BCPS School Safety Overview
Designated Safety Staff
Broward County Public Schools has a Chief Safety and Security Officer who manages all District safety and security efforts through the Division of Safety, Security and Emergency Preparedness.
The District’s Chief Safety and Security Officer is certified by FEMA in the following areas:
- Multihazard Emergency Planning for Schools
- Multihazard Planning for Childcare
- Planning for the Needs of Children in Disasters
- Preparing for Mass Casualty Incidents: Guide for Schools, Higher Education, and Houses of Worship
- Introduction to Incident Command System, ICS-100
- Basic Incident Command System for Initial Response
- Introduction to the National Incident Management System
In addition to the Chief Safety and Security Officer, there are more than 1,200 school focused safety staff including Safe-School Officers, security specialists, and campus monitors.
Broward County Public Schools conducts numerous surveys to improve and enhance school climate, including the annual AdvanceED survey. This survey is administered to elementary, middle and high school students as well as parents and staff. Participants are asked to respond to questions relating to five domains of the school environment:
- Purpose and Direction
- Governance and Leadership
- Teaching and Assessing for Learning
- Resources and Support Systems
- Using Results for Continuous Improvement
The results of the AdvancED survey assist schools in the school improvement planning process. Schools are required to explain school improvement activities that will be used to increase the school’s overall ratings on the survey. After the completion of the survey process, schools present the AdvancED survey reports to stakeholders at their School Advisory Council (SAC) meetings.
Based on the results of this and other District surveys, BCPS has implemented a number of important initiatives focused on violence prevention, bullying prevention, training and reporting in an effort to improve school climate.
Broward County Public Schools encourages students, teachers and community members to report suspicious activity.
The following methods may be used to submit an anonymous safety concern to the District:
- Online: https://www.browardschools.com/Page/35294
- Call: 754-321-0911
- Text: 'SBBC' space with your text message to 274637 (CRIMES)
- Email: email@example.com
- Free Mobile Applications:
Once a tip is received, a threat assessment team coordinates with community stakeholders and other District, state and federal resources to respond as appropriate.
Broward County Public Schools has a multidisciplinary threat assessment team at each school which responds to behaviors that create safety concerns.
Before the start of each school year, principals identify their school-based threat assessment team which has mandatory and alternate team members as outlined in the District’s Behavioral Threat Assessment Procedures Manual.
The mandatory team members include:
- Administrator (Principal, when available)/Administrative Designee
- Mental Health Professional (School Counselors, School Psychologists, School Social Workers, Family Counselors)
- Teacher (with knowledge of the student)
- Law Enforcement
- Additional personnel with knowledge of the child or circumstances may also serve as members of the team (e.g., Security Specialist, ESE Specialist, Behavior Specialist, etc.)
All school-based administrators and threat assessment team members are required to attend and complete mandatory district threat assessment trainings annually. Members are provided a copy of the Threat Assessment Manual and trained on the roles and responsibilities of each team member. These teams are trained to use a centralized reporting mechanism and they investigate and manage reports accordingly.
School-based threat assessment teams are also required to provide annual training and guidance to students, staff, and parents on recognizing behaviors of concern, the roles and responsibilities in reporting the behavior, and the various options for submitting a report, including anonymous reporting.
Emergency Operations Plans
Broward County Public Schools has an Emergency Preparedness Manual which is reviewed on an annual basis. This master document contains plans and procedures for all potential threats and hazards, and dictates what should happen before, during and after an emergency.
The Office of Emergency Management reviews and updates this manual annually.
All District staff, faculty and students conduct regular training exercises and drills throughout the year based on the procedures outlined in the Emergency Preparedness Manual.
All schools in the District are required to conduct an annual site assessment which involves school staff, district staff and community partners including local law enforcement.
The results of this annual assessment are integrated into each school’s Safety Plan and inform future infrastructure planning.
Staff and Faculty Training
Broward County Public Schools faculty and staff are required to complete training on emergency policies and procedures annually.
New faculty and staff are provided access to the Emergency Preparedness Manual and are trained on their respective roles in an emergency at the time of hire. Training is reinforced through subsequent trainings and drills conducted throughout the school year.
The District also provides students with comprehensive training and drills on all emergency policies and procedures (such as evacuations or lock-downs) based on the Emergency Preparedness Manual.
Developmentally-appropriate and trauma-informed drills and training are conducted with students throughout the school year.
Exercises and Drills
All Broward County Public Schools conduct regular exercises and drills as outlined in the Emergency Preparedness Manual. To aid in this process every school has a designated SAFE team comprised of faculty and staff who have been specially trained on appropriate procedures to ensure every school follows safety protocol.
Discussion-based table top exercises are also conducted regularly with staff, faculty and community partners, and the results of these exercises are documented and incorporated into school safety plans as necessary.
Additionally, all schools conduct operation-based drills with faculty and staff, and age-appropriate drills with students throughout the school year. These drills cover all sections of the Emergency Operations Plan and are documented accordingly.
Recovery is one of the five critical phases of Emergency Management outlined in the BCPS Emergency Preparedness Manual.
Accordingly, the District has a Crisis Response and Recovery Handbook which addresses the four components of recovery (academic, physical, fiscal, and emotional). This handbook provides general guidelines for crisis response and recovery for different timeframes and can be used in conjunction with individual school safety and security plans.
The handbook is divided into several sections based on the type of crisis. Within each section there is information designed for the administrator, classroom teacher, and counselor/responder.