Top of Page

Student Safety and Security

Safety is the top priority at Chicago Public Schools, and the Office of Safety and Security has implemented a comprehensive system that includes trained staff, protocols, programs, and policies to keep students and staff safe before, during, and after school.

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

Whole School Safety Framework

When CPS looks at safety, it is not just about physical safety. Students must feel welcome, emotionally safe. They also must have relational trust in caring adults at the school, who they have confidence will be there for them if they need something, or if they need to share important information about a situation.

Over the years, we have codified a framework that reviews the three components of our view of school safety, the Whole School Safety Framework. In partnership with five community-based organizations, VOYCE, Mikva Challenge, COFI Power PAC, Ark of St Sabina and BUILD Chicago, and the Civic Consulting Alliance, we embarked upon a community-led engagement process and developed this framework.

CPS looks at school safety holistically. All three of these components must be in place in order to have a school where students and staff can feel safe. And it takes everyone’s active participation to ensure that these components are in place. Safety is everyone’s responsibility.

  • First Aid icon

    Physical Safety

    All schools must have a safety plan that determines how they  will keep their school physically safe.

    Only authorized individuals are able to enter the schools. This past year, CPS implemented a new Visitor Management System that will track individuals who are entering the schools to support in the access control plan. Implementing a rigorous CPS background check policy to ensure that the adults supporting schools have been appropriately vetted to be deemed safe to be working with students.

  • Mother and child icon

    Emotional Safety

    Administrators all work towards the goal of ensuring that there is a welcoming environment for students so they view their school as a sanctuary, enabling them to focus on learning and academic achievement.

    All teachers and staff play a role in incorporating SEL, social emotional learning, into their daily curriculum because students also play a role in supporting their peers in providing for an emotionally-safe environment.

  • Handshake icon

    Relational Trust

    It is CPS’ goal to ensure that every student has at least one trusted adult that they can go to if they need additional support.

    Security officers are explicitly trained to support schools in providing for this welcoming environment where they can build healthy and appropriate relationships with students while also maintaining the physical safety of the building

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 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.

Learn more

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.

Learn More

School Safety and Security


42 W. Madison St.
Chicago, IL 60602