The safety of students and employees is a top priority of the Cherokee County School District. The School District has its own certified police force with full arrest powers. All schools are equipped with multiple safety measures, and School Safety Plans unique to each facility are updated annually and exercised by the School Police Department’s Emergency Operations Facilitator, who is certified by the Georgia Emergency Management & Homeland Security Agency as an Emergency Manager. Schools annually practice emergency drills and evacuations for fire, intruders, tornadoes and other potential emergencies.
REPORT TIPS ABOUT SCHOOL SAFETY
The Cherokee County School District offers the Vector Alert (formerly SafeSchools Alert) system for reporting safety concerns. The Vector Alert system allows students, parents, school staff and everyone in the community to anonymously report safety concerns by text, email, online message or phone call.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower said expanding the options for making anonymous reports is one of the many important recommendations to come from his 2018 Safety and Security Ad Hoc Committee.
“The law enforcement leaders, educators and parents who served all agreed this should be a priority, which is why we’re taking this important step today,” he said. “This system is just one of the many enhancements planned as a result of hearing from our community. The security of our students and staff is a top priority, and we need everyone to remember to ‘See Something, Say Something’ to keep us all safe.”
Through Vector Alert, you can submit safety concerns to CCSD five different ways:
If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 911. You can use Vector Alert to report information about threats to school safety, bullying, harassment, drugs, vandalism or any other safety issue.
CCSD School Police and School Operations administrators are notified of every tip, so they can investigate and take appropriate action. This system is closely monitored, making it much more effective than sending a message to CCSD social media accounts or a CCSD email address.
We need your help in spreading an important message as our students head back to school: #SafeCherokee Please check out this brief video - http://bit.ly/CCSDSafeCherokee - featuring Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower and Cherokee Sheriff Frank Reynolds, and a united force of our community’s law enforcement and public safety officers and first-responders. We appreciate all that these heroes do for our community every day, and especially their commitment to serve and protect our schools and our children. #SafeCherokee #CCSDfam
In the event of an emergency (i.e., inclement weather closing or a school evacuation), parents will be notified by CCSD via text, email and/or phone. Email addresses and phone numbers for phone calls and for texts must be current in our student information system, so parents are asked to verify this information at the start of each school year as part of the Back to School Gateway online "first day forms" process.
Emergency notifications will also be posted on the CCSD website homepage, as well as on social media (Facebook and Twitter) and sent to local and Metro Atlanta media outlets.
NOTIFICATION VIA TEXT: In addition to verifying your cell phone number is accurate by using the Back to School Gateway, you also need to subscribe to the text message service: please text the word SUBSCRIBE to the number 68453 in order to do so. You should receive an immediate response by text; if you do not, please contact your wireless provider, as some providers do not accept texts that use short code (SMS) messages.
CODE RED: A situation is occurring on school grounds or inside a school or School District facility that potentially endangers the health, welfare and safety or students, staff and others. All interior doors are locked, students remain in classrooms, and exterior doors are locked. No student check-outs can occur under a Code Red situation; and, parents are asked NOT to call the school or drive to the school campus during a Code Red event, as the additional vehicle traffic will impede public safety response. Schools practice Code Red drills annually.
CODE ORANGE: A situation presents a threat of danger to students, staff or others, but has not yet escalated to a physical threat. All interior doors are locked, students remain in classrooms, and exterior doors are locked. All outside activities will be discontinued, and students and staff will return to the building. Normal operations continue inside the school.
CODE YELLOW: A situation presents no immediate danger to students, staff or others, but there is a situation in the immediate vicinity of a school, as advised by law enforcement or the Office of School Operations. All outside activities will be discontinued, and students and staff will return to the building. Exterior doors are locked. Normal operations continue inside the school; student check-out is allowed.
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING: An impending storm of heavy rain, lightning, thunder, high winds and/or hail. Outdoor activities are discontinued; weather conditions are monitored for further action. Buses will continue routes under extreme caution.
TORNADO WATCH: Weather conditions are favorable for the development of a tornado. Outdoor activities are discontinued; weather conditions are monitored for further action. Buses will continue routes under extreme caution.
TORNADO WARNING: A tornado has been sighted or has been observed on radar. All mobile classrooms are evacuated to the main building. Student dismissal is delayed until after the warning is lifted. If a tornado warning occurs while buses are running routes, drivers will proceed to the nearest education facility or suitable public building (such as a police or fire station) and take students inside. Drivers remain with the students until the warning is lifted.
School closure announcements due to inclement weather are made public within minutes of the final decision. School closure announcements are posted on the CCSD website, posted on social media and shared with local and Atlanta media. For more information on the inclement weather decision process, please see:
When inclement weather interrupts the school day, the dismissal patterns for elementary, middle and high school will depend upon what time the event occurs. Parents are asked to complete a form at the start of each school year detailing how they wish their child to be transported in the event of early dismissal (bus rider, parent pickup, etc.). Please discuss these plans with your child so that he/she is aware of transportation arrangements should an early dismissal become necessary. Details about the dismissal plan can be found in this document:
IN THE EVENT OF A SCHOOL EVACUATION
The School District has a Disaster Emergency Response Team (DERT) specifically trained to assist in the reunification of parents and students should an emergency require that students be evacuated from a school campus to a remote location. CCSD’s designated reunification site is First Baptist Church of Woodstock, located at 11905 Highway 92, Woodstock GA 30188.
In the event of an emergency where the reunification process is needed, anyone picking up a child MUST be listed as a contact for that child in the Family Portal (Aspen student information system), and that person MUST have photo identification. Parents should check their contact list in Aspen and be sure it is up to date (after log-in, click on the Family tab at the top, then click the Contacts tab on the left). Any changes should be submitted to your child’s school as soon as possible. NO STUDENT WILL BE RELEASED TO SOMEONE NOT LISTED AS A CONTACT OR WHO DOES NOT HAVE PHOTO IDENTIFICATION.