Safety and Security Information

Safety Sign

Deer Park School District is committed to the safety and security of all our children and staff members. To that end, we place great emphasis on preventative practices that minimize risk and maximize school safety. Our primary job is keeping kids safe, and to that end, we regularly discuss how certain behaviors and approaches, when combined with a commitment to building meaningful relationships with kids, dramatically increase safety and security for everyone in our schools. 

Washington State law requires schools to conduct at least one safety drill every month of the school year (CLICK HERE for more information). Every school has a schedule for practicing processes and procedures for response to various emergencies.  Our administrative team reviews response plans annually and regularly consults with local law enforcement, local fire professionals, and other emergency response agencies. In addition to regular security reviews in which we analyze the safety and security of our facilities, we have modern surveillance cameras and communication tools that help to increase safety and security.

If there is an emergency at your child’s school, you can help us by attending the following:

  1. Check the DPSD website or mobile app for updates:  Our goal is to provide credible, accurate, and helpful information to parents (and the public) as soon as is feasibly possible. However, while we understand the need to provide timely information and updates related to safety and security issues, parents must also be aware that emergency situations can change rapidly; first and foremost, school administrators must work to respond quickly and appropriately to emergent situations in their buildings.  Information disseminated from sources other than school administrators or district officials may be incomplete and/or inaccurate. Until information is distributed in the form of a statement from the district, law enforcement, 

or other first responders, you may be getting a limited and/or misinformed perspective.

  2. In the event of a significant emergency event, it is important that you do not immediately call or go to the school:  When emergencies take place staff at our schools are focused solely on ensuring that everyone gets to - and remains in - a safe location. Building office staff may not be available to answer calls during an emergency event. Additionally, given that the roads around our school buildings are easily congested and snarled, making your way to the school building in an emergency situation will only serve to create difficult traffic conditions and could easily prevent emergency vehicles from responding quickly. 
If you get a call or text from your child about a school emergency, help her/him remain calm. Remind your child that school staff know what to do in an emergency situation, and are working to keep everyone safe.

  3. Familiarize yourself with the terms our schools use during emergency situations (Deer Park uses elements of the Standard Response Protocol):

    • HOLD - In a HOLD scenario, staff and students are asked to remain in a classroom or other supervised area, and generally, behind a locked door. Regular classroom instruction and activities continue, but scheduled transitions and bells are ignored. There are many situations where a building administrator may ask staff and students to HOLD in their classrooms and stay out of hallways, common spaces, or access areas. For example, a medical event in a hallway might require keeping students out of the halls until the medical emergency has been resolved. A HOLD may also apply to only one area of the building (i.e. – a spill or broken glass), requiring only that specific area to be cleared or avoided until the situation is addressed. Our HOLD card (available in each classroom) is available HERE.

    • SECURE - The SECURE Action is initiated when there is a threat or hazard outside the school building. Whether there is criminal activity in the immediate area or in a nearby neighborhood, or a dangerous animal outside the building, SECURE is intended to use the physical facility for protection.

      When a building is SECURED, building staff quickly ensure that any unlocked exterior doors are locked. Additionally, those in exterior buildings (non-contiguous facilities/portable classrooms) should remain in their classroom and behind a locked door. Staff and students who are not inside the building should make their way into the building and remain behind locked doors until the "All Clear" is issued. Our SECURE card (available in each classroom) is available HERE.

    • Lockdown - Used when there is a perceived danger or threat inside the building, or there is an imminent threat outside the building. Doors are locked, windows are closed and locked, lights are turned off, and blinds are closed. All building occupants are directed to move away from windows and doors and speak quietly, if at all. Hallways are cleared of students and school staff, and if possible main entry doors are locked. Generally, no one is allowed to enter or exit the building during a lockdown.

    • Emergency Alert - DPSD has implemented building-wide “panic button” functionality on all phones throughout the district. An emergency alert can be initiated by DPSD staff in the event a violent threat is detected. The alert sends an audible alarm to all phones in the building and also displays a warning message, and also displays an alert screen on all staff computers in the building in order to notify all occupants of the presence of a violent threat. The emergency alert triggers an immediate lockdown of classrooms and initiates the RUN, HIDE, RESPOND protocol.

    • Evacuation - When students and staff are moved out of the building to a pre-designated safe location.

    • Shelter-in-place - Used during severe weather or other environmental threats (e.g., air contamination due to a local fire) to keep people safe while remaining indoors.

Frequently Asked Questions