• Safety & Security

    West Chicago Elementary School District 33 takes the safety and security of our students and staff very seriously. The district maintains a public Emergency Operations Plan and confidential building-level school safety plans.

    A district safety committee annually reviews the District Emergency Operations Plan and school Incident Command Teams review the confidential school-level safety plans. All updates are reviewed by the District 33 School Board annually.

      Crisis Response

      • Crisis Response Plans are an important tool used in District 33 to help protect the safety of our school communities. These plans help our school leaders, staff and students proactively know what steps to take in the event of a crisis. Parents/ guardians should be familiar with the different types of emergency situations so that if a situation does arise, they have an understanding of how the district will respond.

        To help ensure understanding, District 33 no longer uses safety codes in a crisis but instead uses plain language to coordinate response efforts. In each of these situations, an all-clear will be given either by law enforcement or district officials and regular operations will resume.

        Safety drills are held throughout the school year to practice response in the event any of these situations occur.

        Hold in Place
        A Hold in Place is initiated when an incident occurs within the school, such as when medical assistance is needed for a student or staff member. 

        • Students and staff clear the hallways and remain in their rooms or areas until all clear is announced
        • No one will be allowed to enter or exit the building other than emergency responders and district officials.

        Secure and Teach
        A Secure & Teach may be implemented when a potentially dangerous situation exists within the community but not on school grounds. This may be used in response to a nearby safety incident that requires a response by law enforcement. It may also be used in the event of a medical emergency within the school.

        • All exterior doors will be checked and secured.
        • Students or staff who may be outside for recess, physical education, or other activities will be brought inside of the school.
        • No one will be allowed to enter or exit the building, other than law enforcement or district officials. We ask that you do not try to come to the building to pick up your child until an all-clear is given.
        • Students and staff may move about the interior of the building, which may include moving to other classrooms, lunch, restrooms, etc.

        Lockdown
        A Lockdown will be implemented when a potentially dangerous situation exists on the school campus or within close proximity to the school. This may include a person with a weapon or a threat to safety within the school.

        • All exterior doors will be checked and secured. All interior classroom doors will be locked and secured.
        • Students or staff who may be outside for recess, physical education, or other activities will be brought inside or to an alternative safe location.
        • No one will be allowed to enter or exit the building, other than law enforcement or district officials. We ask that you do not try to come to the building to pick up your child until an all-clear is given.
        • Students and staff will remain within their classrooms or common space and will not be allowed to move throughout the hallways or other spaces.

        Evacuation
        An evacuation may be necessary when a potentially dangerous situation occurs within the school building and it is safer for students and staff to be outside of the building or escorted to an alternate site. This may include a fire, gas leak, or threat.

        Depending on the situation, students may be able to return to the building quickly or may need to be escorted to an alternate location.

        • School staff will escort students out of the building in an orderly fashion and to a designated safe place on school grounds or a predetermined nearby location.
        • Alternate sites have been designated for each District 33 school during an evacuation. These locations are not shared publicly before an emergency in an effort to maintain student safety.
        • In some instances, school may be held at an alternate site or an early dismissal may be called and parents/guardians may come to pick up their child. Students will never be sent home without parent/guardian notice and without adult supervision.

        Shelter-in-Place
        A Shelter-in Place may be called in the event of a weather-related emergency.

        • Students will be escorted to a designated safe location within the building, away from windows.
        • All students and staff who are outdoors will be brought inside and to a safe location.
           

      IL Safety Drill Act

      • Illinois Safety Drill Act

        West Chicago Elementary School District 33 complies with the Illinois School Safety Drill Act.  The purpose of this Act is to establish minimum requirements and standards for schools to follow when conducting school safety drills and reviewing school emergency and crisis response plans.  The Illinois School Safety Drill Act also encourages schools and first responders to work together for the safety of children.

        District 33 works closely with the local fire and police to conduct the following drills annually:

        • 3 fire drills: One of these drills the fire department must be present to observe and provide direction and feedback
        • 1 severe weather drill
        • 1 bus evacuation drill
        • 1 law enforcement drill within the first 90 days of school

      How Can You Help?

      • Our families are important partners in our efforts to keep students safe during and after an emergency. In today’s world, we know safety-related events are both stressful and terrifying. Our priority is always the safety of our students. While it’s likely very difficult, we ask for your help in ensuring law enforcement and school/district officials can do their jobs in helping to keep students safe and secure the area.

        In the event of an emergency, below are a few things to keep in mind that will help maximize safety within our school community:

        • We know it's hard, but try your best to remain calm. Wait for official information released from the district and your child’s school.
          • Official updates will be sent through the district’s mass notification system and may include phone, text messages, and emails. Information will be posted to the District 33 website and the official social media account - Facebook
          • Wait to be contacted about the next steps. Do not come to the school or emergency site, unless otherwise directed. We need to ensure the area is safe, and all students are accounted for.
          • While we will make every effort to provide information as quickly as possible, our primary goal is securing the building and working to ensure the safety of our students and staff.
          • We will inform families of the incident once the situation has been stabilized, and we have accurate information to share.
          • Avoid calling the school or district office for more information. Phone lines must remain clear and staff must be available to support.
          • Don’t fuel the rumor mill and rely on official information sources. Oftentimes, information on social media is inaccurate or incomplete.
          • Keep emergency contact information up-to-date. Changes can be made by contacting the school office.
          • Read emergency communications in their entirety and follow any instructions closely. In the event a reunification is necessary, please follow the signage and bring an ID so that we can safely release your child to you.
          • Trust us to keep your child safe, just like you do on a regular school day. We know this can be extremely difficult. Please understand that attempting to pick up your child during an emergency can send a message to them that their school is not a safe place. 

      Visitor Management System

      • Visitor Management System

        West Chicago Elementary School District 33 utilizes the Raptor Visitor Management System.

        • Visitors must provide a driver’s license (or other approved ID) when they enter the building.
        • The secretary will scan the ID and system will compare the visitor’s information to a sex offender database alerting school administrators and local police if a match is found.
        • Once cleared through the system, a visitor badge is produced that includes a photo.
        • Visitors are required to wear this visitor badge while in the building.

        What forms of ID are approved? A state license, a state identification card, a green card, an active military card and/or a passport card.