Safety and Security
The Cherry Creek School District is committed to creating safe, supportive and welcoming learning environments for all students. This emphasis has resulted in a Comprehensive Safe Schools Plan that addresses physical safety/security and the psychological safety of students.
CCSD is dedicated to continuous improvement when it comes to how the district approaches the safety and security of our community. That means that our procedures and safeguards are constantly subject to updates and expansions according to best practices.
Here are some updates for the 2018-19 school year:
- The district hired six new security coordinators to oversee safety and security systems for each high school feeder area.
- The district implemented a new buzzer system for all middle school entrances, a system that mirrors the system in place at all elementary schools.
- CCSD fully transitioned to Safe2Tell as the district’s anonymous reporting tool for students, parents, school staff and community members to report potentially dangerous or concerning behavior.
- The district worked closely with the District Attorney’s Office, law enforcement and the Department of Human Services to help expand and strengthen protocols and training procedures around mandatory reporting.
- We implemented Sungate and Blue Bench pilot programs, which are designed to give students and their parents skills in recognizing and responding to inappropriate relationships.
Operational Excellence - Board of Education presentation, January, 2019:
Safety Update - Board of Education presentation, March, 2018:
Our plan for safe, secure schools includes measures such as visitor check-in and identification badges, video surveillance, buzzer systems at elementary and middle schools, preparedness planning, and practice drills to prepare for a variety of potential emergency incidents.
Additional security features include:
- A new state-of-the-art Emergency Operations Center and dispatch center located at district headquarters.
- Six security coordinators to oversee safety and security systems for each high school feeder area.
- Security personnel at all middle and high schools and SROs at every high school.
- Dedicated police “Knox boxes” located on the outside of every school that hold keys, maps and other resources law enforcement officials might need to respond to an emergency.
- Laminate glass at many entry doors and windows, which prevent windows and doors from being easily broken.
- “Panic button” in the main office, which activate automatic closing of doors and alert security that emergency response is needed.
- GPS systems on every school bus, so the district can track where a bus is at all times. All buses are also equipped with video and audio surveillance systems.
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 bullying prevention, positive behavior supports and early identification and intervention for at-risk students.
Visit our Mental Health page to learn more.
In the event of a school or community emergency that requires school secure perimeter, lockdown, closure, or evacuation status, information will be provided to parents in several formats.
Important information, including family reunification sites (if needed in the case of an evacuation) will be posted on the district's website and sent to the television stations below. The district may use a reverse 911 system in the case of the need for emergency communication with parents.
Emergency updates will be posted via the district’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Television stations to check:
- 2 WB2
- 4 KCNC
- 7 KMGH
- 9 KUSA
- 31 FOX
Parents are urged to formulate contingency communication plans for their children in the event of an emergency. Arrangements should be made for children to go to a neighbor's house or to have access to their home; children should also have directions for contacting a parent.
Definitions for Emergency Situations
Students will be evacuated from a building when there is a significant danger such as a fire, smoke, gas leak, chemical spill inside the building. District will communicate directly with parents via automated phone call.
Secure perimeter means that all students and staff outside the building are brought inside, all exterior doors are closed and locked and normal activity continues inside the building. District will notify parents via automated phone call and send a follow-up call when the secure perimeter is lifted.
Shelter in Place
Classrooms will be directed to shelter in place when there is a dangerous weather event, a reported tornado, or a hazardous material incident in the immediate area. District will notify parents via automated phone message and send a follow-up message when the shelter in place order is lifted.
Schools will go into lockdown when there is a significant risk or dangerous person inside the building. Lockdown means teachers will follow procedures that include the closing and locking of doors, turning off lights, and ensuring all students are out of the view of doors and windows. District will notify parents via automated phone message and send a follow-up message when the lockdown order is lifted.
Safe School Design Team
The district's Safe Schools Design Team, composed of staff from various district departments and schools as well as law enforcement, fire departments, and mental health agencies, continually updates the district's planning and resources to reflect current needs and world events. Training and practice drills for staff and students are held regularly 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.
Law Enforcement Partners
Cherry Creek Schools is fortunate to have strong partnerships with multiple law enforcement and emergency response agencies that support and protect our schools. They include:
- Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office
- Aurora Police Department
- Cherry Hills Village Police Department
- Denver Police Department
- Greenwood Village Police Department
- Aurora Fire Department
- South Metro Fire Department
Raptor Visitor ID System
Raptor is a visitor management system that scans a driver’s license and/or state ID and checks the information against the National Sex Offender data base. If no match is found, the system will print a visitor’s sticker with a picture identifying the person as an approved visitor.
Raptor only scans the visitor’s name, date of birth and photo for comparison purposes. No other personal identifying information is saved.
If the system raises a question about a visitor’s background, the school administrator(s) will take the necessary steps to ensure the appropriateness of each individual’s visit.
Upon your initial visit the process will take approximately 30 seconds, however on return visits you will only be required to enter the first three letters of your last name and the system will recognize you.