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WATERFORD UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT SAFETY & SECURITY FAQS

WHAT HAS THE DISTRICT DONE TO CONTROL VISITOR/OUTSIDER ACCESS TO SCHOOLS?

The District has moved to ensure that all schools have a single point of entry/registration for visitors to schools.

Before and after school the number of open gates is limited and staff monitor each open gate. Non-essential gates are closed and locked after student entry and dismissal. Once the instructional day has begun, all visitors & outsiders are required to register in the office to request permission to enter the campus for specified reasons. All visitors and outsiders must sign in and provide ID and a valid reason for visiting. Registration for permission to visit a school campus is required by State law and WUSD Board Policy. The purpose for this is to

  • Reduce disruption to the educational process of the school
  • Limit access for those who have no business being on the school grounds, who may disrupt the educational process, or who pose a threat to students and/or staff
  • Know who’s on campus
  • To control who comes in and out
  • In the event of an emergency, account for everyone on campus

The District is planning for installation of an Electronic Visitor Management System for the 2019-2020 school year to better screen visitors on campus (see below). Additionally, Plans are moving forward to provide an additional security system in each school office to prevent access to the campus by aggressive individuals who present a threat to the school.

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WHAT HAS THE DISTRICT DONE TO SCREEN VISITORS/OUTSIDERS WISHING TO ENTER A SCHOOL CAMPUS OR DISTRICT FACILITY?

Currently, State Law and Board Policy require visitors to show their ID to verify who they are and their reason for requesting a visit. Plans are moving forward on plans to install an Electronic Visitor Management System at each District facility. The Electronic Visitor Management System scans a visitor/outsider’s ID against national sexual predator databases by comparing the individual’s name, birthdate, and picture with those found in the databases. The system can also be programmed to scan for restraining orders, custody papers, among other things, which may prevent an individual’s access to the school. The system sends alerts to designated staff regarding individuals on the “no visit” list. Those visitors who are cleared to enter the facility are given photo IDs to wear while on campus.

WHAT STEPS HAS THE BOARD OF EDUCATION TAKEN TO SET EXPECTATIONS FOR VISITORS/OUTSIDERS ON SCHOOL GROUNDS AND DISTRICT FACILITIES?

The Board of Education has passed Board Policy 1250 Visitors/Outsiders. In the policy the Board of Education encourages interested parents/guardians and community members to visit the schools and participate in the educational program. As required by State Law (Penal Code 627.2, Education Code 32211) and WUSD Policy/Rules and Regulations (BP/RR 1250), ALL visitors are required to register in the office upon entering the school premises during school hours. This requirement includes parents, guardians, WUSD staff not assigned to the school, public employees, volunteers, media, public officials, and all other outsiders/visitors requesting to visit the school. The Board of Education encourages all individuals while on District property or participating in District or school-related activities to assist in maintaining a safe and secure school environment by behaving in an orderly manner, modeling civility and to treating students, parents, community members and District employees with dignity and respect. In the interest of presenting positive role models to students, the District encourages positive communication, discourages behavior that may appear rude, uncaring, unduly harsh, or insensitive, and will not tolerate volatile, hostile or aggressive actions. The District seeks public and employee cooperation with this endeavor. The District encourages use of its complaint processes to address any concerns with District programs or employees.

This Policy requires visitor & outsider registration, as well as the adoption of electronic visitor management system.

DOES THE DISTRICT MONITOR STUDENT SOCIAL MEDIA, COMPUTER USE FOR THREATS OF SCHOOL VIOLENCE OR SELF-HARM?

Software on District computers used by students is automatically filtered and alerts WUSD staff to threats of violence and self-harm. The purpose of this filtering is to prevent student access to unacceptable websites and to notify staff of students who may be at risk of self-harm, school violence, and suicide. Each alert is responded to with a threat or suicide assessment so that the student receives the support and services they need to assist them. The filtering is active 24/7 and parents are notified when the system has alerted staff that their child has been identified as a potential for self-harm or school violence.

Information regarding student use of District technology can be found in the Parent Handbook

HOW CAN A VISITOR ON CAMPUS BE DISTINGUISHED FROM A STAFF MEMBER?

All visitors on campus must have an ID badge. District Staff must wear their ID, all other visitors/outsiders are provided with a visitor badge upon registration.

CAN THREATS OF SCHOOL VIOLENCE, BULLYING, VANDALISM, BREAK-INS, OR OTHER CONCERNS BE REPORTED ANONYMOUSLY?

WUSD has an account with “STOPit” to report any concern anonymously to protect students. The STOPit has an app for the iOS and android platforms. Stanislaus Area Crime Stoppers can be contacted at 1-866-602-7463 at any time. 

HOW DOES THE DISTRICT SUPPORT THE SOCIAL AND EMOTIONAL NEEDS OF STUDENTS?

The District provides professional support to WUSD students and staff experiencing trauma (divorce, death in the family, bullying, depression, etc.) and teaching students social skills. WUSD has the following programs designed to support student wellness:

  • Student Assistance Program (SAP) – Counseling
  • School Counselors (TK-12)
  • School Psychologists
  • Crisis Response Team (school psychologists and SAP counselors)

HOW DOES THE DISTRICT OR THE SCHOOL COMMUNICATE TO PARENTS AND COMMUNITY ABOUT THREATS, LOCKDOWNS, OR INTRUDERS THAT MIGHT OCCUR ON MY CHILD’S CAMPUS OR WITHIN THE DISTRICT?

The District utilizes a variety of methods to communicate to parents and community. They include auto-dialer phone calls to parents and staff, text messages for those who have opted into this feature, Class Dojo, FaceBook, Instagram, and Twitter.