In Poudre School District, we want our students, staff and their families to feel as safe as possible. We care deeply about this. No school district or emergency services agency can guarantee that emergencies won’t happen, but we can continue to build our capacity to strengthen our shared culture of safety.
Our district’s emergency management approach is rooted in culturally-responsive, age-appropriate and emergency services best practices to prepare for, respond to and recover from natural and human-made emergencies. Here's how we approach safety and security in PSD.
- PSD has its own Security Department, which prepares for and responds to emergencies in the district. Campus security officers (CSOs) train and prepare for emergencies with school resource officers. Security technicians work on installation/maintenance of security cameras, intrusion alarms and door-access control systems.
- Every school has a dedicated crisis response team, supported by the district’s crisis response team. These teams respond to crisis events at or involving the school
- School teams are made up of administrators and key staff such as the office manager, custodian, teachers, etc.
- The district’s team has representatives from multiple departments, including but not limited to Security, Mental Health, Employee Assistance Services and Communications.
- PSD has strong relationships with Fort Collins Police Services, Larimer County Sheriff’s Office and Timnath Police Department, whose school resource officers (SROs) serve all schools.
- Many outstanding regional emergency services agencies also serve our communities and work closely with our district.
- School and district crisis response teams attend the district’s Crisis Response Conference to refresh skills, update response plans, learn best practices, and collaborate with regional first responders.
- School crisis response teams participate in the scenario-based training “Seconds Count,” to learn critical steps to responding to school violence (person with a weapon, etc.). These teams also do tabletop exercises to help prepare for a variety of emergencies (medical, natural disasters, wildlife on campus, etc.).
- “Run, Hide, Fight” training for staff so they are as prepared as possible to respond to an active shooter.
- Students and staff are trained in nationally recognized Standard Response Protocols (secure status, lockdown, hold status, shelter in place, evacuation).
Additional training and drills
- Schools participate in fire and lockdown drills with fire department and law enforcement officials who help identify areas of improvement.
- Department- and position-specific training occurs (i.e. for bus drivers, Early Childhood Education staff, school nurses, etc.).
- Mental health is a district priority, and PSD has a dedicated Mental Health Team including but not limited to psychologists, behavior support paraprofessionals, social workers, mental health specialists, safety paraprofessionals, student safety coordinators, and counselors.
- PSD has a full-time threat assessment team that works with schools and community partners to develop safety plans for students and families, along with a team of mental health specialists who serve all PSD schools.
- Numerous community partners work with PSD to provide services and after-hours care for students and their families.
Mental health resources
Some resources include but aren’t limited to:
- IMatter (free youth counseling)
- SummitStone Health Partners crisis services: 970-494-4200
- Colorado Crisis Services (counseling): in case of a mental health crisis, call 1-844-493-8255 or text HOME to 741741
- Alliance for Suicide Prevention of Larimer County: call 970-482-2209
- Call or text 9-8-8 or chat 988lifeline.org to be connected with mental health support through the new 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.
Building Features and Equipment
- Single point of entry at all schools; people must use video intercom system to enter schools.
- Interior and exterior surveillance cameras and updated intercom systems at schools
- A call button is in each classroom for staff to use to alert the school office in case of emergency. School teams also have radios to communicate with one another and SROs, as needed.
- All visitors and volunteers must check in at all schools using the Raptor system, which conducts real-time background checks.
Additional features at schools
- Systems have lights and sounds that go off during an emergency to serve people with differing visual and auditory needs.
- Automated external defibrillators (AEDs) are available in all schools.
- Epinephrine auto-injectors (“epi pens”), to treat people having an allergic reaction, and opioid overdose treatments will be available in schools starting in mid-fall 2022. These can only be administered according to district policy.
How You Can Help Build Our Culture of Safety
- Students, staff and families are encouraged to “See Something, Say Something.” Safe2Tell Colorado provides an anonymous way for anyone to report concerns regarding safety. One can report a safety concern on the Safe2Tell website or call 1-877-542-7233. Students may also report concerns to any adult in school.
- Students, parents and staff can also report experiences that negatively impact their education based on race, gender, culture, religious belief, socio-economic status and sexual orientation. Visit the “See Something, Say Something” web page, linked at the top of the PSD website and school websites.
Other action you can take
- Parents/guardians should keep their emergency contact information updated in ParentVUE, which is used by schools and the district to communicate in the event of an emergency.
- Please follow required school and district safety and security protocols, including entering the school ONLY through the FRONT entrance (not other side doors) and checking in at the school office.
- Parents/guardians should remind their students not to prop doors at school open or let people into the building.
- As a family, talk about what to do in case of an emergency at home or school. Helpful resources:
- Have an emergency plan for your family (Federal Emergency Management Agency)
- Build a family emergency kit (Ready.gov | U.S. Department of Homeland Security)
- Sign up to receive emergency alerts in Larimer County, whether you live in, work in or are just visiting the county. (Larimer Emergency Telephone Authority, LETA911)
- Home fire escape planning (National Fire Protection Agency)
- Regularly test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms (Poudre Fire Authority)
- Play It Safe on the Poudre River (Poudre Fire Authority)
- Talk about personal safety (Fort Collins Police Services)
- Talk with your children about internet safety (Fort Collins Police Services)
- “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” - Flood safety (National Weather Service)