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DCSD is committed to continually improving security practices to keep students, staff safe

CASTLE ROCK – This week’s anniversary of the Columbine High School tragedy is a poignant reminder of why it is critically important for school districts across the nation to take the safety and security of students and staff seriously. Douglas County School District (DCSD) has long been a leader in this regard. Learning from the past, it has taken a comprehensive and innovative approach, utilizing and continually improving a layered system of security.

DCSD does not rely on a single measure to keep its schools safe

The District, in close collaboration with its law enforcement partners, has implemented a multi-layered system of security measures, including the creation of the first-of-its-kind School Marshal Program, in which dedicated police officers and deputies visit elementary and middle schools multiple times daily. Meanwhile, DCSD high schools have dedicated uniformed School Resources Officers. This is in addition to efforts to security cameras and communication systems that allow for school staff to communicate directly with first responders.

Recent safety enhancements
Recently, the DCSD’s Safety and Security team added yet another proactive layer to this system, purchasing 10 long rifles. The weapons will only be used by its armed security patrol in the event of a crisis.

DCSD’s armed security officers, who are all former law enforcement and currently carry a handgun, regularly train side-by-side with our partners at the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO) and will work with DCSO deputies in completing training and certification required prior to implementation.

“The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has enjoyed a very good relationship with the Douglas County School District," said Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock. "The school security director and staff work very closely with the Sheriff’s Office as it relates to security of the schools and the protection of the students and staff on all the campuses. I support the continued enhancements of their school security program to include the deployment of advanced weapons in the event they are needed. We continue to support additional training to the security staff of the school district.”

It is important to note that the long rifles will only be deployed during an emergency. At all other times, the weapons will be kept in a locking mechanism inside the DCSD patrol vehicle – similar to what is utilized by law enforcement – and housed inside a safe during off-duty hours.

READ MORE: DCSD Safety Enhancements

Safety, including psychological and online safety, is DCSD’s number one priority
We know that physical safety is only part of the picture. In order to create an environment conducive to learning, students must also feel secure psychologically and online. For this reason, the District placed safety, in all of its forms, as its top priority in the 2014-2017 Strategic Plan.

Additionally, we have created resources to support students and to prevent suicide, bullying, dating violence and make them safer online.

LEARN MORE:  Safety: DCSD’s Number One Priority

April 22, 2016 | By rmbarber | Category: Safety and Security

District News

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DCSD is requesting parent input on the health and wellness of our students. Last year, DCSD received a large planning grant from Colorado Health Foundation in an effort to assess how the district supports students through the lens of the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model (WSCC). The mission of this grant is to review the current state of DCSD's student health and wellness program, and then formulate a three to five-year plan based on stakeholders’ needs, the latest research, and best practices. As part of this process, we would like your input.

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It may look like a plain, white shipping container was just parked on the backyard grounds of Mountain Vista High School. The contents of the container are anything but plain, though. Walking inside the container, different colors of ambient lighting glow, futuristic-looking equipment and tall towers are suspended from the ceiling, and the humidity level is set to 70 percent. The container has been recycled into a new kind of learning opportunity for students.