School safety measures
Here in Woodridge School District 68 we do our best to prepare how to react to emergency situations and provide social emotional resources to students who may need help, both before and after these incidents. We have several measures in place to protect students, staff, and our schools. These best practices were developed utilizing the latest in research and in cooperation with our Woodridge community partners. Click a topic below for details.
All visitors to school property are required to report to the Building Principal’s office and receive permission to remain on school property. All visitors must show identification and wear a visitor’s badge. When leaving the school, visitors must return their badge.
Raptor Visitor Management
All visitors to our schools must present government-issued identification. The Raptor system better allows us to track visitors, contractors, and volunteers in our schools and provide us with a safer environment for our students and staff.
All exterior doors are always locked. Most of our schools also have a secured vestibule preventing visitors from entering the school once through the main entrance door unless granted access.
Some of our elementary schools have a security camera at the entrance to the building. Plans are underway to install security cameras at each point of entry at all elementary schools. Jefferson Junior High has 36 security cameras installed throughout the building. Security cameras are not actively monitored, but can be viewed live when necessary. The Woodridge Police Department can access the video feeds at any time.
Classroom door locks
All classroom doors in all of our schools remain locked at all times.
Each year the school principal meets with students in every grade level to review Woodridge School District 68’s weapons policy, discussing what constitutes a weapon, prohibition of weapons on school property, and consequences for violating these policies.
Lockdown drills are one of several safety drills students and staff participate in each year. Current research suggests the run-hide-fight approach to an active shooter in the school.
Table top scenarios
Staff participate in additional emergency training where different emergency scenarios are presented and then the best practice response is shared and discussed.
Active shooter drills
The Woodridge Police Department conducts active shooter drills inside our schools to prepare and train in case of such an emergency. This is done when no students or staff are present to avoid any unnecessary trauma.
Emergency Action Guide
Developed after research and discussion at the annual school safety meeting (see below), a copy of the single page Emergency Action Guide is posted next to every classroom door.
Annual school safety meeting
A crisis committee made up of district and school administrators and representatives from the Woodridge Police Department, Lisle-Woodridge Fire Protection District, Woodridge Park District, and others meet every year to discuss the latest research and review plans and procedures to ensure best practices and coordination in the event of an emergency.
Each elementary school has a full-time social worker. Jefferson Junior High has two social workers and a school counselor. Woodridge 68 has 5 psychologists: one at Jefferson, one for early childhood, and the other three each split their time between two elementary schools. Information about the role social workers, counselors, and psychologists play in the school can be found on the district and school websites.
Recent studies by organizations such as the National Institute of Mental Health and the American Academy of Pediatrics show a significant increase in adolescent anxiety, depression, and suicide attempts. An effective social emotional (SEL) curriculum combats these alarming statistics. According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), SEL is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. SEL is not a single program or teaching method. It involves coordinated strategies across classrooms, schools, homes and communities, and districts.
To catalyze building strong relationships between teachers and students, we spend the first three days of the school year focusing solely on building relationships. Teachers get to know kids, kids get to know each other, and students do activities that better help them understand themselves. Significant 72 doesn’t end after those first three days. In addition to ongoing reinforcement, we set aside time for relationship-building after three-day weekends, Thanksgiving break, winter break, and spring break.
Using research-backed measures, Panorama identifies students’ and teachers’ perceptions of SEL, explores the results with interactive reports, and provides educators with actionable strategies to build their students’ SEL skills.
Bullying prevention & awareness
Bullying, intimidation, and harassment diminish a student’s ability to learn and a school’s ability to educate. Preventing students from engaging in these disruptive behaviors and providing all students equal access to a safe, non-hostile learning environment are important goals in Woodridge 68. Information about the proactive measures we take in our schools and links to resources can be found in the Parent section of the district website.
School Resource Officer
Woodridge Police Officer Jeff Bean is assigned to Woodridge 68 schools and provides GRIT training. Most of his time is spent at Jefferson Junior High, but his presence is seen at all our schools. Officer Bean also serves as our liaison to the police department.
GRIT is a school educational program offered in partnership with the Woodridge Police Department. Those who have GRIT possess a special combination of passion and persistence to overcome challenges and succeed. The program combines many elements of the D.A.R.E. program with current issues facing our youth such as social media, peer pressure and bullying. GRIT also focuses on educating parents regarding the current issues facing our youth.
Constant communication with police
Woodridge 68 works closely with the police department to prepare for and respond to any level of security threat.
Annual school safety meeting
[see Emergency Preparedness section]
Help from parents
Vigilance starts at home
Parents should actively engage their children in conversation about school and friends, watch for changes in mood or behavior, and monitor social media use.
Encourage student reporting
Encourage your child to tell a trusted adult when another student threatens the school or talks about committing acts of violence.
Awareness when on school property
Pay attention to your surroundings when on school property, in the parking lot and in the hallways.