Safety and Security
As a nation, we have become more attuned to the security needs of our school. While education remains a priority for Francis Howell School District (FHSD), we continually review, refine, and improve our efforts to maintain the type of safe school that our parents expect and that our students and staff deserve.
- Automated External Defibrillator (AED)
- Buzz-in Security System
- Emergency Awareness and Response
- Parent Crisis Communications
- Bullying Prevention
- Stop School Violence - Courage2Report MO
- Drug Free Schools
FHSD has an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) in each of its schools, including kindergarten through high school, early childhood centers, and the district office. Athletic trainers also have mobile devices they can carry to various athletic events. All school nurses, paraprofessionals and athletic trainers are certified.
FHSD is committed to providing a safe environment to all who use our facilities. As part of this commitment, approximately 300 employees are certified through the American Red Cross in CPR and Automated External Defibrillators. FHSD also maintains five employees as trained instructors to present Red Cross curriculum throughout the District.
Visitors, Please Check in at the Office
FHSD has retrofitted all District buildings with a buzz-in security system. The buzz-in system allows all doors to be locked during the school day. The main entrance has an intercom that allows visitors to speak with a main office receptionist, who will unlock the door for them. Upon entering all visitors, even parents who may volunteer on a regular basis, are required to visit the office to sign-in. Requiring visitors to sign in and out, and wear a visitor’s badge, will ensure that all staff are aware of all visitors’ location in the building and are alerted to any individual who is not wearing proper identification. Although this procedure may be a bit more cumbersome for visitors, it greatly increases our ability to monitor who is allowed access to the halls and rooms occupied by your children. No one will be buzzed in during passing periods.
If you are visiting a school and notice any individual not properly identified, please alert a staff member immediately. Thank you for helping us protect our most valued assets, your children.
FHSD is committed to taking appropriate and direct measures ensuring the safety of all our students and staff members. We have made arrangements to deal proficiently with crisis situations that could occur in or around the school while classes are in session. While we hope that a natural disaster or other serious event never occurs, our objective is to be as prepared as possible for any probable emergency.
Every FHSD facility has a comprehensive emergency operations and safety plan. The plans are designed with the assistance of professional law enforcement, counselors, federal officials, administrative staff members, and public health officials. The plans, which are regularly updated, include procedures to respond to a variety of crisis events. School district personnel practice the drills associated with these specific emergencies on a regular basis which include fire, intruder, tornado, earthquake or a modified event that would include a combination of multiple emergencies at the same time. These drills are supervised and evaluated by professionals from law enforcement and fire departments. We prepare to improve and we improve the way we prepare.
The District is an active participant with local, state, and federal officials planning for a variety of emergency response situations. FHSD continues to participate in staged events with professional agencies for training purposes at our District sites to better prepare for an actual event.
Emergency Response and Communications
In the event of any emergency, we work closely with local law enforcement agencies to proactively and collaboratively respond to any situation involving FHSD schools. Our first and foremost goal is to secure the safety of our students and staff. Information changes rapidly in any emergency or crisis. We rely on our emergency responders to provide us with the most accurate information and we strive to inform and regularly update parents as quickly as possible. The District website will serve as the primary vehicle for communicating during an emergency situation. Updates may also be sent utilizing the rapid notification system, SchoolMessenger.
Keep School Access Clear for Responders
It is vitally important to keep access to schools open for any of our emergency responders - fire, medical and law enforcement agencies- to respond quickly and efficiently. We completely understand parents’ concern and desire to be close to their children in an emergency. However, for the safety of our students and staff, we ask parents and other concerned members of the community to keep all access to the schools free and clear, including roads, parking areas and doors, at all times.
In order for our emergency-response plans to be effective, we must depend on the cooperation and assistance of many people including the local police department, fire department, and ambulance district. We also must have the cooperation of the parents of our students to support our detailed emergency-response plans. Your cooperation is vital to protecting the safety and welfare of all our children and school employees.
Therefore, we insist parents observe the following procedures during a crisis situation:
- Do not telephone the school. We understand and respect your concern, but it is essential that the telephone system be available for emergency communications
- The District website is the primary source of information during any urgent or emergency situation, including inclement weather and school closures. Information will be posted prominently and updated regularly on the District’s home page.
- Tune to local radio and television stations for emergency announcements and status reports.
- Information may also be sent to parents utilizing the SchoolMessenger notification system. You will also receive instructions on where you should go and how/when you may be able to pick up your child. Information to parents is a priority along with the safety of each child. We will begin communicating with parents as soon as possible.
- Do not come to the school or evacuation location until you are instructed to do so. It may be necessary to keep the streets and parking lot clear for emergency vehicles. If evacuation is required, students may be transported to a location away from the school. FHSD has sites planned and mobilization plans in place (We do not publicize all locations to protect the children and the specific emergency). You will be notified of the locations through the media outlets, District website, or SchoolMessenger.
- Talk to your children and emphasize how important it is for them to follow instructions from their teachers and school officials during any emergency.
- Carefully read all information you receive from your school. You may receive updates about our safety precautions from time to time or parent alerts for possible safety concerns.
We hope you find the information contained here to be helpful in your understanding of and response to emergency situations. We encourage you to contact your building administrator if you have questions. We prepare and drill throughout the school year for event training in hopes we never have to implement these emergency plans.
FHSD is committed to maintaining a learning and working environment free of any form of bullying or intimidation by students toward District personnel or students on school grounds, or school time, at a school sponsored activity or in a school related context as stated in Bullying Policy 2655 of the District Board Policy and Regulations document.
Reporting Safety Concerns
The safety of students and staff in our schools and community is of primary importance. If you suspect that a student is being bullied please contact your school’s principal, counselor, or school resource officer.
See Something, Say Something - Courage2ReportMO
The Missouri School Violence Hotline (SVH) began in October of 2001. In 2019, through the Missouri School Safety Initiative, the reporting mechanism moved to the Missouri Information Analysis Center for 24/7 operation and was named Courage2ReportMO. The goal is to make schools safer by helping school districts and law enforcement learn about school violence as soon as possible. Courage2ReportMO takes CONFIDENTIAL reports involving any public or private school in Missouri with students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. Visit the Courage2ReportMO website for more information.
The Missouri School Violence Hotline (SVH) began in October of 2001. In 2019, through the Missouri School Safety Initiative, the reporting mechanism moved to the Missouri Information Analysis Center for 24/7 operation and was named Courage2ReportMO. The goal is to make schools safer by helping school districts and law enforcement learn about school violence as soon as possible. Courage2ReportMO takes CONFIDENTIAL reports involving any public or private school in Missouri with students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. Visit the Courage2ReportMO for more information.
Drug Free Education
Pursuant to requirements of the 1989 amendments of the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act and to the requirements of the Safe Schools Act, and for the purpose of preventing the use of illicit drugs and alcohol by students, the Francis Howell School District shall provide age-appropriate, developmentally based drug and alcohol education and prevention programs to all students in all grades from early childhood level through grade twelve.
The District provides information about any drug and alcohol counseling and rehabilitation and re-entry programs that are available to students. Students may be required to participate in such programs in order to avoid suspension or expulsion if they are found to be in violation of this policy. All parent(s)/guardian(s) and students are provided with a copy of this policy annually.
Random Drug Testing
In an effort to support our student athletes and promote a safe and drug free environment in our schools, the Francis Howell School District Board of Education passed Board Policy 2642 in January 2007.
The Francis Howell School District recognizes the negative impact that tobacco use and the vaping epidemic can have on students. The FHSD health curriculum addresses the health dangers associated with both smoking and vaping. The American Lung Association has also produced excellent resources for parents to use when talking with their children about the dangers of vaping. To view those resources, please visit the American Lung Association website.