School Board: Safety over everything |

School Board: Safety over everything

Summit County School Board
Guest Column

Summit School District believes nothing is more important than the safety and security of our staff and students. Nothing.

Over the past week, in the shadow of the Parkland school shooting, we have shared information once again with parents and community members regarding our physical school facility security measures, the Standard Response Protocol (SRP) training we provide to staff and students, and most importantly, the value of communicating with school staff and law enforcement when any member of the school community has a security concern.

We believe firmly that if anyone, "sees something or hears something" that could be a potential security threat to our schools, that person has a responsibility to report what they know, providing as many specific details as possible. The best ways to make a report are to speak in person with a school administrator or call law enforcement through 9-1-1. We also encourage reporting through SAFE2TELL, a confidential, anonymous security tip line that passes information along to local law enforcement. Call SAFE2TELL at 877-542-7233 or

Nearly 10 years ago, we built secure vestibules at our schools. These vestibules were designed to slow down access to our schools. Times have changed. With the the bond funds approved in the 2016 election, we have been updating the physical security in our buildings. Improvements include secure vestibules that restrict access to building, improved access controls, upgraded camera systems and improved building notification systems. These building upgrades, along with updated entry procedures, better manage community access to all of our schools and keep students and staff safe.

The SRP is a set of classroom emergency protocols developed following the school shooting at Platte Canyon High School in neighboring Park County. The SRP involves four actions: lockdown, evacuation, lockout and shelter. All Summit Schools participate in 1-2 emergency drills a month that involve practicing the SRP protocols. Each drill also provides staff with practice going through our accountability process, the point of which is determining where every student, staff and visitor is located during an emergency.

School safety and security is the responsibility of everyone in our community. We work closely with law enforcement agencies throughout the county and with the help of Summit County Government and the Sheriff's office, have been able to increase the presence of School Resource Officers (SROs) on our campuses. The SROs are armed and trained to respond to active threats on school campuses.

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But we still need the help of our students, parents and community members. When you have questions or concerns about safety issues or safety procedures, we ask that you contact your building administrators, district administrators, or law enforcement officials directly. It is important that the most current and accurate information is shared throughout the community.

Our school and district leaders make every effort to communicate with families as soon as possible when we are made aware of a safety concern. During an emergency, we know staff and families are anxious for accurate information. Working in conjunction with law enforcement, we are committed to providing this information as quickly as we can, but dealing with the situation is everyone's first priority. Thanks to our parents for their patience during these difficult moments.

We are bringing this conversation to our community. The Summit County Sheriff's Office, in partnership with Summit School District, invites the community to a Discussion on School Safety & Security with Community Experts this Thursday, March 1 from 6:30-8 p.m. at Colorado Mountain College in Breckenridge.

Summit School District will continue to deliver on our promise to educate, elevate and empower students who will help to create a better world. We are ready to greet and teach students with the same great enthusiasm and dedication that we bring to our classrooms every day. Our commitment to safety and security is stronger than ever — and we urge our community to join us in keeping our schools safe.