Zach Spencer, Director
Safety and Emergency Preparedness
The mission of the Douglas County School System is to provide a quality education for all students in a safe, supportive environment. A safe and effective learning environment is paramount to the success of students. The safety of our students and staff members is the highest priority of our school system and many measures are in place and monitored to keep students and staff safe on a daily basis. Such measures include: photo ID badges for all employees, security cameras in all schools, School Resource Officers in each middle and high school, BLAST (Bringing Life and Skills Together) officers assigned to each elementary school, AED's (Automated External Defibrillators) located in each school, hand held metal detectors in middle and high schools, identification required for student checkout, requiring all visitors to sign in, and video surveillance on school buses. We maintain a great working relationship with our local sheriff, police and fire department, which is vital to ensuring the safety of our students.
If you have concerns about your child's safety, please contact the principal of the school your child attends. An anonymous local School Safety Hot-Line has also been established to report knowledge of anyone or anything that could endanger the lives of students and/or faculty of any school. The local School Safety Hot-Line number is 770-651-2395.
The Georgia Department of Education also provides a hotline, which will be answered by a staff member or the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The State Safety Hot-Line number is 1-877-SAY-STOP.
Being prepared for a crisis or emergency is as important as providing a safe environment on a daily basis. It is important that parents and the rest of the community know that our schools are prepared in the event of an emergency or crisis. We work closely with federal, state and local emergency management agencies that are planning our community's response to potential threats. Crisis and Safety plans are developed each year at the county and school level and approved by the Office of Homeland Security and the Georgia Emergency Management Agency every two years. Crisis plans provide step-by-step guides for how principals and administrators should respond to a wide variety of scenarios ranging from tornados and fire to hazardous material spills. Flexibility in the event of an emergency is a key component of each school's plan. Schools practice response drills several times during the school year.
The National Incident Management System (NIMS) is a comprehensive system that improves local emergency response operations through the use of the Incident Command System (ICS) and the application of standardized emergency procedures and preparedness measures. It provides a consistent approach and a "common language" for federal, state, and local governments to work effectively to prepare for, prevent, respond to, and recover from domestic disaster incidents, regardless of cause, size, or complexity. Key county personnel have completed professional development regarding NIMS. By completing NIMS professional development, the Douglas County School System has reaffirmed its dedication to ensuring the safety of students and preparedness in the event of a crisis.
It is imperative that schools be able to contact parents in the event of emergency or crisis. Having accurate and current phone numbers, including cell phones, as well as email addresses on file at all times at school is vital for emergency notification purposes. Through careful planning, training, and practicing, as well as our partnerships with local law enforcement, fire departments, EMT, and the community, we will continue to make safety in our schools our top priority.