Commitment to safety
At Norman Public Schools, student safety is always a top priority. Teachers, administrators and staff are committed to creating and maintaining a safe learning environment for all students. The district currently has the following measures in place to protect students and staff:
See something? Hear Something? Say Something! Safety is everyone’s responsibility. The public can help keep schools safe by reporting any suspicious or unusual activity. If your child is concerned about something they saw or heard at school, remind them that there is a difference between reporting, tattling and gossiping. Reinforce the “see something, say something” approach. **Immediately contact the Oklahoma School Security Institute at 1-855-337-8300 and contact the school principal.
School Resource Officers: Our school district and the Norman Police Department work together every day to protect our students. This partnership has provided specially trained police officers, known as School Resource Officers, to be active and visible in our schools.
Secure facilities: All schools in the district are equipped with secure vestibules, which provide additional protection for students by guiding guests to a single, secured entrance that leads directly to the main office while school is in session. Upon entrance, all visitors are required to show identification and sign in using a kiosk designed to enhance student safety. School staff, who wear identification badges, greet students at entrance points and keep a watchful eye on students as they enter the buildings.
Emergency Preparedness Plans: Emergency preparedness plans are in place for every school site. They are regularly reviewed to ensure emerging school security issues are adequately covered. The district works closely with emergency response agencies and local weather partners to ensure safety and security plans reflect best practices.
Safety Drills: All schools participate safety drills to ensure students, teachers and staff know how to best respond if the unthinkable occurs. As part of state law, all schools participate in a minimum of 10 drills each year that focus on safety and security when faced with threats such as intruders, fires and tornados. The district is also working closely with the Norman Police Department to enhance our training and procedures in this area.
School Counselors: School counselors serve multiple purposes in student safety and security. They are available to help students who are dealing with trauma or may have anxiety about the events they see on the news. In addition, the district has a group of counselors who are specifically trained to identify and work with youth who display concerning behavior. We have also built strategic partnerships in the community, which allow our counselors to connect troubled youth with mental health support services. Additionally, district policies are designed to also allow outside counselors to provide on-site services when appropriate, which reduces barriers and increases student access to these critical services.
Professional Development: Many school professionals participate in trauma and resilience training, as well as suicide prevention training. Trauma can occur as a result of violence, abuse, neglect, loss, and other emotionally harmful experiences. Resilience refers to the ability for individuals to cope with adversity and adapt to overcome challenges. Trauma teams at each school are equipped to support students who may experience behavioral issues, suicidal thoughts or violent tendencies as a result of past trauma.
WatchDog Program: Many schools across the district participate in the Watch DOGS (Dads of Great Students) program, which promotes student engagement with father figures in schools. The program provides positive male role models for students, who volunteer to mentor students, enhance school security and reduce bullying. The national program is made possible through a partnership with the National Center for Fathering. The volunteer program is open to fathers, grandfathers, and other father figures.
Talk to your children: When tragic events occur, parents can help children deal with anxiety by establishing a sense of security through routine and reassurances that they are safe. Schools are among the safest public buildings and our teachers, administrators and staff work diligently to protect students. If a student sees or hears anything concerning, encourage them to immediately tell a trusted adult. The National Association of School Psychologists offers helpful tips for talking to children about violence.
While even the most extensive planning cannot always prevent acts of violence, we are committed to doing everything possible to ensure we are exhaustive in our efforts to protect our students.
Please make sure your contact information is always up-to-date in the Parent Portal.
Email: The district and/or school sites typically send notifications via email to parents of students at the impacted school(s).
Robocall: In addition to an email, families may receive an automated voice call when it is critical for them to be notified right away. Robocalls are generally reserved for inclement weather announcements or potential threats that have not been resolved.
Mobile App: In some cases, a push notification in the Norman Public School District’s mobile app will be sent to impacted families.
Website: The NPS website is updated with an alert on the home page if the announcement is relevant to all (or a large majority) of students. These alerts are typically weather related.
Safety Tip Line
Safety is everyone’s responsibility. See something? Hear something? SAY SOMETHING! Call the Oklahoma School Security Institute at 1-855-337-8300 or submit a tip online.
Victim Help Line
Victims of gender discrimination or sexual misconduct are encouraged to file a TITLE IX report. Call (405) 447-6599 or report an incident or concern online.
Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline
If you suspect that a child has been abused or neglected, call the Oklahoma Department of Human Services at 1-800-522-3511.
We understand notifications about threats to student safety can be unsettling. After all, we are parents, too. Our goal is to provide families with as much information as possible when there is a potential threat to school safety. As is often the case, details surrounding incidents cannot always be shared due to ongoing investigations or privacy laws. However, understanding communication terms and distribution methods can provide additional information.
The Norman Public School District and the Norman Police Department follow a Standard Response Protocol, which is based on the response to any given situation. Similar to an Incident Command System, the protocol demands a specific vocabulary but also allows for great flexibility. The premise is simple - there are four specific actions that can be performed during an incident, which are outlined below.
Lockout: This is due to a possible threat OUTSIDE the school, which generally means there is police activity in the area or a nearby neighborhood. During a lockout, it is business as usual inside the buildings. Students who are outside are brought inside as a precaution, and all doors are secured.
Lockdown: This is due to a possible threat INSIDE the school. When a school is in a lockdown, individuals are not allowed to enter or exit the building until law enforcement officials have cleared the threat. Inside, students follow lockdown safety protocols.
Shelter: Students and staff shelter in predetermined locations when a hazard is present. This is most often due to inclement weather scenarios.
Evacuate: Evacuations of students and staff are most often due to fire alarms.
Increased Police Presence: Generally, police presence will be increased in the area as a precaution. This does not necessarily mean that a threat remains. Rather, increased police presence signifies that law enforcement officials continue to go above and beyond after a threat to protect students. Please keep in mind that officers are not always in uniform.