East Penn School District is committed to creating a learning environment that protects the safety and security of our students and staff, and considers their safety to be of the utmost importance. Whether it is prevention, preparedness, response, or recovery, the EPSD Safety and Security team strives to manage every phase of emergency readiness competently and effectively. Through this framework, we can continue to build a safe and secure learning environment. East Penn School District follows Act 44 of 2018 (Senate Bill 1142).
The following information details several of the district wide safety and security measures in place to help safeguard our school community:
Crisis Guide: Our Crisis Guide contains guidelines and procedures that are applicable to all EPSD staff and facilities. This all-hazards district wide plan is reviewed and updated on an annual basis.
Districtwide Safety & Security Committee: This committee meets on a monthly basis and is composed of internal stakeholders, as well as our community partners, to review current structures, practices, and procedures. The committee also reviews the safety and security plan.
Building Safety & Security Teams: Each building safety team helps to minimize the negative impact of an incident with staff, students, families and facilities, while helping to restore services as soon as possible.
Threat Assessment Teams: Each building has a threat assessment team, a group of trained staff members that convene to identify, evaluate, and address threats or potential threats to school security.
Workplace Safety Committee: Multiple employee classifications are represented in this committee to provide regular building assessment regarding workplace safety.
Safety and Security Coordinator: Working in coordination with the superintendent and other school leaders, the Safety and Security Coordinator provides leadership and guidance in efforts focused on promoting safety in our schools.
Emergency Management Coordination: EPSD maintains close working relationships with local law enforcement and emergency management services. Our Safety and Security Coordinator meets regularly with local, county, and state emergency management personnel to ensure student and staff safety and security. Local law enforcement agencies regularly visit and evaluate buildings to provide feedback and recommendations as working partners in providing campus safety and security.
Memorandum of Understanding (MOU): EPSD maintains agreements with our community organizations to access shelter locations should there be a need to evacuate a school beyond our district facilities. The district also has an MOU with the local police department that provides a School Resource Officer and establishes protocol for notifying police for certain offenses and/or emergency situations on school grounds.
School Resource Officer (SRO): EPSD has an agreement (MOU) with the Emmaus Police Department to have one assigned police officer during the school year. The main goal of the SRO is to provide a highly visible presence that promotes positive relationships between youth and law enforcement.
Mandatory Training: All EPSD staff is trained annually through Avoid Deny Defend – this training provides preparation and a plan on how to proactively handle a threat of an aggressive intruder. East Penn faculty, staff, and students also participate in multiple hours of annual safety training related to safety and security issues.
Safe2Say Something: Act 44 establishes the Safe2Say Something program to ensure anonymous reporting concerning unsafe, potential harmful, dangerous, violent or criminal activities in a school entity or the threat of such activities at a school entity. Safe2Say is a youth violence prevention program run by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney Generals. The program teaches youth and adults how to recognize warning signs and signals, especially within social media, from individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others and to “say something” BEFORE it is too late.
If you have a safety concern that immediately impacts the health, safety, or welfare of an East Penn student or staff, please call 911 and follow up with a call to your building administrator. All other safety and security concerns may be reported through the Safe2Say Something reporting program or by directly contacting our Safety and Security Coordinator.