School Safety Procedures
Tahlequah Public Schools continues to stay updated with school safety and security measures. We continue to put additional safety ideas into practice and feel that our schools should be safe havens for teaching and learning where both students and staff will be free from violence and crime.
Representatives from the Office of Homeland Security toured our school sites a few years ago for an entire week. They presented us with a report on additional things we could do to make our sites safer. We have continued to use their findings as well as to conduct our own school safety audits with our School Resource Officers at each school to make TPS even safer. Homeland Security representatives praised our district on what we had already done to be proactive and gave us additional ideas to improve safety at all school sites.
All schools within Tahlequah Public Schools continue to have locked access with main entry door monitors and buzz-in access during all school hours. All visitors must identify themselves and are checked through the school computer records as to proper entry. Once inside, all visitors are tracked with sign-in badges which include the visitor’s time of entry and destination, and visitors must sign out when leaving the school. Fences with locked gates surround most sites while school is in session.
School camera systems are in place at our school sites and on-board buses in order to monitor activity. Classroom doors are always locked within our school sites during class time. School Resource Officers are housed at each school. Our school resource officers (also known as SROs) are certified Tahlequah Police officers who also work all school events. Their safety expertise has really helped us to grow as a school district and to stay on the cutting edge with school safety. The officers also build positive relationships with our students by keeping the line of communication open with students in order to stay up to date with what is happening within the school itself.
We have School Lockdown procedures as well as Intruder plans and procedures in place. Command posts and staging areas have been established along with primary evacuation sites, if needed, for each school. The district continues to incorporate ALICE training (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) with teachers and students at all sites. Plans are also in place for school staff to deal with other types of crisis situations: bomb threats, fire, tornado, bus safety, bullying prevention just to name a few.
The district’s emergency response procedures work hand in hand with our City and County Emergency Management office.
TPS Resource Officers are: Marcus Sams, Brian Stanglin, Randy Jordan, Reed Felts, Brad Robertson, Pam Bell, William Robertson and Kyle Reed. We are very lucky to have such a fine and experienced crew of officers.