suggestions.
Physical Security Measures
- All schools have some level of physical security measures such as fences, vehicle barriers, surveillance cameras, electronic access controls, security vestibules/doors/gates, and door locks to keep our schools secure.
- The Board of Education has adopted Board Policy 1250 Visitors/Outsiders. In the policy, the Board of Education encourages interested parents/guardians and community members to visit the schools and participate in the educational program. As required by State Law (Penal Code 627.2, Education Code 32211) and SMUSD Board Policy 1250. All visitors are required to register in the office upon entering the school premises during school hours.
- Visitor management protocols are in place to screen individuals prior to entering a campus or school building.
- All classroom doors are lockable from the inside, with after-hours security alarms, and regularly tested fire alarm systems.
- All classrooms and buildings have window coverings and/or blinds. Some windows have tempered tints
- All schools have real-time security cameras.
- The perimeters of Carver and Valentine elementary schools are fenced, with a single point of entry, and with camera entry access systems. Entry gates are locked and office-controlled visitors to enter the school.
- The District has a digitized comprehensive Emergency Management System. The system details each District site with school emergency plans, fire and safety information, the evacuation map, and blueprints of the school site. it includes evacuation maps, aerial views of the schools, GPS coordinates, water, gas, and electrical shut-off information, and photos of interior spaces throughout all campuses. System access has been provided to the San Marino Police and Fire Departments via USB drives.
- Huntington Middle School has a partial gated perimeter.
- San Marino High School has gated and lockable interior core areas (courtyard), and locked gates at Shakespeare Road.
Threat Prevention Reporting, Detection, and Assessment
- The San Marino USD responds immediately to any concerns or threats that could impact school safety. The District involves law enforcement in all reported threats.
- SMUSD has resources available to work on these issues 24/7/365, and threats are taken seriously when the information is first received.
- SMUSD has an anonymous incident reporting form that allows students, parents, and others to anonymously report bullying, threats, weapons, gang activity, drug use, or any other serious problem at a school or on District property. Reports can also be submitted via the web. In all cases, reporters are asked to be specific with the information reported to include school name, date/time, and names of individuals likely involved.
- The District has a formal risk assessment process and procedures that are used to evaluate a student who has communicated threatening messages or engaged in threatening behavior toward oneself or others. The assessment is completed by a team of trained individuals, and the results of the assessment dictate what interventions and potential safety measures to employ.
- The High School has a designated Campus Security Officer on site to provide full-time on-site and patrol security. The San Marino Police Department visits the school campuses on a regular basis.
- While certain members of school staff are responsible for specific physical security tasks, maintaining the safety of a campus is the collective responsibility of all SMUSD personnel who are assigned to a facility.
- The security perimeter of a campus should be secured each day at the start of school, and staff monitor gates, fences, and doors throughout the day to ensure that the perimeter remains secured.
- District office personnel received cybersecurity training to assess, detect, and respond to cyber-related security threats, including email phishing, malware, and other cyber-related attacks to safeguard information-based resources.
What Can Parents Do?
- Discuss school safety with your children. Students should feel comforted knowing that there are emergency plans in place and that drills are designed to better prepare all of us for an emergency. We should feel prepared, but not scared.
- Remain engaged with your children. Know who their friends are and where they are spending time. Do not ignore negative changes in behavior. Reach out for assistance, if needed.
- Get to know your “digital” son or daughter. Be aware of and involved in what your children are doing or saying online, especially on social media platforms.
- Speak with your children about reporting suspicious activity or threats to the proper authorities. Students and parents should feel comfortable sharing that information with a teacher, counselor, school administrator, another staff member, or campus security personnel.
- If the safety of another person is in jeopardy, students should know the importance of immediately reporting that information. Help fight against the belief among some students that “snitching” is wrong. • REPORT THREATS IMMEDIATELY!
- If you receive information after-hours about a potential threat and are unable to reach anyone at the school, please contact local law enforcement. Do not wait until the next day. Remember, threats or other emergency information should never be reported only through email.
- If you observe a safety concern on your child’s campus, please report it to a school administrator.
- Download and login to the District’s mobile app. Sign up to receive the District and School newsletters.
- Verify and/or update your contact information (phone and email) through the school office.