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School Safety

Safety Information for Parents

Nevada County school administrators and staff have worked diligently to focus on school safety and to reassure parents that plans are in place in the event of an incident, emergency, or disaster at their child’s school site or in the community.  Collaboration between law enforcement, first responders, and the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Office has improved familiarity with responding agencies, enhanced and updated Comprehensive School Safety Plans, and solidified effective and efficient drills for public, private and charter schools in our county.

Know Overdose Nevada County Campaign

Like many communities across the state and country, Nevada County has seen a rise in overdose deaths in the past few years. This has largely been a result of synthetic opioids, particularly fentanyl, entering the local drug supply. Know Overdose Nevada County is a local campaign to increase knowledge and awareness about drug overdose risks and harm reduction strategies to help prevent overdoses and overdose deaths. Learn more about the campaign and how to access key information and resources by reviewing the campaign one-pager or by visiting the campaign website at www.KnowOverdoseNC.com

Communication Around Safety

Talk to your student about safety

It is important for parents to be well informed about the safety practices at their child’s school site. Conversations with your children following scheduled safety drills are essential to help families and students prepare for emergencies whether at school or some other venue. Understanding the expectation of safety protocols helps to reduce fear and build a trust for the systems in place. Open conversations between parents, teachers, support staff and students build upon the processes and strengthen the response plan.

Be Alert: “If you see something, say something!”

Nevada County Superintendent of Schools “NCSOS” promotes this quote, and encourages students, parents and staff to be proactive in reporting any concerns for safety to school administrators or appropriate first responders. Reports of concern should be made directly to Law Enforcement if there is potential for imminent danger or harm.

Communication During An Emergency

Administrators and first responders acknowledge the need for communication before, during, and after an event.  Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Office makes every effort to update local school sites, staff and parents of emergencies that occur throughout the county.

The Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Office has a close working relationship with the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services, local law enforcement and fire services.  Information is disseminated when it is safe to do so and after it has been verified by responding agencies.

In the event of an emergency at NCSOS our communication will be via phone call/text/email/social media. Please be sure the school has your current emergency contact information (i.e. phone number(s), cell phone, and/or email.

Parents are encouraged to wait at home and anticipate updated information as it becomes available.

  • Parents are encouraged to wait at home and anticipate updated information as it becomes available.
  • Mass texts and phone calls to students personal cell phones may tie up the system and prevent safe and effective response – please refrain from doing so
  • Family members proceeding to the school site may block roads and prevent First Responders access – please do not report to the school site unless advised to do so
  • Unverified social media texts may cause confusion and misinformation; please use discretion when using social media

Ready Nevada County | Nevada County, CA (nevadacountyca.gov) is an excellent resource for communication during an incident affecting Nevada County.   

Be sure you are registered to receive Emergency Alerts through Code Red.  Please go to https://public.coderedweb.com to register. 

It is important that you KNOW YOUR ZONE for your school site, home, or residence of a loved one.  Please go to https://nevadacountyca.gov to search your school’s address and see what zone you are in.  Record it, remember it, share it with your staff and encourage them to do the same for their home, work, or the residence of a loved one.  In the event of a wildfire or other emergency, law enforcement and fire agencies will issue evacuation warnings or evacuation orders noting the zone of the impacted area.  Authorities will use zone names in CodeRED and Nixle Emergency Alerts, media releases, and social media to quickly notify residents which areas are affected.

Safety Procedures

Procedures for response to all hazards are in place for the protection of students, staff, and visitors.  These procedures are practiced during drills and considered best practice.  Any special procedures for special needs students and/or staff are practiced during drills as well.

Drills

In compliance with California Education Code, NCSOS and schools throughout the county will hold required drills at NCSOS school sites throughout the school year. Drills help remind student of bell tones, communication system and response to emergencies.

In cooperation and collaboration with local law enforcement and fire services, some drills may include oversight from first responder agencies. This oversight allows input from the first responders on the efficiency and effectiveness of the drill.

Please have conversations with your students following drills to reinforce the safety protocols in place and remind them of the importance of knowing what to do in the event of an emergency.

Earthquake

If an earthquake happens, protect yourself right away:

  • If you are in a car, pull over and stop. Set your parking brake.
  • If you are in bed, turn face down and cover your head and neck with a pillow.
  • If you are outdoors, stay outdoors away from buildings.
  • If you are inside, stay and do not run outside and avoid doorways.

Protect Yourself During Earthquakes

1. Drop (or Lock)

Wherever you are, drop down to your hands and knees and hold onto something sturdy. If you’re using a wheelchair or walker with a seat, make sure your wheels are locked and remain seated until the shaking stops.

2. Cover

Cover your head and neck with your arms. If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter. If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows). Crawl only if you can reach better cover without going through an area with more debris. Stay on your knees or bent over to protect vital organs.

3. Hold On

If you are under a table or desk, hold on with one hand and be ready to move with it if it moves. If seated and unable to drop to the floor, bend forward, cover your head with your arms and hold on to your neck with both hands.

Fire On Site

If the emergency is a fire, students, staff and visitors will evacuate to their Evacuation Area until authorities determine that it is safe to re-enter the buildings. Plans are in place to sweep the site to ensure all students, staff and visitors have been safely evacuated and accounted for.  Students, staff and visitors will not return until the buildings have been inspected and are determined to be safe to enter.

Wildland Fire

Wildfires are unplanned fires that burn in natural areas like forests, grasslands or prairies. These dangerous fires spread quickly and can devastate not only wildlife and natural areas, but also communities.

Continued collaboration with local fire services helps prepare school sites to respond to threats of a wildland fire. School campuses are strengthened to mitigate potential threats and damage.  

If a wildfire is imminent and evacuation is impossible, a Shelter in Place, will be called.  All students, staff and visitors will report to the designated fire-resistant building and take shelter while local first responders defend the building.

Additional fire safe measures can be found below.

Lockdown

Lockdowns may be initiated by law enforcement or school administrators when there is a potential threat from the outside. Lockdown procedures are based on information received and will vary dependent on incident (i.e. suspicious activity on site).

Lockdowns, depending on incident, may include locking doors, covering windows and silencing cell phones.

If there is an imminent threat to the school site, additional procedures are implemented.  In addition to covering windows and locking doors, barricading classroom doors may be done if evacuation is not a safe option. The California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services has confirmed that the Run, Hide, Fight standard for personal protection during an active shooter attack is reasonable and appropriate (Cal OES Enforcement Division, 2/18); school staff is trained in this response.

Shelter in Place

If there is a hazard outside such as a report of criminal activity in the area, a nearby chemical spill, weather hazard or dangerous animal on campus, students, staff and visitors will be brought inside where the building itself will help protect them from danger.

A Shelter in Place will be initiated if a wildfire is imminent and evacuation is impossible.  All students, staff and visitors will report to the designated fire-resistant building and take shelter while local first responders defend the building.

Schools will act to protect all people on campus and are prepared to shelter inside buildings for hours if necessary. If students are held for a lengthy period of time, there are procedures in place for emergency food, medical and restroom needs – these procedures vary depending on the nature of the danger to students.

Reunification Off Site

In rare instances, where more distance is needed to ensure student safety, students may be relocated to another site for reunification with parent/guardians. This includes during a threat of wildfire or other threat to the safety of staff and students. Parents will be advised of reunification sites through phone call/text/email/social media. For your safety and the safety of students, staff and first responders, please:

  • DO NOT REPORT TO THE SCHOOL – procedures are in place to safely and efficiently reunify students with parent/guardians.
  • Have persons authorized to pick up students LISTED ON STUDENT EMERGENCY CARD. No student will be released to any other adult, if not listed on the current emergency card.
  • Be sure your student’s emergency card is up to date with emergency contact names and numbers.
  • Have a photo i.d. at the reunification site; it will be required at the time of pickup.

Fire Prevention & Preparedness

What are schools in Nevada County doing to prepare for possible wildfires?

  • Each school has a comprehensive Safety Plan that is updated each
    year. Included is a section on fires that describe staff training, student/ drills, and evacuation/reunification plans as well as roles in an emergency.
  • Maintenance staff at each site work with fire departments to reduce fuels for the fire around campuses.
  • Monthly meetings occur between first responders and school officials to discuss safety topics including fire safety.
  • Students and staff receive monthly training on fire evacuation.
  • Fire departments have detailed maps of all county schools with ingress and egress routes.
  • Specific plans are in place for our special needs student populations (such as orthopedic disabilities)

What is the role of the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Office for fire safety?

  • Nevada County is one of few in the state that has a Director of School Safety. This role is designed to ensure that schools are provided with the latest information on school safety and helps to conduct drills on school sites, acts as the liaison between schools and first responders, and serves as a resource for all schools.
  • NCSOS monitors and shares out safety information out to all schools as incidents are occurring (based upon predetermined protocols at each site).
  • All school safety plans are reviewed by NCSOS to ensure that they are using the latest information to keep our students safe.
  • NCSOS also serves as the point of contact for the Nevada County Office of Emergency Services to disseminate relevant safety information to all schools.

What is the future of fire safety in our schools?

The Nevada County Superintendent of Schools Office is committed to collaborative efforts with all emergency service providers. To best ensure the safety of our students, NCSOS will continue to implement best practices related to fire safety and provide safety training opportunities for students and school staff.

Cyber Safety

During these challenging times many of our students, staff and community at large are trying to navigate new ground. With an increase in screen time, cyber safety has become a new area of concern. It is important for families to have conversations regarding cyber safety and what to do if a student views disturbing content,  The FBI Sacramento Field Office recently offered “Internet Crimes Against Children and Online Safety”, a virtual presentation for parents and students in middle school and high school who reside within our area. 

For younger grades, the FBI offers FBI-SOS, a free, fun, and informative program that promotes cyber citizenship by educating students in third to eighth grades on the essentials of online security. You can access the FBI-SOS site and program information at: https://sos.fbi.gov/en/.

Social Media Safety

Social Media Safety Alert

Several school administrators and Charter Directors in Nevada County are fielding questions from parents and students about an alarming trend that promotes self-harm and other dangerous activities to our young and impressionable students.  The Momo Challenge, children’s videos and games, and the Tellonym application are buzz words heard on campuses this week.  Regardless of whether the inappropriate and disturbing activities are vetted, the fear level has escalated among our community and throughout the state.  In an effort to provide accurate information  on this concerning trend, the following  Social Media Safety Tips, provided by the Los Angeles Sheriff  Department, can be shared with your staff and families to be pro-active in de-escalating fear and concern.

Online Safety Tips for Parents and their Children 
June 2020

We all know that the development of the internet has brought forth both positive and negative effects on our society. There are many positive things the internet can do for us; connect us with family and friends, help us manage our lives, and help us learn about the world we live in.  With the recent events around the spread of COVID19, distance learning has caused students to be online now more than ever.   

 Below are some internet and social networking tips for parents to use:

  • Be Involved! Talk to your kids and monitor what they are watching on the internet or social media.
  • Develop a strong relationship with your children and communicate with them.
  • Talk to your children about online predators and what to do if they are contacted by one.
  • Talk to your children about morals and ethics. In today’s age, one’s online reputation can follow them for the rest of their lives.
  • Have access to, and inspect your child’s phone, tablets or computers on a regular basis.
  • Have access to your children’s social media passwords.
  • Ensure your child’s social media privacy settings are set to the appropriate levels.
  • If your child has a certain social media account, you should also have an account.
  • Limit the information your children post online, birth dates, home addresses, and phone numbers. These can lure predators and identity thieves.
  • Make sure your children know it is not safe to share passwords and accounts with others outside of the family with others outside of the family.

For more information about what you can do to help protect your children online, please visit:

Safe Online Surfing – Federal Bureau of Investigation
The goal of FBI-SOS is to promote cyber citizenship and help students learn about online safety while engaging in fun, interactive games. The program was designed to address current Internet safety threats while keeping each grade level’s online usage and knowledge in mind. We hope that you find the program beneficial and that your students use the information to make themselves safer digital citizens.

National Cyber Security Alliance
The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) builds strong public/private partnerships to create and implement broad-reaching education and awareness efforts to empower users at home, work and school with the information they need to keep themselves, their organizations, their systems and their sensitive information safe and secure online and encourage a culture of cybersecurity.

Stop Cyberbullying
Teach kids how to identify bullying and how to stand up to it safely. Be aware of what your kids are doing online.

United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team

D.A.R.E
Teaching Students Decision Making for a Safe and Healthy Living

Kid Power
Kid power prepares people of all ages, abilities, and walks of life with training, resources, and skills to prevent and stop bullying, abuse, kidnapping, prejudice, and sexual assault.

You can always call 911 in the event of an emergency. If you wish to report a non-emergent crime involving the internet please call your local station or law enforcement agency.

Online Safety Tips for Parents and Their Children

We all know that the development of the internet has brought forth both positive and negative effects on our society. There are many positive things the internet can do for us; connect us with family and friends, help us manage our lives, and help us learn about the world we live in.  With the recent events around the spread of COVID19, distance learning has caused students to be online now more than ever.   

 Below are some internet and social networking tips for parents to use:

  • Be Involved! Talk to your kids and monitor what they are watching on the internet or social media.
  • Develop a strong relationship with your children and communicate with them.
  • Talk to your children about online predators and what to do if they are contacted by one.
  • Talk to your children about morals and ethics. In today’s age, one’s online reputation can follow them for the rest of their lives.
  • Have access to, and inspect your child’s phone, tablets or computers on a regular basis.
  • Have access to your children’s social media passwords.
  • Ensure your child’s social media privacy settings are set to the appropriate levels.
  • If your child has a certain social media account, you should also have an account.
  • Limit the information your children post online, birth dates, home addresses, and phone numbers. These can lure predators and identity thieves.
  • Make sure your children know it is not safe to share passwords and accounts with others outside of the family with others outside of the family.

Resources to Help You Protect Your Children Online

For more information about what you can do to help protect your children online, please visit:

Safe Online Surfing – Federal Bureau of Investigation
The goal of FBI-SOS is to promote cyber citizenship and help students learn about online safety while engaging in fun, interactive games. The program was designed to address current Internet safety threats while keeping each grade level’s online usage and knowledge in mind. We hope that you find the program beneficial and that your students use the information to make themselves safer digital citizens.

National Cyber Security Alliance
The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) builds strong public/private partnerships to create and implement broad-reaching education and awareness efforts to empower users at home, work and school with the information they need to keep themselves, their organizations, their systems and their sensitive information safe and secure online and encourage a culture of cybersecurity.

Stop Cyberbullying
Teach kids how to identify bullying and how to stand up to it safely. Be aware of what your kids are doing online.

United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team

D.A.R.E
Teaching Students Decision Making for a Safe and Healthy Living

Kid Power
Kid power prepares people of all ages, abilities, and walks of life with training, resources, and skills to prevent and stop bullying, abuse, kidnapping, prejudice, and sexual assault.

You can always call 911 in the event of an emergency. If you wish to report a non-emergent crime involving the internet please call your local station or law enforcement agency.

Comprehensive School Safety Plan