School Safety Overview
The safety and well-being of your children is of the utmost importance to us. Our primary role is to provide your children a safe environment where they can grow academically, socially and emotionally.
As a District, we continually work to enhance and improve school safety. We have developed a District-wide Safe Schools Committee that includes representatives from the District Crisis Response Team, local law enforcement agencies, local EMT, the state police, representatives from local hospitals, parent representatives, Westmoreland County Public Safety and the local media. Within our committee, several subcommittees were formed. The subcommittees meet on a regular basis and report to the larger committee.
Moreover, we have developed a Crisis Response Team that meets periodically to discuss and refine our state-approved Emergency Management plan. In addition, our Crisis Response Team assists us in providing professional development in the areas of school safety to our staff.
Entering a School Building
As part of our safety plan, our schools are locked at all times. Before entering any school building, each person will be asked to provide specific information that includes his/her full name and purpose for his/her visit. Once the doors are unlocked for entrance into the building, he/she must enter the main office and will be asked to show a form of legal identification, preferably a driver’s license, to the designated personnel that will process the identification information and a visitor’s pass will be issued.
Each person must buzz in separately. We do not permit people to hold the door and allow others to enter. Visitors must enter and exit through the main doors.
In the Event of an Emergency
A well-developed School Safety plan requires effective communication to staff, parents, students and stakeholders. Therefore, we want to provide you some information about what to do and expect in the event of an emergency at one of the school buildings.
Parents can receive information by a variety of methods, depending on the time and manner of the emergency. Information will be provided on an as-needed basis; however, the administration will provide as much information on the situation as possible to parents without compromising the safety of any person involved or without violating laws relating to confidentiality. Communication methods and an explanation of each are listed below.
· School Messenger: This system is designed to send an emergency message via a phone call and/or text or email message to families. It is essential that you provide the District with accurate phone numbers and email addresses. You should also alert the District when there is a change to any phone number or email address. To check your information, visit https://student/norwinsd.org. If you see that one of your phone numbers is incorrect, you are asked to contact any school office where your child attends.
· Direct emails to parents and guardians: Norwin School District can send emails to all parents and guardians through the Skyward Student Message Center. The burden is on parents and guardians to make sure that their email address is correct and up to date in the Skyward system. To check your information, log into your Skyward Family Access account by visiting https://student/norwinsd.org, then follow these steps:
o Click the “Account Info” tab found in the upper right corner of the screen.
o Address, email address and phone numbers on file are listed.
o Click “Change my email” to update the email address on file.
o If you need assistance logging into Skyward Family Access, send an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
· Letters Sent Home with Children: If the emergency is one that does not require immediate notification, we will provide information about the emergency or situation in a letter that will be sent home with children.
· District Web site: Emergency Information may appear on the District’s homepage at www.norwinsd.org
· District Web site E-Alerts: These are email or SMS text messages you can receive when the District website (www.norwinsd.org) is updated with new and/or emergency information. To register for the District Web site E-Alerts: At the top of the District webpage, click on the button “Register” and follow the steps provided. Select the areas of the Web site in which you are most interested.
· Social Media Sites: Norwin School District has an official Facebook page that has been used to convey school closing and delay information. It can also be a way to convey information about school emergencies. If you are a Facebook user and are interested in receiving this kind of information, visit www.facebook.com/norwinsd and subscribe to that page by clicking on the button marked “Like.”
· Local Media: There may be emergencies that will prompt us to use our local media, both newspaper and television, to broadcast to parents.
· Parent Meetings: Parent meetings may be called following a significant emergency.
In the event of a significant emergency, we understand that a parent’s first reaction will be to come to the school to pick up his/her child. When there is a significant emergency, we urge parents to refrain coming to the school because it may interfere with the capacity of emergency personnel to perform their jobs effectively. In many instances, emergency personnel will not permit access to the school buildings.
Communication to the parents by the District Public Information Officer (PIO), the spokesperson for the District, will come as soon as reasonably possible. Additionally, the District PIO will provide timely updates using the local media, the District website, School Messenger and other forms of communication as deemed necessary.
Please be advised that District-level communication is sent for more urgent reasons. School principals will also periodically share building-level information through email or phone calls.
Our ability to communicate with parents and guardians depends upon having accurate contact information for parents and guardians. Therefore, Norwin School District will be asking parents and guardians to annually update the information that they have on file through the School District’s online registration program.
Additionally, it is good to be aware of the other emergency information services operated by local municipalities. Several examples as of the date of this writing include:
· Nixle, which allows trusted information from police departments to be communicated via SMS, mobile application, email, and web.
o North Huntingdon Police Department uses Nixle. Sign up for their alerts at www.nixle.com.
o North Irwin Borough has a Twitter page. Sign up at www.twitter.com and use their hashtag of @NorthIrwin.
· Municipal Facebook Pages:
o North Irwin Borough: Visit www.facebook.com/northirwin to sign up for their alerts.
o North Huntingdon EMS/Rescue: Visit www.facebook.com and enter “North Huntingdon EMS/Rescue” into the search bar.