- What facility upgrades has Barrington 220 made to increase safety and security at each school?
- What does Barrington 220 do on an annual basis to prepare students and staff for an emergency situation?
- What should parents/guardians do during an emergency situation at their child's school?
- What types of measures does Barrington 220 have in place to make sure students are getting the social and emotional help they may need?
- Besides working with law enforcement during the annual drills, in what other ways do you partner to create a safe school environment?
Every year the district works hard to evaluate current safety practices and enhance protocols at all schools. For instance, all of our schools have electronic door systems and vestibules that require an identification card to enter. Each school also has emergency devices, as well as surveillance cameras to monitor suspicious activity. Entryway doors and windows are covered by a protective film that makes it more difficult to shatter the glass. In the fall of 2018 the district created a new position, Director of Safety and Security, which oversees safety and security measures at all schools across the district.
In addition, in the summer of 2018 we installed a universal key system that allows teachers to lock the door from inside their classrooms, rather than having to go out in the hallway where they could potentially put themselves at risk in a crisis situation.
For the 2018-19 school year, every vehicle used to transport students was upgraded with cameras and parents and staff can now track the location of school buses, using an app connected to a GPS device on the bus. Information tablets were also installed in all buses in the summer of 2018 that include routing and student information.
In the summer of 2019, the district purchased a new radio communication system, which has improved radio coverage at each school, allowing administrators at different schools to communicate with one another via radio during an emergency. It also gives the district the ability to use an emergency call button that is connected to local dispatch centers.
In the summer of 2020, all Barrington 220 classrooms were equipped with emergency backpacks, which contain life-saving supplies in the event first responders cannot evacuate the building right away and students and staff are required to remain in their classrooms.
In the summer of 2021 the district eliminated the mobile classrooms at Station and Prairie Middle Schools, as part of the Build 220 projects, and construction on new classroom additions at each school was completed in August 2022. In addition, the mobile classrooms at Grove Avenue Elementary have been eliminated, and a new classroom addition opened to students and staff in August 2022. The elimination of the mobile classrooms greatly improves safety at those schools, as students will no longer have to exit the main building to get to class.
As part of the Build 220 projects, Barrington 220 is installing a new camera system and access door control system in each of our schools. The new software makes it much easier for our security team to monitor who is entering and exiting each building at any given time throughout the day. If a door is left open for any reason, the security team is alerted immediately. The camera system is also able to quickly sort through hours of video, which can help us quickly locate a specific person in our buildings simply by entering in some of the person’s physical descriptions.
Each school building has a secure vestibule at the main entrance, and additional secure vestibules are being added to buildings. In the past, once an individual entered a building the person could move freely through the building. Therefore, Barrington 220 will also be adding the ability to compartmentalize each building on demand. This would restrict a person from moving throughout the building, while still providing egress (the ability to evacuate) to any student or staff member.
Barrington 220 abides by the Illinois School Safety Act, which requires students to participate in four types of drills on an annual basis. They include school evacuation, bus evacuation, severe weather and law enforcement during crisis situations. During the crisis situation drill, the school district partners with law enforcement to teach students and staff how to lock-down the classroom and the “Run, Hide, Fight” model, which is based on recommendations from the Department of Homeland Security and the Barrington Police Department. Our staff also periodically works with local law enforcement to conduct drills, during institute days when students are not in school.
STAY CALM AND STAY ALERT
In the event of a school emergency, please remain calm and know that school staff, district personnel and law enforcement are working to keep your child safe. Barrington 220 fully understands the importance of communication during an emergency and we are prepared and committed to provide ongoing updates throughout the situation. Based on the situation, Barrington 220 may provide information via text, emails, phone calls, district social media and the district website. Please know that the media will not always report accurate information. In addition, we know that during a school emergency many of our students will try to call or text their parents/guardians. If this occurs, we ask that you stay calm and reassuring. Encourage your student to follow the directions of school staff.
STAY AWAY FROM THE SCHOOL
We understand your desire to go to the school and the need to see your child, especially in a situation that feels scary. However, arriving at the scene before it is secure can interfere with the emergency response and puts you in danger. Past school emergencies have shown that one of the greatest challenges is how to manage the number of parents and concerned citizens rushing to the scene. By rushing to the school, parents can unintentionally create traffic jams that may block emergency responders from getting to the school or leaving if necessary to transport injured students or staff to emergency medical facilities. Families should not come to pick up their child unless given the direction to do so from Barrington 220.
KEEP PHONE LINES OPEN
We ask that families do not call the school. This allows phone lines to stay open for communication with emergency personnel and school officials. It also helps school staff to remain focused on the safety of their students. The school/district will communicate any information with you as soon as possible via Infinite Campus emails, text messages, district website and social media.
DO NOT CALL THE POLICE DEPARTMENT OR 911
The police department will be dealing with the school emergency and the dispatch line must remain open for any other emergencies that could occur in the community. Calling to ask what is going on at the school will only take away from the dispatcher being available to handle other emergencies, while also interrupting communication with the police on site at the school where the emergency is taking place.
STUDENT PHONE NUMBERS
If your student has a mobile phone, please make sure to provide your student’s number during Online Registration in Infinite Campus, so that the district can send text alerts to your child’s phone during an emergency situation.
CHECK YOUR INFINITE CAMPUS SETTINGS
Please check your settings in Infinite Campus to make sure you are signed up to receive emergency notifications.
BE PREPARED WITH YOUR PHOTO ID
In the event of a school evacuation, Barrington 220 will follow a standard reunification plan to ensure students are safely returned to their families. The district will communicate the reunification site. During a reunification, families and/or individuals listed as an authorized person to pick up your child should do the following:
- Bring valid form of identification (ID)
- Follow signage and parking directions of the reunification location
- Complete the provided reunification form
- Provide school personnel at the check-in table with a valid form of photo ID and the completed reunification form
- Wait patiently as a Barrington 220 staff member retrieves and escorts your student to you.
Please note that only approved adults with valid photo identification will be allowed to pick up students from the reunification location.
In addition to working with school counselors and conducting behavioral threat assessments, over the years we have developed several prevention and intervention methods. Barrington High School has the Green Dot Program, which is a national program that trains students and staff how to prevent power-based personal violence. The district frequently collaborates with BStrong Together, an organization that enhances the health and well-being of Barrington area children.
We have also created this “Safety 220" section on our website, where our stakeholders can go to report bullying, report a threat to school safety, or text-a-tip to report a person who is struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, depression, or other challenges.
Barrington 220 has a safety and security committee that meets regularly to discuss the best safety practices for our schools. The committee is made up of district administrators, Board of Education members, members of local law enforcement, and other first responders. The district also has a full-time school resource officer from the Barrington Police Department, who is stationed at Barrington High School. In addition, the district has a reciprocal information agreement with the Barrington Police Department. This means Barrington 220 can release student records to police when they request information pertaining to a case. The police department can also provide the district with access to its records for children under age 18.