School Safety

School Safety & Security

The Bozeman Public School District #7 is committed to providing a safe environment for students, staff, and visitors. We work closely with safety officials – Bozeman Police Department, Bozeman Fire Department, County Emergency Services, Gallatin City-County Health Department, Red Cross and Bozeman Deaconess Hospital - to ensure our schools are well prepared for an emergency. We have developed a comprehensive plan that covers a wide variety of situations to help staff and our public safety and community partners respond swiftly should a crisis occur in our schools.In the event of a school emergency, a parent can get important information and directions by doing one or all of the following:

  • Tune into the local television and radio stations for news alerts
  • Check your e-mail or cell phone if you are subscribed to School Messenger
  • Visit the BSD7 homepage

The information included on this page provides an overview of the many safety measures that BSD7 has implemented and that can serve as a guide for parents, students, and staff should there be a school emergency or if schools are closed/cancelled due to inclement weather.Please report any safety concerns you may have to your school principal.

Safety Measures in Our Schools

Students and families – take comfort in knowing that the safety measures in place through BSD7 are extensive. The District has a Safety Committee that includes City and County safety officials. The committee works diligently to ensure that the system-wide emergency plan is current and that all staff members are prepared to respond to a wide variety of school emergencies. In addition, each of our schools has a safety committee and has school-specific safety procedures in place to provide a safe learning environment for our students.

The following are "District" level initiatives. If you have questions or comments about procedures specific to your school, please contact the building principal at your school.

Security Personnel:
  • SRO’s - We have a joint partnership with local law enforcement to employ three School Resource Officers (SROs) who strictly serve our schools. A fourth SRO will be added in January 2014. The SROs are fully licensed and sworn police officers, who are assigned to serve in our schools. The SROs are stationed at Bozeman High School, but travel throughout the day to all our schools.
  • Police Drop-Ins - Due to heightened awareness around our nation regarding school safety, our local law enforcement provides drop-in visits by other uniformed officers during the school day as much as possible.
  • Canine Detection – In addition to local law enforcement canine detection, we have contracted with a private security company to implement a canine detection program. The Interquest Program provides canine units who routinely visit our schools to conduct searches of lockers, vehicles, and common areas. The dogs are trained to detect illegal drugs, medication (both prescription and over the counter), gunpowder, firearms, and alcohol. Please see our parent disclosure document: Announcement to parents regarding use of canine detection services at Middle Schools and High School Document .
  • CrimeStoppers Anonymous Reporting Line - The Bozeman Police Department and the Bozeman Public Schools partner to provide the WeTip hotline to students and their families.  The CrimeStoppers hotline at 406-586-1131 or crimetips@Bozeman.net may be used by anyone to anonymously report crimes that have been committed at any of our schools or in our community.  While students are always encouraged to talk with an adult at the school, students are sometimes reluctant to report crime information.  CrimeStoppers provides an alternative for students and families who wish to give information and remain anonymous.  Information is taken on all crimes affecting schools and the surrounding communities. CrimeStoppers takes the information and passes it on to Bozeman’s School Resource Officers who will conduct an investigation.  Anyone who has information about illegal activity at a Bozeman school can connect with CrimeStoppers at 406-586-1131 or crimetips@Bozeman.net. For emergencies and in-progress crimes call 911.
Emergency Procedures:
  • Safety Drills - We have emergency procedures for every building, including specific procedures for intruders in the building. With support and guidance from the police department we practice these procedures throughout the school year. School administration routinely conducts teacher training regarding emergency procedures. Printed copies of the emergency procedures are kept in every classroom and they are reviewed and updated frequently by the District Safety Committee.
  • Tabletop Drills - "Tabletop" drills are conducted with our staff to plan for emergency contingencies that are too difficult to replicate in real life. For example, we may use a tabletop drill to discuss how we would respond to a gas leak at a school. Local law enforcement and other emergency services personnel participate with our school staff in the tabletop drills.
  • Safety Committee - We have an established District Safety Committee. The purpose of the committee is to review our processes and procedures and recommend changes. The committee is comprised of school administration, local law enforcement, and county emergency response personnel. The committee makes recommendations based on current research related school safety and emergency procedures. (The committee consults with both local and national experts regarding school safety.) All concerns regarding school safety procedures, from school staff, parents, or members of the community, are routed to this committee for discussion and possible recommended changes. The safety committee also addresses immediate versus future needs, costs of upgrading based on perceived needs in security, and balancing the atmosphere of a welcoming school versus more of a closed, locked down environment. This work is in progress and open-ended.
  • Safety Audits - Safety audits have been conducted for every school building. A safety audit is a process that examines issues such as: school access, environmental hazards and communication systems.
  • Crisis Response Team - Our team works to provide calm, well thought out responses to crisis situations that affect District students and staff. Comprised of district counselors, school psychologists, administrators and other trained staff members, the team receives professional development to be able to provide quality, research-based support during tragic events. What constitutes a crisis? There isn't one definition that fits all crisis situations. A crisis could be any of the following and more: the death of a student, the death of a staff member, the death of a community person who had contact with students and/or staff, a catastrophe of nature such as a severe storm etc. that has affected students and/or staff, a local, state, regional, national, or world-wide situation that causes alarm among students and/or staff, serious injury to a student, staff member, or community person who had contact with students and/or staff, and other situations deemed by members of the team to be of crisis nature.
Access to school buildings:
  • Limited Access - All of our school buildings have limited access during the school day with specific visitor check in procedures. School staff are required to wear identification tags throughout the day so that they will be recognized as school personnel when approaching a visitor. Visitors are required to check in at the main office or in the main lobby and wear an identification badge while in the building. Our staff are asked to stop and question those who are not wearing a badge and redirect the person to the main office.
  • Engagement of Visitors – All district staff are expected to engage visitors and report any suspicious activity or visitors who are in violation of check-in procedures to the office and/or law enforcement.
Community Partners
  • Policy - The District has in place several policies and procedures related to school safety, including procedures for Registered Sex or Violent Offenders and Relations with the Law Enforcement and Child Protective Agencies. We meet frequently with our community partners to analyze our policies and update as needed.
  • Mental Health - At every school we provide mental health support for students who may need extra help. We have contracted with Altacare, a partner who provides school based mental health services. Altacare not only works with students, but also provides family services as needed.
Important Partners - Students and Parents

We recognize students and parents as important partners who serve as a key resource to help us keep our schools safe.

  • Potential Threats - We take all reports seriously and we work closely with our SROs when we believe there is a potential threat. We take immediate action to protect students when we believe the threat to be credible.
  • Student Relationships - We prioritize our relationships with our students and families. Students are encouraged to tell a trusted adult at school if they have a concern about themselves or another individual. We are often able to intervene to support a student or to mediate a disagreement between students because we are provided with information by caring students. This type of communication would not happen if positive relationships were not nurtured by all in our education community. One example of the District’s commitment to positive relationships is the adoption and implementation of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program. The Olweus Program (pronounced Ol-VEY-us; the E sounds like a long A) is a comprehensive, school-wide program designed and evaluated for use in elementary, middle, junior high or high schools. The program’s goals are to reduce and prevent bullying problems among school children and to improve peer relations at school. The program has been found to reduce bullying among children, improve the social climate of classrooms, and reduce related antisocial behaviors, such as vandalism and truancy. The Olweus Program has been implemented in more than a dozen countries around the world, and in thousands of schools in the United States. It is a top priority and part of the District’s Long Range Strategic Plan. All schools have an action plan specifically addressing the Olweus Program.
  • CrimeStoppers - The CrimeStoppers hotline at 406-586-1131 or crimetips@Bozeman.net may be used by anyone to anonymously report crimes that have been committed at any of our schools or in our community.
  • Messaging System - We make every effort to keep parents notified by when we have potential threats to school safety or if we have an actual emergency event at a school. We also rely on local media sources to help us spread the word in the event of an actual emergency. To help with the process of parent notification, we recently invested in a computer based program, School Messenger, that will allow us to send mass text and email messages to parents. We use School Messenger to not only communicate information in the event of an emergency, but also to keep parents informed of other special school events and general information.

BSD7 Partners with Public Safety Agencies:

School staff works closely with the appropriate local public safety agencies, such as police, fire, emergency medical services, and public health to effectively deal with a wide range of crises. Specifically, BSD7 partners with the Bozeman Police Department, Bozeman Fire Department, Gallatin City-County Health Department, Emergency Services, American Red Cross, and other agencies in planning and training activities to promote emergency preparedness throughout the District and the community.

As a Parent How Can You Prepare for a School Emergency?

As a parent, there are three simple steps parents can take to prepare for a school emergency.

  • Provide accurate emergency contact information to your child's school and notify the school immediately if it changes.
  • Subscribe to the District’s School Messenger system. School Messenger is an electronic notification service that sends e-mail and text messages to your personal or work device. School Messenger provides subscribers with up-to-date information about school closings and cancellations, early dismissals, and other unforeseen emergencies.
  • Communicate with your child about being prepared for emergencies. This includes taking drills, such as fire and earthquake drills, seriously. It also includes reporting when unidentified visitors are on school property or reporting anything that is out of the ordinary or unusual in the school day to an adult at school.

Communications During a School Emergency:

During an emergency, it is critical that parents receive important information and directions from school officials before going to the school or scene of an emergency. You can be confident that accurate and timely information will be released to parents, the public, and the media during any significant emergencies. Should a significant school emergency occur, a parent can get important information and directions by doing one or all of the following:

  • Tune into the local television and radio stations for news alerts
  • Check your e-mail or cell phone if you are subscribed to School Messenger
  • Visit the BSD7 homepage

If the school building is evacuated or is locked down, how will I be able to locate my child?

Each school has a procedure for helping parents locate their child(ren). Parents will be directed to a specific location where they will be required to show proper identification. Remember, a student can only be released to an adult that is documented as an emergency contact. If you are a non-custodial parent, you must be listed with your child's emergency contact information as a guardian and show proper identification.

Staff Training for Emergencies is Ongoing:

As a parent, you should feel confident to know that we provide emergency and crisis management training to school administrators and staff. Each school has key staff members with assigned roles and responsibilities to perform during an emergency. The school system’s emergency response plan is modeled on the National Incident Management System (NIMS) that has been developed by the Department of Homeland Security. In addition, every school conducts emergency drills throughout the school year so that students and staff are aware of the most effective and safe emergency responses.

Emotional Support for Students During Times of Crisis:

It is important that our students feel safe in our schools, especially after a crisis has occurred. Should there be a need, the District provides psychological services and support to students and staff through the use of its Crisis Response Team, which includes community partners. The crisis response team will provide assistance to students to help them understand what has happened and to help them cope with their emotions and reactions.For more information, please see the Resource guide for parents & teachers when talking with children about crisis & tragedy .

Stranger Danger:

School Resource Officer Clint Anderson talks about Stranger Danger in this safety video appropriate for grades K-5. Please use this video as a start to on-going conversations with your children to assist in protecting themselves in dangerous situations.

Helmet Safety:

School Resource Officer Clint Anderson is the star of this 2-minute safety video in which he talks about Helmet Safety. This video briefly touches on helmet safety - its main focus is proper fitting of a helmet. Please use this video to start to a conversation about just why wearing a helmet is important, not only when riding a bike or motorcycle but also when we ski, rock climb, skateboard, scooter, or ride a horse along, with many other activities.

Water Safety:

School Resource Officer Clint Anderson is the star of this 2-minute safety video in which he talks about Water Safety. This video briefly touches on water safety and the importance of wearing a life jacket.

Special thanks to Hawk T.V. and Bozeman Police Department in helping with these video.

Closings and Cancellations Due to Weather Conditions:

In the interest of student safety, decisions to close schools, delay school openings, or dismiss early due to inclement weather conditions are made by the Superintendent. Radio and TV stations are notified as soon as a decision is made. Please use the following resources to confirm the status of school operations should there be inclement weather conditions.

  • Tune into the local television and radio stations for news alerts
  • Check your e-mail or cell phone if you are subscribed to School Messenger
  • Visit the BSD7 homepage

Make-up Days

Should school be cancelled due to inclement weather or as a result of other conditions, days at the end of the annual calendar will be used.

Impact on School Programs/Activities Due to Delayed Openings, Early Dismissal, and ClosingsIf the normal school day hours are affected with school opening later, closing earlier or being cancelled, the regularly scheduled programs and activities that take place during the day will change. Specifically, in a delayed opening, modified kindergarten and pre-kindergarten schedules are used, and on an early dismissal schedule, after school activities are cancelled. Check with the school office or District webpage for specific with questions regarding activities or schedules on these days.

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