Safety and Emergencies

Resources:
Board of Trustees Safety Presentation, Aug 18, 2022
Board of Trustees safety presentation, Jan. 10, 2019
School safety town hall and discussion, April 2018

MVWSD emergency plan overview

Please view the "Let's Talk: Safety" video for a general view of the District’s safety work.

picture of video thumbnail Elementary school safety

Click here to view the video

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Dear Parents,

Students have to be - and feel - safe in order to learn. Our District is responsible for the safety of 4,500 students and more than 600 staff members every day.  The reality is there is a lot in the world that we can’t control, but we can do all that’s possible to prevent issues and be ready to act when dangerous situations arise. 

Safety in MVWSD is all encompassing. It means programs for prevention, such as bike safety, mental health, disaster training, and digital citizenship. It means physical improvements, such as improved lighting, ventilation and secure campus perimeters. It also means procedures that guide our actions in times of bad air quality, dangerous intruder, COVID, earthquake, fire, etc. 

Our schools practice safety drills annually that are crucial for preparing us for potential crisis events. Drills are an opportunity for staff and students to test our emergency response actions and make improvements.

   * Our schools hold fire drills to practice how to evacuate in the event of a fire or other emergencies, and how students are accounted for.

   * Each fall, we hold an earthquake drill so students and staff members can practice strategies for evacuation, accounting for students, parent-student reunification, search and rescue techniques, first aid, and school operations without power, food or water.

   * Our schools practice what to do in the event of a dangerous intruder or similar event on campus. We approach our practices with sensitivity and age-appropriate activities and keep parents informed of our plans. In these uncertain times, it is imperative that our students and staff members know what to do to keep themselves and others safe. 


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Fire drill: Monthly

We practice how a building would be evacuated in the event of a fire or other emergencies, and how students are accounted for.

Earthquake drill: Annual 

Students and staff members practice strategies for evacuation, accounting for students, parent-student reunification, search and rescue techniques, first aid, and school operations without power, food or water.

Active shooter/dangerous intruder practice: Annually

We practice what to do in the event of a dangerous intruder or similar event on campus. 

  * For elementary schools, a video will be shown before the drill. The “dangerous intruder” video encourages children to stay calm, listen to trusted adults and stick to the plan. You may preview the video below. 

picture of video thumbnail elementary safety
Dangerous intruder video for elementary students


  * Middle school students learn what they should do in the event of an active shooter from a presentation and by participating in a drill several days later. The training is held in conjunction with the Mountain View Police Department and is aligned with the protocol recommended by the Santa Clara County Police Chiefs’ Association.  

For information about how parents can talk with their children about school violence, please see these resources:
Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers
Talking to your children about lockdown drills

While talking about and practicing for events like this is uncomfortable, we believe that if students know what to do, they will feel more confident, and ultimately be better equipped to react with safety in mind. If you have concerns or questions specific to your child, please contact your principal. 

Here are some of the safety efforts underway:

Physical safety
Measure T Bond financed safety and efficiency projects that funded:
Lighting along walkways and in parking lots
High-quality ventilation/HVAC systems that have been updated to include MERV-13 filters, which is the highest-grade filter available for our units
Perimeter fencing to secure campuses (exception, Monta Loma). Fence gate locks to be installed this winter
Door locks upgrades and keyless entry

Programs and prevention
  * Mental health services provided by CHAC and Pacific Clinics (formerly Uplift), and on the Castro Elementary Campus through the Wellness Center
  * Guidance counselors to support students
  * Project Cornerstone and Better Together programs; encourages inclusive and positive interactions between students
  * Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support improves social, emotional and academic outcomes for all students
  * Restorative Justice to bring students together in peer-mediated small groups to talk, ask questions, and air their grievances
  * Internet safety controls on student Chromebooks through Securly
  * District/Site safety committees
  * Annual building checks for safety concerns
  * Electronic visitor check in
  * Badging, background checks and vaccinations for regular school volunteers
  * Bike safety programs in person at each school
  * Increased crossing guards
  * Digital citizenship through CommonSense Media
  * Air quality: In the case of wildfires, developed index chart and procedures for each level
  * COVID Protocols for masking, cleaning, notifications and supporting sick students and staff
 
Staff Training and Drills/Exercises for Students and Staff
  * Incident Command System
  * Annual disaster drill
  * Monthly fire drills
  * Annual training for emergency radio operators (used during drills). Frequent emergency radio testing
  * Run Hide Defend (RHD)- all staff are trained annually on county-wide protocol of RHD

Current work
  * Create a Safety Advisory Task Force with representatives from parents, staff and community to review of safety areas
  * Security consultant to work with Safety Advisory Task Force on a safety audit
  * Review Incident Command System to ensure it is efficient and effective  
  * Regular reports to the Board, families and staff

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