Safety & Security
Dear Community Members,
During the last several years the Lake Pend Oreille School District has made great strides in the area of staff and student safety. We are committed to keeping our school communities safe. For this reason, we are always striving to improve in this area. Below are some of the things we have implemented over the last several years:
Safety and Security Teams: Each of our buildings has an active safety and security team. The teams are tasked with discussing improvements that can be made to keep our schools safe. They discuss strength areas, as well as areas of concern.
Standard Response Protocol: All schools have a crisis plan that is specific to their school to keep students and staff members safe while addressing a threat in or outside of a building. We have implemented a standard response protocol for lockdowns, lockouts and evacuations. Staff and students practice these protocols at each of our buildings.
Breaking the Code of Silence: Staff, students and parents are encouraged to report any suspicious activity in or outside of the school building, including suspicious activity on social media. We have worked hard at all levels on this via our Connections and Sources of Strength programs at the secondary level and our Second Step Social-Emotional Learning curriculum at the elementary level.
Threat Assessments: If there are concerning actions by a student, our schools can request a threat assessment to determine the level of threat an individual may pose to themselves or to others. We utilize outside agencies to conduct these assessments.
Beacon Alert Systems: Over the last several years we have used funding from the Idaho Safe and Drug Free Schools Grant to install beacon alert systems in our schools. Blue beacons go off in the event of a lockdown. This signifies to staff and students not within earshot of our intercom system that a lockdown is occurring.
Safety and Security Audits: Over the past two years all of our schools have had safety and security audits conducted by an outside agency. These visits have been unannounced and have culminated in a report on things we are doing well, as well as improvement suggestions.
Single Points of Entry: Most of our schools have moved to a single point of entry, so all traffic must flow through the front doors. Our goal is to have single points of entry in all schools within the next few weeks. For those schools that have limited sight of the front doors from the office, video cameras have been installed to monitor who is coming in and out of the schools.
School Resource Officer: Sandpoint High School has a dedicated school resource officer and a security guard staffed at the school.
Mental Health Support: We have made great strides over the years in this area. We have brought back elementary counselor positions and we also contract out with licensed professional counselors. We are the first district in Idaho to also offer “school clinics” in our schools. This is where outside agencies can provide consistent therapeutic sessions to students in need.
We will continue to make every effort to keep our students safe. We will also continue to work closely with local law enforcement agencies. As a community, it is important that we build positive relationships with each other and share information and concerns with the proper authorities. If you have a concern, please share it with our school staff or law enforcement. We will take all reports under careful consideration and take appropriate action.