The Cherry Creek School District is committed to creating safe, respectful, and inclusive learning environments where all community members work together to promote academic excellence, civil behaviors, and social competence. All staff, students, and parents help create safe schools.
District Safety Efforts
The Cherry Creek School District is committed to creating safe, secure, and caring learning environments. This emphasis has resulted in a Comprehensive Safe Schools Plan that includes a purposeful connection between physical safety/security and the "psychological safety" of students.
Physical safety includes measures such as visitor check-in and identification badges, video surveillance, preparedness planning, and practice drills to prepare for a variety of potential incidents. District and school crisis plans are aligned with the recommendations of state Homeland Security, local emergency responders, and public safety officials and use the general response practices outlined in the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
Psychological safety provides for the social-emotional well being of students and works to create positive school climates through measures such as asset development, bullying prevention, Positive Behavior Supports, and early identification and intervention for at-risk students.
The district's Safe Schools Design Team, composed of staff from various district departments and schools, continually updates the district's planning and resources to reflect current needs and world events. Over the past several years, the district's safety efforts have been responsive to events such as Columbine and other school related shootings, September 11th, and the potential threat of domestic terrorism. Training and practice drills for staff and students have been held to contribute to preparedness for potential crisis events.
Each school has a functioning school safety team that monitors the building plan for both psychological and physical safety, and a crisis response & recovery team that oversees and implements the school's crisis response plan when needed. Major components of the district Comprehensive Safe Schools Plan and school safety plans as recommended by the US Department of Education (2004) are conceptualized as a continuum of efforts represented by the district safety triangle.
Prevention and mitigation both require taking inventory of the potential hazards or dangers in a school and community and identifying what to do to prevent and reduce possible crises, injury or property damage. Schools are encouraged to regularly assess and address the safety and integrity of facilities, security, and the culture and climate of schools. Information on Bullying Prevention, Internet & Social Media Safety, Suicide Prevention, and Comprehensive Wellness Strategy can be found here.
The development of plans and protocols to prepare for the possibility that the identified hazards or emergencies will occur. This also includes training of staff in awareness and reporting procedures and planning for effective interventions for youth who demonstrate behavioral difficulties.
The district and schools response protocols for emergency situations and/or students who are at-risk, in crisis, or potentially dangerous. Interventions are designed for students who may not respond to prevention efforts.
The steps the school and district uses to respond appropriately after a crisis situation for the care and psychological/emotional recovery of students and staff. The goal is to return the school to a caring and supportive learning environment and return to the business of learning. Depending upon the type of crises, recovery efforts can also include physical/structural recovery, business recovery and restoration of academic learning.