Safety & Security
Safety is the number one priority in Lake Stevens School District. We are committed to establishing a learning environment that promotes student and employee safety throughout our district. In partnership with our local police and fire departments, we have a comprehensive safety plan to support our emergency preparedness, response and recovery.
Note: To avoid the exploitation of our safety plan by those who may cause harm, these documents are not available to the public.
Confidential Tip Line
While all emergencies should be reported to 911, our district uses SafeSchools Alert—a tip reporting system that allows students, employees and families to submit confidential safety concerns to our administration in four different ways:
- All of our schools have door access controls, intrusion detection systems and video security.
- Exterior doors at most sites are always locked. There are some current exceptions, and we are in the process of finding a secure alternative.
- Main entrance security vestibules have been constructed with video intercom systems to help control who has access to the building.
- Every classroom, office and conference room door in all of our schools has a special device that allows staff members to lock and reinforce their doors in a matter of seconds.
- Classrooms without interior doors have wings that can be locked down and secured at the push of a button, and exterior doors to allow for quick evacuation away from danger.
- School perimeters are fenced, whenever possible.
We are continually evaluating and improving our building security based on industry best practices.
Identification and check-in
All employees, substitutes and guests must check in at the main office when visiting our schools. We use a tool called SafeVisitor to check-in guests and to monitor who is on our campuses. District identification must be worn while on campus so that we can easily identify employees and visitors.
Proactive School Systems
Lake Stevens School District provides schoolwide behavioral expectations, positive interventions and supports, psychological and counseling services, violence prevention programs, social skill development, and conflict mediation.
School Resource Officers
Lake Stevens High School and Cavelero Mid High School each have full time School Resource Officers (SROs) on campus. These are Lake Stevens Police Officers who are contracted to work in our schools. These officers serve our entire district, and visit all of our schools to work with students and employees.
Mental Health Support
Each secondary school—Lake Stevens Middle School, North Lake Middle School, Cavelero and LSHS—is staffed with a Student Mental Health Support Specialist. These employees are mental health counselors who work with students in groups and one-on-one. They can also help parents and guardians identify community resources and learn new ways to cope with student mental health struggles. Elementary school students receive mental health support from school counselors and psychologists who assist parents and guardians in identifying community resources.
Student Assistance Program
Cavelero Mid High School and Lake Stevens High School have Student Assistance Programs (SAPs) led by administrators, counselors, psychologists, mental health support specialists, nurses and teachers. The SAP team investigates referrals received to help students with issues like substance abuse, academic achievement and social behavior.
We have a robust threat assessment system that we use, in partnership with the Lake Stevens Police Department, to proactively identify and respond to students who exhibit questionable behavior or who may be prone to violence or self-harm.
ALICE & Emergency Preparedness Drills
Traditionally, staff and students were trained to “lockdown” in emergency situations where their safety was threatened. This included locking school and classroom doors, turning off lights, covering windows, and hiding under classroom furniture. Tragic events in schools throughout the country have shown that lockdowns are not always effective, and can oftentimes result in a greater number of injuries and loss of life versus other response options.
Our district uses ALICE—Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate. ALICE protocol has been adopted by K-12 school districts, colleges and universities and government agencies throughout the country because it provides numerous proactive response options. The five steps of ALICE are not linear. As the situation develops, it is possible that students and staff members will need to use more than one option in varying order. The number one goal of ALICE is to keep students and staff members safe and away from harm.
Emergency Preparedness Drills
- By law, all of our schools are required to conduct at least one age-appropriate drill a month and must practice three basic functional responses: shelter-in-place, lockdown and evacuation. These requirements pull from components of ALICE, and also include fire drills and hazardous material drills. Schools also conduct at least one earthquake drill each year. These regular drills are meant to make systematic responses second nature for staff and students.
- Evacuation routes and procedures for lockdowns and other emergencies are posted in every classroom.
- Emergency drills are also conducted on our school buses.
School and district leaders use EasyAlert, a real-time notification and communication system that provides instant information to other users about ongoing incidents as they occur. Once a drill or incident is initiated, participants can post images, report their exact location and engage in real-time chat with other active users, including first responders.
Staff also use the RAVE Panic Button to instantly call 911 during an emergency. The Panic Button works in conjunction with EasyAlert to streamline communications with first responders.
School employees and administrators, and district administrators have handheld radios to easily communicate during the school day and during drills and emergency situations. The radios are also accessible by first responders.
How We Communicate During an Emergency
During an emergency, our first priority is to protect our students and staff. When we share information, our goal is to ensure that it’s timely and accurate. We oftentimes are not at liberty to share information from law enforcement, so we communicate what we can, when we can. We urge our families and community to look for an official message from the district through our official communication channels and to avoid sharing unofficial information.
- Families will receive an automated phone call, text message and email alerting them about the emergency.
- They will also receive a second automated phone call, text message and email once the emergency situation has ended.
- Information will also be shared through the district’s mobile app, website and social media channels, as appropriate.
What should families do in the event of an emergency?
- Remain calm.
- As difficult as it may be, don't call or go to the school. This keeps phone lines open and reduces traffic for first responders.
- Avoid contacting your child during an emergency. Depending on the situation, this can further compromise their safety, overload cell systems, hamper the ability of first responders and cause delays in releasing official, accurate information. If your child contacts you, please remind him or her to remain calm and follow the directions of school staff.
What should families do after an emergency?
- Be patient and wait for information.
- If an off-site family reunification is necessary, please remember that emergency pickup procedures are different from routine pick up procedures. You will need to bring your photo identification to the designated reunification site (see below for more information).
- Only approved adults with valid photo identification will be allowed to pick up students from the reunification location.
Reunification sites are utilized anytime a school has to be evacuated and it is determined that it is not safe to return to the school. Students will be bussed or transported to the reunification site.
If a reunification site is necessary, families will be notified via automated phone call, email and text message.
Depending on the reason for the evacuation, emergency personnel may be seen at the site.
For your security and safety, the reunification process is very regulated. Students will only be released to parents/guardians authorized in Skyward Family Access to pick up their child. Please ensure that your contact information is current. You will be required to have a valid identification that matches your information in Skyward in order to pick up your child. Do not send relatives or friends to pick up your child unless they are listed as an emergency contact.
Please be patient, as the reunification process could take several hours. However, be assured that reuniting your family is of the utmost importance to our staff, and we will work as quickly and efficiently as possible.