As we near the final stretch of the school year, we would like to provide you with an update on various safety initiatives that are in progress throughout our school district, as well as provide you with some reminders to continue our collective focus on maintaining safe school environments.
In partnership with local law enforcement, the Orange County Intelligence Assessment Center (OCIAC) has completed physical security assessments of all Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) schools to identify potential opportunities to physically enhance safety measures. We anticipate a full report this summer, at which point we will review and prioritize their findings/guidance to improve the physical security of our sites.
We are on schedule to install electronic security systems at all NMUSD schools, the Education Center and Harper Assessment Center this summer, with completion anticipated by the start of the 2023-24 school year.
The security system will include equipment to provide controlled entry such as doorbell, camera and intercom system. Signage will be posted at front entrances and other locations throughout the buildings notifying that a camera system has been installed.
Camera installation has begun at some schools, prioritizing those without perimeter fencing. Additional camera placement will be conducted in coordination with recommendations from the OCIAC report and finalization of district security standards.
Surveillance cameras will be placed at exterior areas and entrances, hallways, playgrounds, stairwells, parking lots, and other common areas of schools. Signs will be posted on campus and NMUSD facilities that have implemented surveillance systems.
STANDARD RESPONSE PROTOCOL (SRP) - “I LOVE U GUYS”
As a reminder, all schools within our district are implementing the “I Love You Guys” Standard Response Protocol (SRP), which is a uniform, planned and practiced response to an incident. It defines the five actions to take in an emergency: hold, secure, lockdown, evacuate and shelter.
All staff have been trained in the SRP actions and will undergo additional training prior to the start of the 2023-24 school year. Student training also will occur at the start of the 2023-24 school year, as well as retraining for all staff and students throughout the year.
In collaboration with local law enforcement and school resource officers (SROs), safety drills will use this common language surrounding school safety: hold, secure, lockdown, evacuate and shelter.
Please familiarize yourself with these five actions so that in the event of an emergency, you have a clear understanding of the action being taken to support immediate safety efforts. Corresponding signage with description of the five safety actions will be displayed throughout our schools.
NMUSD has partnered with WeTip 2.0, a 24-hour anonymous reporting system (tip line) through which suspicious activity and safety concerns at secondary schools can be reported via phone, text and an online form. WeTip 2.0 is expected to be implemented at all secondary schools this month.
EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM
Centegix: Newport Harbor High School and Davis Magnet School are piloting the Centegix emergency alert system, which allows employees to notify the appropriate people of an emergency to initiate any of the five SRP response actions.
Titan: Newport and Eastbluff Elementary Schools, plus Estancia High School will pilot the Titan Emergency Communication system. The pilot is expected to begin later this month.
HOW WE PREPARE FOR EMERGENCIES
All school sites and district facilities have safety plans in place that are updated yearly and as needed throughout the year.
Our school conducts regular safety drills with students and staff to prepare for a variety of potential situations. Drills include procedures for fire, drop-cover-hold, lockdown, and disaster using the common language of the five SRP response actions.
All of our schools have emergency supplies and equipment, which are inventoried and re-supplied regularly.
We have a variety of staff on site to help support campus safety, and our district has hired additional campus safety officers.
PARTNERSHIP WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT
We partner with the Costa Mesa and Newport Beach Police Departments and have proactive, ongoing communications to support safety on our campus. They also provide SROs, which are local law enforcement officers who serve our schools and district facilities. Our district recently added an SRO for our Costa Mesa city schools, for a total of six SROs that support our schools.
For more information, visit the NMUSD safety webpage or contact your school administration.