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Safety: It is everyone’s responsibility

‘It takes a village to protect the village’

CASTLE ROCK – Providing a safe learning environment that our children can thrive in simply cannot be the job of a single staff member at a school or even the Douglas County School District’s Safety & Security department. Every individual that interacts with our schools must play a role.

“Safety is everyone's responsibility, including the students, staff, parents and the community,” explained Rich Payne, DCSD’s director of safety and security.

“The ultimate goal is that we have an educational environment that is safe, is prosperous for our kids and our community. Working together I think we can make that happen,” added Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock.

DCSD employees, families and students are encouraged to be aware of their school’s safety procedures and to be vigilant.

“Anyone that sees something, should be able to come forward and say, 'hey, I saw this door open. It should be closed,” Payne said.

Security at Douglas County Schools

  • During the school day, external doors at schools across the Douglas County School District should be closed and locked.
  • All guests are screened at the front door.
  • Everyone at our schools should be wearing District issued ID badges or have a guest or volunteer sticker.
  • If you see something out of place, say something to the school administrator, security or law enforcement.

The Douglas County School District believes in continuous improvement and has learned from past tragedies, building a stronger, layered system of security at our buildings. For instance,12 Safety Strategies were set in place following the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy.

The one measure that Payne wants every student, employee and parent to know is the Standard Response Protocol (SRP).

“The Standard Response Protocol was put into place after Columbine happened years ago and several other incidents that happened here in Colorado,” Payne explained. “It ensures everybody is on the same page when it comes to communication during a crisis.”

Within the SRP there are four commands that are understood by students, employees and first responders:


Action: Secure the Perimeter

  • Curtail all outside activities.
  • Consider moving students from portable classrooms.
  • Continue normal activities inside, but be alert for additional instructions.



Action: Lock, Lights, Out of Sight

  • Students are to be cleared from the halls immediately and to report to nearest available classroom.
  • Assist those needing special assistance.
  • Close and lock all windows and doors—do not leave for any reason.
  • Leave all room and door windows uncovered.
  • Stay away from all doors and windows and move students to interior walls and drop.
  • Turn lights off in the room.

Action: Follow Directions
Take the closest and safest way out as posted (use secondary route if primary route is blocked or hazardous).

  • Close classroom and office doors as you leave, but do not lock.
  • Take roll book or class roster for student accounting.
  • Assist those needing special assistance.
  • Do not stop for student/staff belongings.
  • Go to designated Assembly Area.
  • Check for injuries.
  • Take attendance; report missing students according to Student Accounting and Release procedures.

Action: Follow Directions

  • Shelter in Place; use in external gas or chemical release.
  • Severe Weather Safe Area; for use in severe weather emergencies, tornado, etc.
  • Drop, Cover and Hold; Use for imminent danger to building or immediate surroundings, such as a tornado touchdown.
September 3, 2014 | By SCPaulsen | Category: District, Safety and Security

District News

graduates standing in line outside, smiling

DOUGLAS COUNTY – Graduation rates in the Douglas County School District (DCSD) continue to climb. Data released today by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) shows the on-time, four-year graduation rate is now 90.4 percent.

DCSD students also made an impressive showing at graduation. The class of 2017 earned more than $82 million in scholarships.

DCSD has one of the highest graduation rates in the Denver metro area. According to CDE, DCSD graduation rates have risen steadily from 81.9 percent in 2009 to 90.4 percent in 2017.

Five female students standing on stage smiling and laughing at the awards ceremony

The top two-percent of female athletes in Douglas County School District (DCSD) were honored at the annual Girls and Women in Sports Luncheon last week at Chaparral High School. This year represented the 30th national celebration of Girls and Women in Sports Day, created to encourage and promote the participation of girls in athletics. The girls who were honored were selected by their school’s coaches, athletic directors and principals for their outstanding achievements.

Superintendent Search text based logo

Working through the recent winter break, the Douglas County School District Board of Education has kicked off its search for DCSD’s next permanent superintendent. Following a thorough vetting of potential search firms, Ray & Associates (no relation to Board Director David Ray) has been hired to conduct the national search. The cost of the firm, excluding travel expenses, is $40,000. The money will come from the school board's budget, which is used for costs such as legal expenses and conferences.