The Office of Safety and Security’s mission is to support schools in ensuring that all students feel safe, both physically and emotionally, and also feel welcomed, supported and respected by both peers and adults so that they can reach their full potential.
The Office of Safety and Security supports school leaders in promoting the safety of students and staff. By taking a holistic approach to safety, schools will proactively provide for the physical and emotional safety and create a culture that aims to build trusting relationships. School safety plays a critical role in positive youth development and academic success.
Safety is Everyone’s Responsibility
The safety of our students and staff is reliant on building trusted partnerships with parents, students and school communities across the district.
We asked parents and students for their take on school safety. Please listen to their voices while also learning about how we can work together to provide for the safety of all students and staff. Watching these videos with your child opens the door to a discussion on safety topics so you can utilize the tools and resources outlined on this page to help them — and you — feel safe.
Student Voices Video
Parent Voices Video
If You See Something, Say Something
Safety Measures at Every CPS School
- School-specific safety protocol plans (standard operating procedures)
- School-specific emergency response plans
- Professionally trained security staff
- Compliance with annual safety drills requirements (100% compliance every year)
- Access to CPS Safety Managers and CPD School Sergeants
- Access to CPS Student Safety Center Communications
- NEW! Emergency Training Video
- NEW! Visitor Management System – over 150K visitors have checked in this year
- NEW! Guidepost Safety Audit Summary – all CPS district schools went through an audit on physical conditions such as door locks. These results will be incorporated into an overall plan on capital improvements.
- NEW! Supporting Our Schools – Monitoring for Worrisome Behaviors
We are focused on providing supports for students that may be going through extra challenges. Through interventions, counseling and programming, students and their families can access custom supports to meet their specific, individual needs.
Social Media threats and Concerning Behaviors
Proactively, we all should be on the lookout for worrisome behaviors such as threats of harm to oneself or others. Please check in regularly with your child on how they’re doing. Since we know social media can be both helpful and harmful, be aware of how and with whom they are engaging on social media. School staff and our Central Office team are on the lookout for concerning, open source social media posts. Our partnership with Safer Schools Together helps us identify situations involving worrisome behaviors.
Know that concerning social media action can hit a flashpoint very quickly. Contact the school’s administration immediately with as much information as possible and collect screen shots to share. If it is after school hours, please also submit the information as soon as possible to the CPS Student Safety Center at firstname.lastname@example.org. The more immediate you send the information, the more helpful it will be in the investigation. And If you can include any screenshots, that will be very helpful.
Safety Emergency Preparedness
Our top priority is to provide safe spaces for our children to learn and educators to teach. CPS takes every proactive step possible in order to prevent serious incidents from happening in the first place.
Although emergencies during the school day are extremely rare, we have established clear emergency protocols and communication procedures so all students and staff know how to quickly and confidently make their way to safety in the event of an emergency.
While schools across the district have worked to build a culture of safety to prevent serious incidents, in the event of an emergency, these steps will help schools to be prepared to respond effectively.
Whole School Safety
In 2021, CPS partnered with five Community-Based Organizations in a collaborative effort to reimagine safety and develop trauma-informed Whole School Safety Plans.
As part of the process, schools are instructed to form cross-representative committees to develop comprehensive Whole School Safety Plans outlining the school’s vision, priorities, and strategies to create an environment of physical, emotional and relational safety. The process is designed to achieve the following:
- Consider Whole School Safety Alternative Recommendations to the School Resource Officer (SRO) Program
- Consider whether to keep the SRO Program at the school (Keep 2, 1 or 0 SROs)
- Local School Councils voted on the Whole School Safety Plan over the summer of 2022.
Schools are encouraged to think holistically about their school’s individual needs with consideration to recommendations that came out of an extensive community-led process. In addition, schools can be inspired by other school models across the district who have been successful in transitioning to a more holistic and proactive approach.