Parent Safety Information
The safety and security of your child in the Waterloo Schools is our highest concern. To ensure a safe, caring environment, we take many steps to prevent, moderate, respond to, and recover from a wide range of possible crisis events.
We need your help, however, to provide the highest level of security for our young people.
- Be sure your children do not bring any weapon to school for any reason. This includes pocket knives and look-alike weapons. Violators will be subject to discipline up to and including expulsion.
- Help your children learn non-violent ways of resolving problems. Fighting will not be tolerated in school.
- Ensure that any weapons in your home are not accessible to your children. An estimated 80 to 90 percent of students who carry guns bring them from home.
- Monitor the movies and television shows your children watch. Many of the popular violence-prone movies and television shows send children a message that violence is the way to solve problems.
- Continue to develop your children’s positive self-esteem so they can make good choices and avoid potentially dangerous associations.
- Listen to your children’s concerns about other children. Young people often tell their friends about a plan to harm someone.
- Discourage bullying and teasing. These putdowns hurt. Encourage your child to show respect and tolerance for people who are different.
- Talk to your children about situations in which they feel afraid. Take their fears seriously.
We have a comprehensive crisis plan that describes the actions we will take in various circumstances. This allows us to reduce risks, respond effectively to critical incidents and to return to normal operations quickly.
We continually partner with many agencies in our communities—emergency management, law enforcement, fire/rescue, hospitals, the Red Cross, businesses and industries, human service agencies, and other educational institutions to coordinate with other community, state, and national efforts.
We know your first interest is your child’s safety. Parents/guardians can help us by understanding what the schools will do and by cooperating with school and emergency officials.
For the safety of our students and the security of our buildings, all outside doors are locked from the outside during the school day. All of these doors have a “push bar” so students can easily open them should an emergency arise. Anyone coming into the building needs to use the front school doors, sign-in at the main office, and pick up a visitor badge to wear while in the building. We hope any inconvenience this may cause will be outweighed by the concern that we have for your child’s safety. We want our staff and students to clearly be able to identify any visitors in our buildings.
Emergency Dismissal from School
It is important that your child knows where to go after school in case there is an unscheduled dismissal. If an emergency occurs at school and the building must be evacuated for a long period of time, students will be taken to a designated safe shelter-usually the alternate site.
Communication in the Event of a Crisis
A major priority in any crisis is communicating accurate, timely information to parents/guardians. DO NOT call your child’s school, as staff will be busy taking care of students, and land and cell lines will quickly become overloaded.
The District uses a variety of ways to let you know the latest information, depending on which resources are available to us:
- Local mass media—TV, radio, newspapers
- Postings on social media such as Facebook, Twitter
- Automated phone calls to the phone number(s) on your child’s Information Card
- Email and text alerts to the email address(es) and cell phone(s) listed on your child’s Information CardIn all cases, we work closely with local police and fire/rescue.
Reuniting with Your Child
We know how important it will be for you to be reunited with your child as quickly as possible following a crisis event. Some circumstances or events may require us to establish a reunion center to provide for a secure release of your child to an authorized person.
- Adults will need a photo ID at the reunion point to gain admittance.
- Students will be released ONLY to persons who have been authorized by the parent/guardian in writing on the Student Information Card.
- If an alternate location is needed away from the school, a reunion center will be established at the alternate site and students will be signed out from here.
- We will notify parents/guardians through the media and by other communication systems available to us when and if a reunion point is set up for a particular event.
- If a reunion center is established away from the school or the alternate site, do not go to or call the school or alternate site.
Responses to Crisis Events
School may be the safest place for your child in a crisis. We will work to ensure that students are safe until a threat has passed. It is our goal to return children to their parent/guardian as soon as it is safe to do so, but students may be retained for an extended period of time. Police and fire/rescue officials will help make the decision as to when release can occur. The following strategies will be utilized as primary responses to crisis events:
- Early Dismissal – Approaching storm, loss of power, etc. If it has been determined that it would be unsafe or learning conditions will be extremely impacted; if there is enough time for buses to run and parents/guardians to pick up children safely.
- Evacuate – Internal threats, fire, gas, explosives, dangerous intruders. We take students outside the building and may relocate an alternate site if necessary.
- Shelter–in-place – Weather, hazardous substances, or other emergencies inside /outside of the building. Students and staff move to designated areas inside the building to escape hazards outside of the building or concerns located elsewhere in the building. Students and staff continue business as usual in the classroom while movement through the halls is restricted. In some cases, we may lock only outside doors and allow free movement within the building.
- Lockdown – Immediate dangerous concerns in the neighborhood or in the building. All students and staff seek immediate cover, lock and secure all areas where possible. All adults and students on heightened alert awaiting additional information to assist with next steps including barricading, evacuation, and countering the potential threat.
The selection of these actions would depend on the warning we have before the incident and the location and nature of the incident.
Stay Calm and Follow Instructions
Because crisis incidents could cause great confusion and disruption, parents/guardians should follow the instructions of police and fire/rescue officials. In all cases, our goal is to provide the safest possible shelter for our children and to communicate fully what we are doing. As phone lines could become jammed, tuning to local media will provide the best source of information. Access to the school may be restricted by law enforcement— please do not call the school as phone lines need to be kept open for critical communications, and school officials will be busy caring for children. The District will initiate communication as quickly as possible. Don’t endanger yourself and others by trying to reach your child before it is safe to do so.
Read school newsletters and the student handbook. Ask questions if you need more information. Join your Site Council or Building Safety Committee.
Safety and Bullying Hotline:
See Something – Say Something! Don’t Share It. Report It!
The following behavior should be reported immediately to any adult in the building including, but not limited to an administrator, counselor or teacher.
- Threats of violence directed to a school, student, and/or a staff member
- Weapons on campus
- Bullying and/or other unwanted behavior
Threats of violence, weapons on campus, and/or Bullying or Other Unwanted Behavior may also be reported at the numbers below:
If you are reporting an immediate threat or danger to a person, a school, or other emergency, please call 911! The Safety and Bullying Hotline is not monitored at all times.
Voice Mail – 319.433.2081 Text – 319.435.8187
Email – [email protected]
Online – http://www2.waterloo.k12.ia.us/bullying/
Please see the Waterloo School’s Bullying Information Web page for more Bullying information
Need More Information?
Contact your school’s principal or the District’s Safety Director at 319.433.1851
Helpful websites include: