School Safety

Chief Beatty from the Whitemarsh Township Police Department poses with a class at Whitemarsh Elementary School

The Colonial School District places a premium on student safety. A security audit by a leading national school safety expert revealed that the Colonial School District was among the nation's top districts in school safety and security.

Since that time, the Colonial School District has continued to assess its policies and procedures regularly to ensure that the District is current and to maintain its place as a leader in school safety and security.

What you can do to help:

Review this information carefully.

Following the steps provided will help school officials, police officers, firefighters and other first responders do their jobs and focus on the safety of all involved.

Keep your child's emergency contact information up to date.

Inform your child's school immediately if your phone number, address or email address changes. You may be called and emailed during an emergency. Additionally, children will only be released to adults listed on the emergency information form.

Talk with your child about listening and following directions at all times and especially during an emergency.

Report any safety concerns you may have to your child's school principal.

What parents should do during a school emergency:

Stay at home or work

Parents arriving at the school may interfere with police officers, firefighters and other emergency personnel. Your help in allowing these professionals to effectively do their jobs is essential and appreciated. In the event of an evacuation or early dismissal, parents will be notified by the District's rapid messaging system Connect-Ed as to where they may pick up their children.

Wait for information from the District

The latest information will be provided by phone and email via the District's rapid messaging system Connect-Ed. The first priority of school and district office personnel is to address the emergency at hand. You will be informed as soon as possible. If it is an ongoing event, updates will be provided as new information is available. Information may also be obtained from the Colonial School District website and CITV, Comcast Cable and Verizon FiOS channel 28.

Important Safety Terms


During a lockout, all school exterior doors are locked because of a threat or potential threat located outside of the school. Students and staff may move throughout the building as usual.


During a lockdown, all school interior doors are locked and students are confined to their classrooms because of a threat or potential threat inside of the school. No entry or exit of the school is allowed.


Shelter-In-Place means that children are moved to interior rooms in the school with few or no windows. Shelter-In-Place is used when there may be the potential for harm from weather or hazardous materials that may have been released into the atmosphere, and it is determined that an evacuation or dismissal could place students at risk.


Evacuation means that students and staff must leave the school building and move to a safe location. When necessary, buses will move students. In the event of an evacuation, parents will be notified via the District's messaging system (Connect-Ed) where they may pick up their children. Children will be released to parents only after proper identification has been verified.

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