District Safety & Security
The District Safety & Security Council (DSSC) was created to coordinate district efforts to ensure a safe environment to learn and work. The DSSC is chaired by the PCS Administrator of School Safety and consists of representatives from the Superintendent's and Area Superintendent's offices, Human Resources, the School Board, Emergency Management, Schools Police, School Health Services, and Technology Information Systems.
Highlights in school safety:
We want to communicate to parents and families the numerous steps we are taking to ensure that Pinellas schools are safe and nurturing for our scholars. We realize the trust you place in our district to ensure campuses and classrooms are secure places of learning. Pinellas County Schools has met the requirements and fully complied with Florida’s new safety laws, outlined in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act. The school district has also established several additional, voluntary safety measures.
To keep you informed, below are some of the ongoing safety measures we began implementing in previous years, as well as new programs we are introducing that will further enhance the safety of our schools:
- A School Resource Officer or an armed School Safety Officer is in place at every school site.
- Secured gates and fences with a single point of entry of all campuses.
- Secured vestibule within the entrance of the single point of entry.
- A visitor management system, called Ident-A-Kid, that is used in all schools to streamline the check-in process and further meet the requirements of the Jessica Lunsford Act.
- A full review of every campus security plan and full physical assessment of every campus by school staff and local law enforcement.
- A hard wired emergency lockdown system that empowers any staff member in a school to initiate a lockdown during an emergency and immediately inform school and district administration and the police department.
- A mobile emergency button is accessible to all staff on district property to initiate a lockdown during an emergency and immediately inform school and district administration and the police department.This meets the requirements of Alyssa's Law.
- Continued partnership with Sandy Hook Promise to enhance resources and training for students and staff.
- Our district has been nationally recognized for our implementation of Sandy Hook Promise’s Start with Hello and Say Something programs.
- Two anonymous reporting systems to allow students, staff or anyone from the community to report a concern.
- S.A.V.E. clubs are in place in elementary, middle and high schools.
- Monthly age-appropriate active threat safety drills, led by caring staff, under the supervision of law enforcement and developed to align with best practices of the National Association of School Psychologists and the National Association of School Resource Officers.
- Yearly training for all staff on safety protocols and prevention methods.
- Locked classroom doors during all instructional times.
- The district has a full-time threat assessment team, made up of a school administrator, a social worker, a psychologist, and a law enforcement officer that reviews each school level threat assessment.
- Each school has a threat assessment team that is trained in the state adopted Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines (CSTAG).
- Increased mental health services, with additional school psychologists, counselors and social workers.
As a reminder, as of the spring of 2018, the Pinellas County School Board acted to allow only sworn law enforcement officers and highly trained school safety officers (SSOs, also known as guardians) to be armed on campus.
Please know that Pinellas County schools are first and foremost nurturing places of learning. We consciously work to maintain environments that reflect our core mission, and we want students and families to feel welcomed, as well as secure, on campus. Thank you for your partnership in keeping Pinellas County Schools safe.