Updated School Safety/Security Procedures

Updated School Safety/Security Procedures
Posted on 09/05/2023

During summer 2023, a secure access (buzzer/camera) system was installed at eight of our nine schools (Tahoma High School already had an existing system). This system provides controlled, single-entry access to school buildings during the school day. 

The procedure for visitors (including, but not limited to: parents, volunteers, guest teachers/staff, contractors, community members) to access the main office during the school day is:

  1. Locate the intercom/camera directly outside the main (front) entrance.

  2. Press the “PUSH” button on the intercom (Note: Stand in front of the camera on the panel so you are visible to office staff).

  3. Respond to office personnel’s questions (Ex: Who are you here to pick up?).

  4. Have a photo ID ready and make it visible to office personnel. Acceptable IDs include:
    • Driver’s license
    • TSD (or other school) ID badge
    • Student ID
    • Passport or other government-issued ID

  5. Once the doors have been unlocked, enter the building and proceed to the main office.

  6. Do not allow other visitors to enter with you unless authorized by office personnel.

  7. All visitors must sign in at the main office. Please note: being granted access to the main office does not necessarily grant permission to student use areas. Only individuals with a valid district volunteer clearance or district contractor clearance will be allowed unescorted campus access, and those individuals must receive the appropriate badge/sticker prior to entering student use areas.
    • For families and guests who have visited our schools in the past, this is a continuation of our current practices.

  8. All visitors must sign out and return/discard their visitor’s badge/sticker prior to leaving campus.

Here are additional important things for you to know:

  • Only designated staff will grant access to visitors. You may see staff members in the office who are not granting you access. Please understand that this is to ensure that protocols are followed appropriately and that only permitted visitors are entering the school. If designated staff are occupied, there may be longer wait times before you are granted access. We appreciate your patience and our staff will assist you as soon as possible.

  • Staff will use an intercom to ask visitors why they are requesting entry. Even if you have visited the school many times before, you may still be asked to state your reason for entering. We will do our best to make your visit as welcoming as possible, while also maintaining secure schools.

  • Parents/Guardians may be asked to use a drop-off cart at the main entrance to leave items that need to be delivered to a student or the school. If so, our staff will ensure that your delivery item safely makes its way to the appropriate recipient.

  • If you are entering the school, please do not allow unpermitted visitors to enter the school with you. If someone enters the school and does not allow you to follow them in, please show them grace as they are doing their part to ensure a safe school.

Our district is committed to maintaining safe and secure schools for every student and adult. This change was made following a months-long security evaluation that included a district-wide security audit led by an expert contractor. A committee of parents, students, staff, emergency first responders and community stakeholders reviewed the security audit and survey feedback from parents, staff and the community to reach this decision.

These procedures will be strictly enforced to strengthen security for every person in our schools. We value your partnership in keeping our schools safe, and our incredible office teams will continue to make your visits to our schools as comfortable, welcoming and safe as possible.

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