Safety of our students and staff is the highest priority for our School District. To meet that goal, Orange County Schools (OCS) has procedures and plans in place to support a safe educational environment for students and staff.
The District works extensively with local law enforcement, area public safety officials, emergency management, school administrators, external safety consultants, and community partners to refine our safety plans. At a minimum, safety plans and facilities are reviewed on an annual basis; but, procedures are in place to proactively respond to safety concerns as needed throughout the school year.
The tragic events that schools have experienced across the nation continue to weigh heavily on our hearts and minds. With each incident, a review of our plans takes place to more effectively address concerns and ensure the school system finds ways to increase our safety measures.
Every staff member receives lockdown training annually, and participates in several emergency
preparedness drills throughout the school year including a District and school based tabletop exercise. Key staff members receive emergency operations training to assist in preventing and responding to a campus crisis.
Emergency Incident Response Kits
Every school has at least two critical response kits, specific to that school, with information and resources they may need during an emergency incident. Buildings are also equipped with additional emergency supplies. Each classroom is equipped with a basic emergency kit, which includes materials and supplies necessary to respond to an incident or medical situation.
Orange County Schools has also worked with a national school safety center to complete safety and security assessments, which were tailored to the needs of each school, to address campus safety, and identify opportunities for improvement in crisis planning and emergency preparedness. Ongoing security reviews, of each campus, involving key individuals, including law enforcement and School Resource Officers (SROs), are conducted.
To protect students and staff, all buildings are equipped with video surveillance cameras and intrusion detection and alarm systems. The District is in the process of upgrading safety and security equipment, along with controlling access into buildings, as a result of our comprehensive security review.
School Resource Officers
School Resources Officers are trained deputies from the Orange County Sheriff's Office. There is at least one SRO stationed in each school. The deputies have a vital role in the daily operations of assisting the school system with keeping schools safe. Our SROs are in constant communication with principals and administrators, and they build trusting relationships with students.
Additional Safety Initiatives
The District implements safety initiatives beyond physical building safety to include:
Visitor management & student check-out system integrated with the National Sex Offender Registry
Protecting students while online using District technology, devices or the Internet
Required background checks for all contractors working on a school campus
Security cameras on school buses
Emergency radios and hand held radios in all of our schools