Edmond Public Schools is committed to the safety and well-being of all students and staff members. Considerable time and effort go into practicing and enhancing school safety and security. The district’s comprehensive school safety strategy includes:
- Coordination and emergency planning with Edmond and Oklahoma City police, fire, and safety officials
- Coordination with Oklahoma County Health Department
- Comprehensive safety plans for each school updated at a minimum annually–plans include evacuation, shelter-in-place and parent communication
- On-going employee training
- Staff members designated to assist special needs students in an emergency/crisis
- Employee/visitor identification badges issued through LobbyGuard
- Designated parking for students, staff, visitors
- Reduced number of school doors accessible from the outside
- Emergency “Go” kits in every school ready in the event of an emergency
- Crisis plans reviewed and updated regularly
- Crisis management and intervention teams in all schools
- Status checks of communication devices including district emergency and day to day radios
- Safety drills conducted during the school year including 4 fire, 2 lockdown, 2 intruder, 2 weather. Although not mandatory, some schools are also conducting earthquake drills
- Defibrillators in place and tested regularly
- Entrances clearly marked with signs directing visitors to the main office
- Appropriate identification required of adults signing out students
- Bus loading/drop off areas monitored by staff
- Utilization of interior and exterior cameras to monitor and record video surveillance images 24/7
When a tornado watch is issued during school hours, site administrators monitor local media and the National Weather Service to stay up-to-date-on potentially changing weather conditions. When a tornado warning is issued or the city tornado sirens are activated in the vicinity during school hours, students take shelter in the building until the “all-clear” is given by the central office. At our school, students and non-essential staff shelter in the auxiliary gymnasium, a FEMA approved shelter that can withstand winds of up to 350 mph.
Threatening weather that approaches at the end of the school day can present additional challenges. If a tornado warning is in place at dismissal time, we will not release students to go home until the “all-clear” is given. If a watch is in place at dismissal time, students will be released and sent home. Buses will be held and not be in transit when there is immediate pending severe weather. If a bus is in route and the weather dictates immediate action, the bus will seek shelter at the nearest school. If you choose to keep your child (ren) home or check them out early due to weather conditions, please be advised that attendance requirements remain in place. You may contact the school to report your child(ren)’s excused absence.
It’s important to let you know that Edmond school buildings are not public storm shelters. The Central Oklahoma Emergency Management Association emphasizes that a personal storm shelter is the best option to protect you and your family during threatening weather. We want to assure you that the care and safety of your children is of utmost importance.