Safety & Security
Focus on Relationships
Our character education program focuses on developing respectful and caring relationships. On an ongoing basis, Orono staff members concentrate on cultivating trusting relationships with students. This is the foundation of our proactive approach that helps us create a safe and respectful learning environment and diminish the possibility of students hurting others or themselves. Certainly, issues still arise. When they do, our staff members are trained and ready to help. Students are also encouraged to come forward to share concerns with a trusted adult.
Keeping students and staff safe is our highest priority and, as such, it goes beyond the scope of being “just” the responsibility of the schools and/or “just” the responsibility of the police. It is a community effort. We can always benefit from another set of eyes and ears working to keep our schools safe. If you see or hear anything that concerns you, please report it.
We are fortunate to have access to a School Resource Office from the Orono Police Department, and have worked to build positive and productive working relationships with local police, fire departments and other partners (please see the "Organization Partnerships" tab).
Threat Assessment Techniques
District administrators and mental health staff are trained annually in threat assessment techniques. We have taken active roles in live crisis drills and worked through various threat scenarios in training sessions designed by Homeland Security and police.
Physical Security Measures
In addition to our focus on relationships, the district uses physical security measures to help prevent a crisis. These include building security, visitor management systems, and badge/restricted access at entry points.
The district has a Cybersecurity Incident Response plan to prevent, identify, respond to, and recover from cybersecurity threats that may impact the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of of the district's information systems and data. This plan aims to protect the district's assets, ensure the safety and security of all stakeholders, and minimize the impact of any incident the district may encounter. The plan encompasses a wide range of potential incidents, including unauthorized access, data breaches, malware infections, and denial-of-service attacks.
Crisis Response Plan
The district has a well-developed crisis plan with specialized crisis response teams assigned to specific responsibilities. Teams meet frequently to discuss and improve protocols.
Key staff members actively participate in School-Based Emergency Management through the Minnesota School Safety Center, a division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
All staff members receive annual training on building-specific safety procedures, including safety drills (fire, lockdown and tornado) and crisis response (see the "Safety Response" tab).
Safety Response Protocol
To be prepared in the event of a natural disaster or any threat to student and staff safety, all classrooms and building offices post the district Safety Response Protocol for quick reference. This document shows the safety response language that all staff members will use and students will be instructed to follow. All staff members receive annual training on building-specific safety procedures, including safety drills (fire, lockdown and tornado) and the language used to communicate during a crisis.
The protocol was developed by the I Love U Guys Foundation and is used by thousands of schools and other organizations around the world.
Enhanced 911 (E911)
The district phone system is part of the Enhanced 911 system (E911) that alerts dispatchers and first responders to the exact point of origin of the 911 call. Our local first responders know our buildings well and the E911 system will help them get to students and staff in need faster.
The district uses several methods to communicate with families.
- Listen for a phone message, email and/or text message* from the district. These messages will be deployed through the School Messenger system to the email addresses and phone numbers you have on file in ParentVUE. Please be sure to update your contact information and emergency contacts as needed. (See "Update Contact Information in ParentVUE," below.)
- Visit the district website. Pop-up notices will be used to communicate updates.
- For weather updates and school closures, you can tune in to local television such as KMSP-TV (9), KARE-TV (11), KSTP-TV (5) and WCCO-TV (4).
Please be on guard for rumors or speculation from unofficial sources and do not share information that may distract from official messaging.
Update Contact Information in ParentVUE
- Log in to ParentVUE.
- Select the My Account button in the top right corner.
- To add/edit student emergency contact information, select the student, click the Student Info button and then the Edit Info button. Make your changes and then click Save Changes.
- Parents/guardians will always be contacted first in an emergency. Please do not add yourself as an emergency contact. Emergency contact(s) will be called if we cannot reach parent(s)/guardian(s).
- Please only designate one phone number per adult as a Primary number (otherwise the system won’t display the numbers in the correct order).
- If you check the “Release To” box under an Emergency Contact’s name, you are giving consent for your child to be released to the friend/relative you have designated; that is, you are authorizing that your child can be picked up by this person.
*Opt in to Text Messaging
Text messaging requires opt-in to short code 67587
The district uses the text message feature only in the event of a weather notice, school closing or emergency. If you would like to receive a text message in addition to an email and voice message, please scan the QR code with your mobile phone. Click the upload symbol, and then choose "Send Message" with "Y" or "Yes" in the message field to opt in. You will receive a text message confirming that you are registered "4 SchoolMessenger notifications." SchoolMessenger is compliant with the Student Privacy Pledge so you can rest assured that your information is safe and will never be given or sold to anyone.
If you are not receiving timely communication from the district, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will review our School Messenger status reports.
Partnership with parents/guardians is essential during a crisis. Your close attention to updates and instructions during a school emergency are essential. Please see the "Communication" tab and be sure to download and review the brochure, "How Parents Can Prepare for a School Emergency." Feel free to discuss these guidelines with your child(ren), as appropriate for their age, so they know what to expect from you in the event of an emergency.
Parent partnership at-a-glance:
- Please do not come to campus or go to the scene of an emergency, even if it is your first instinct as a parent/guardian. Your presence may interfere with the emergency response.
- As difficult as it is, do not respond to your child's request to leave school or for you to come to campus. If your child contacts you, tell your child to remain calm and to follow instructions from school officials or first responders. Remember, they may only know pieces of the larger picture.
- Do not take action until you have received instructions from school officials through official channels.
Orono Schools has developed numerous key partnerships over the decades of work in school safety and crisis procedures. School personnel have worked very closely with local first responders to attend joint training and engage in numerous preparedness exercises. Orono Schools jointly employs a full-time School Liaison Officer with the Orono Police Department. Training procedures and materials are utilized from the MN School Safety Center, Homeland Security, The I Love U Guys Foundation, and ALICE Crisis Solutions. Raptor Technologies has been a long-term partner in both visitor management, as well as drill management, communication and reunification procedures. The current partners of Orono Schools in crisis procedures and school safety are as follows: