Safety & Security
Orono Schools is committed to making its schools safe for students and staff. We work closely with national, state and local safety officials – including police, fire, emergency medical services and public health – to ensure that we are well prepared and that children are protected. We have a comprehensive Emergency Response Plan that helps our staff and our public safety partners respond swiftly should an emergency occur.
Orono Schools is an organization dedicated to continuous improvement. Just as we will never become complacent with academic achievement, the same is true for campus security. We must continuously review and strengthen efforts in this area.
All of our efforts can be organized into three areas of action: proactive, preventative and preparation. All of the actions in these three steps have enhanced our capacity to protect everyone. But we also need your cooperation. 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, report it immediately.
By being proactive, we accomplish both the creation of safe and respectful learning environments and diminish the possibility of our students hurting others or themselves.
Our character education program that focuses on developing respectful and caring relationships is the foundation of our proactive approach. Certainly, issues still arise and, when they do, our staff members are trained and ready to help. On an ongoing basis, staff concentrates on cultivating trusting relationships with students. If any concerns arise, students are encouraged to come forward to share with a trusted adult.
We are also 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 and fire departments.
The second “P” characterizes all of our efforts in preventing a crisis. This includes building security, visitor management systems, and badge/restricted access at entry points.
Key staff members are actively participating in a School-Based Emergency Management course with the Minnesota School Safety Center, a division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management and the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
All district administrators and mental health staff are trained annually in threat assessment techniques. We have both taken active roles in live crisis drills and worked through various threat scenarios in training sessions designed by Homeland Security and police.
The district has a well-developed crisis plan with specialized crisis response teams assigned to specific responsibilities. All staff members receive annual training on building-specific safety procedures, including safety drills (fire, lockdown and tornado). Each classroom and office has an Emergency Plan posted for quick reference. 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.
Orono Schools District Office