School Safety

Help us keep your children safe:
What you need to know if there is an emergency at your child's school

Line of police officers and first responders at a ceremony in front of Whitemarsh Elementary

The safety and security of our students is of the utmost importance to the Colonial Board of School Directors and District Administration. This guide has been updated and printed to advise parents of security measures and procedures in place and inform them regarding how they may help District personnel be proactive in the event an emergency arises.

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 appreciated. In the event of an evacuation or early dismissal, parents will be notified by the District's rapid messaging system Connect5 as to where they may pick up their children at an established reunification location.

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.

Current safety measures

Police officer with two middle school boys at an interactive whiteboard

The Colonial School District (CSD) places a premium on student safety. In 2008, CSD commissioned a security audit by a leading national school safety expert. The audit revealed that CSD was among the nation’s leading districts in school safety and security. The District continually assesses its safety and security measures to ensure they are current and to maintain a place as a national leader in school safety and security.

Security initiatives currently in place include:

  • Staff of 16 in-school Security Officers and Hall Monitors
  • Additional security coverage after school hours
  • 160+ security cameras covering the entire District
  • Access to each building is controlled electronically with a newly installed state of the art access system that allows staff to visibly identify who is entering the building.
  • Electronic “key cards” used at all buildings for access control
  • Controlled video access at PWHS, CE, PE, RP and WE. CES and CMS have personnel at front desks.
  • All buildings equipped with C.L.A.S.S. (Countywide Law Enforcement Alerting and Safety System)
  • Emergency procedures flip charts in all offices and classrooms
  • Upgraded fire alarm systems installed in all schools
  • Burglar alarm systems at all buildings that are monitored 24-7
  • Two-way radio communications within each building
  • Four computer screens showing multiple security camera viewsMonthly “safety messages” sent to all staff
  • District safety committee that meets throughout the school year
  • Regular meetings and discussions of safety procedures and responses with Conshohocken, Plymouth and Whitemarsh Police Departments
  • Individual building safety committees
  • Practice Fire and Lockdown Drills
  • Yearly Security/Safety audits of all buildings

Facts and terms every parent should know

Lockout

During a lockout all school exterior doors are locked because of a threat or potential threat in the general area of the school but not on the school campus. Outside activities are returned to the safety of the school. Students and staff may move throughout the building as needed. Entry and exit to the building is controlled and granted on an as needed basis.

Lockdown

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

Shelter-In-Place

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

Evacuation

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 Connect5 where they may pick up their children. Children will be released to parents only after proper ID has been verified.

Anonymous Tip Line

If you see something, say something. To report intolerant or unacceptable behavior or express a concern for student safety, call 610-834-1671, ext. 2000.

Where to get information

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