School Safety

Safety Management Steps - Mitigation & prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery.Ensuring Safety in a 21st Century World

School safety is a top priority and is a cooperative effort of the Hanover Sheriff's Office, the Ashland Police Department, and Hanover County Public Schools. Safety and emergency planning is conducted using the four phases of emergency management: mitigation/prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery to prepare for all hazards, both man-made and natural emergencies/disasters that may impact school communities and the environment. 

An annual safety audit is performed at each school and filed with the Virginia Department of Education. We have trained safety and emergency response teams at each school to execute response plans that are updated annually by school crisis teams and certified by the Virginia Center for School Safety.

Community Partnerships

We work closely with our community partners to make sure that all safety needs are being met and reviewed annually. The NIMS, National Incident Management, and ICS, the Incident Command System, are used as the set of management protocol for all emergencies.

The Hanover County Sheriff's Office conducts a comprehensive school division safety audit annually. We have full-time School Resource Officers in all secondary schools and DARE officers assigned to each corridor for elementary schools.

Our specialized staff development include tabletop emergency response drills in cooperation with law enforcement, Fire/EMS, and other first responder agencies. We partner with Hanover Parks & Recreation to maintain safe school grounds. 

Communication

students shaking hands with visitorsWe work hard to ensure direct, reliable, and timely communication with our community during a response effort. 

Communication within the school division:

  • Blackboard Connect messages are sent for crisis communication and community outreach.

  • Emergency weather alert radios at all schools.

  • School buses equipped with radios and base stations at each school.

  • Direct communication with 911. 

Communication within school buildings: 

  • Telephones in all classrooms.

  • Two-way radios with access to transportation, law enforcement and Fire/EMS.

  • Uniform response plan for intruders/trespassers on school grounds.

  • Immediate notification to law enforcement.

school resource officer with student

Programs and Resources

We utilize a variety of programs and resources to help maintain school safety at all of our buildings and events. 

We have bullying prevention programs at the middle and elementary school levels. We conduct an annual review of the Code of Student Conduct to reflect current issues and changes in legislation. Conflict resolution and mediation training is given for administrators, teachers, counselors, and teams of students, as well as drug prevention and intervention training for administrators.

We have closed-circuit television equipment placed in high school hallways, common areas, and parking lots. Full-time parking lot attendants with radios monitor student, visitor, and unauthorized traffic during school hours. We place metal detectors at major varsity athletic events. Photo identification badges are required for all school division personnel. We also utilize security camera equipment on school buses.

How You Can Help

Parents and students help maintain school safety every day. 

parent with student

What students can do:

  • Report any crime immediately to school authorities or police.

  • Report all negative behavior changes in other students.

  • Learn to manage your own anger effectively.

  • Help others settle disputes peacefully.

  • Become a peer counselor, working with classmates.

  • Avoid giving out personal information when on the internet or cell phone.

  • Ask each student group or club to adopt an anti-violence theme.

  • Befriend new students and help them feel welcome at school.

What parents can do:

  • Play an active role in your child’s life.

  • Be a role model.

  • Listen to and talk to your child.

  • Set clear limits/expectations on behavior in advance.

  • Help your children find peaceful solutions to problems.

  • If you own firearms, keep them at home and securely locked.

  • Discourage bullying, name-calling and teasing.

  • Know your children’s friends, whereabouts and activities.

  • Support school policies and rules.

  • Interact with other parents through school and neighborhood associations.

  • Notice, acknowledge and address negative behavioral changes in your child.

Contact

Kerri Wright, Safety and Security Coordinator
(804) 365-4572

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