Safety and Security
Committed to ensure a safe and secure environment for everyone to learn and work.
Emergency Response Planning
This information guide outlines some of the key elements of Joliet Public School District 86's state of preparedness. It is our hope that this information answers the questions you have concerning the actions and intentions regarding your child while they are in school or traveling to or from school.
Joliet Public Schools District 86 will:
- Instruct students and staff in emergency preparedness and in emergency procedures designed to maximize safety in an emergency situation.
- Prepare personnel to respond to an emergency according to predetermined procedures designed to prevent injuries and minimize property loss, and to provide appropriate response and support when necessary.
- Work in collaboration with local fire and law enforcement agencies to ensure up to date information is received in order to increase District preparedness and the appropriate strategy for emergency protective actions.
- Communicate with parents/families about emergency preparedness measures.
- Communicate with parents/families about the school emergency management procedures so school and home can work cooperatively in the best interest of students.
- Work in collaboration with our transportation partners to ensure all students are safe. This includes the option of having students driven to an alternate school building.
In the Event of an Emergency:
Staff will immediately account for and attend to the needs of every child. Any children who are injured will be given medical treatment as soon as possible. Children will be kept in the safest location until they can be reunited with their families.
Depending on the nature of the incident, the school will implement one of the following protective actions/emergency protocols:
- Evacuation: If it is unsafe for students and staff to remain inside the building, the school will be evacuated. If necessary, students and staff will be relocated to another safe location. The school and District will then follow the directions given by local emergency agencies (i.e. fire or police).
- Hold-in-Place and Teach: A procedure whereby the entire school building population is restricted to their assigned classrooms/instruction areas. Students are not allowed in the hallways. This procedure is most commonly used during a weather emergency, medical incident, non-life-threatening issues, or an external chemical accident/release.
- Secure Building and Teach: This is a procedure which allows the school to continue with the normal school day, but curtails outside activity, and allows no visitors into the building, except for verified emergency medical or law enforcement personnel. Secure Building and Teach is commonly used when an incident is occurring outside the school building, on or off school property.
- Lockdown (run-hide-fight): A lockdown event occurs when there is an immediate hostile threat inside the school. This may be an intruder, a firearms event, or any active assailant inside a school building. A lockdown announcement is made for all staff, students, and visitors to be informed. All school activities cease and 911 is called. School staff will lead students in appropriate emergency response protocols, All staff and students remain in lockdown until released by the police or an all-clear announcement is made by school personnel.
Communication During an Emergency
Joliet Public Schools District 86 employs a Director for Communications and Development who is designated to talk with the media. All District-media communication will flow through this designated individual to prevent miscommunication or inaccurate information from being released. The Critical Incident Media Notification Plan provides the necessary guidance for school district representatives to effectively deal with the media during an emergency. During a school crisis, the Director for Communications and Development will assume the responsibility for arranging the details and providing accurate, up-to-date information regarding the incident to families, staff members, and identified community members utilizing various communication platforms.
Before an Emergency Occurs
- Make sure that the school has correct emergency contact information for your child(ren). If there is any change in a student's name, home address, mailing address, telephone number, or emergency contact names or phone numbers, please notify the school immediately The District strives to maintain accurate records so that we can ensure appropriate communication with parents/guardians.
- Only people listed as parents, guardians, or emergency contacts are allowed to pick up children from school.
- Encourage your child to carry an I.D. Card at all times.
- Let your child know that if an emergency occurs while he/she is in school, the classroom teacher or school principal will provide them with appropriate instructions.
- Keep the school nurse informed of a child's medical condition and provide emergency medical supplies and medication.
- Keep alert to activity around the schools and on school grounds. Report any suspicious activities. If you see something, say something.
When an Emergency Occurs
- Be accessible by remaining at the emergency phone numbers you provided to the school.
- Don't call the school in emergency situations so that the phone lines can remain open for emergency communication.
- Understand that if an emergency is declared, access to the school building may be restricted. Do not remove your child from school grounds without signing him/her out.
- Neighbors or others who are not listed as emergency contacts will not be allowed to pick up your children.
- Tune in to the local radio or television stations.
- Check the local law enforcement social media platforms.
Release of Students to Parent / Legal Guardian AFTER an Emergency
- Parents are allowed to pick up their children unless public safety officials or District 86 personnel restrict facility access. During an emergency, school personnel will maintain a safe and normal environment for children. School is not automatically canceled in emergency situations. Remember, school may be the safest place for children to be.
- If you are told to pick up your child, report to the student release station.
When you arrive at the Student Release Station, you or your designated trusted adult (emergency contact) will be asked to complete a Student Release form with the following information:
- Name of the child or children being picked up
- Your name or Emergency Contact Name
- Relationship to the child or children
- Your destination
- Current valid identification with a photograph is needed when a parent, guardian, or trusted adult (emergency contact) signs for your child or children.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if there is an emergency? How will parents be informed? How will parents or Guardians be told what to do?
Joliet Public Schools District 86 utilizes multiple systems for communicating with parents. Emergency messages will be sent to all parent/guardian and emergency contact phone numbers, and may additionally be sent via text or email. As stated above, please make sure that the school has been provided with up-to-date emergency contact information.
What security is in place at schools?
School security involves multiple layers and requires the cooperation of school staff, parents, and students
- During school hours the exterior doors are locked to prevent unauthorized access.
- All visitors are directed to a main entrance to help control building access.
- Once inside the school, all visitors are required to check in and to provide a valid photo ID.
- Visitor IDs are scanned utilizing a state-of-the-art visitor management digital platform.
- Any visitor granted access is required to wear a visitor name tag.
- Please report any security concerns to:
Does Joliet Public Schools District 86 have a current crisis plan?
Yes. Joliet Public Schools District 86 has created and follows a Comprehensive School Emergency and Crisis Response Plan. Each year, the District is responsible for revisiting the current plan, and will make updates and revisions as needed.
What about weapons in school?
Weapons of any kind are prohibited from school property. This includes knives of any size, pocket knives, box cutters, any type of gun (which includes BB guns, airsoft guns, or look-alike guns), or any other suspicious object believed to be a weapon. Student weapon possession us a serious disciplinary matter and can result in a contact to the local police department.
Please take a moment to remind your child that items like this should never be brought to school. If students observe weapons at school, they should report it immediately to any school employee. Please report any weapon concerns to: