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Safety and Security

Keeping schools safe is a responsibility for all staff, students, and patrons. To report any issue concerning school violence, drugs, and bullying, the issue may be reported anonymously by using one of the following methods:

Liberty School Safety Hotline: 816-736-7331

Missouri School Violence Hotline: 1-866-748-7047

Text to 847411 using keyword "Reportit" and include school name and city

Website: www.schoolviolencehotline.com

The District has created a Safety Committee to help create a safe environment for students. This Committee meets every other month. If you have a safety related concern, please send an email to safetycommittee@liberty.k12.mo.us. Concerns received will be reviewed by the Safety Committee at the next scheduled meeting.

Liberty Public Schools takes pride in being considered one of the most progressive school districts in Missouri and the Midwest. This visionary approach applies to School Safety and Security. Having been awarded the United States Congressional Award, The Liberty Safe Schools Task Force guides our district safety effort. Members of the Task Force include Liberty Public Schools, Liberty Police Department, Liberty Fire Department, Liberty Hospital, Missouri State Highway Patrol, U.S. Attorney's Office, FBI, Clay County Sheriff's Office, and Clay County Juvenile Services. This collaborative effort has been recognized and modeled across the nation and is essential to effective planning for school safety in Liberty.

Our policies go hand-in-hand with state of the art safety equipment and crisis plans to protect children.

· All visitors to our schools must enter through a controlled electronic entry system, sign in at the main office, and receive a guest pass.

· All doors are locked and no one may enter without first identifying themselves and their purpose.

· Professional security personnel are on duty daily to patrol all Liberty Public School buildings and grounds.

· School resources officers are assigned to all Liberty Public School buildings.

· Registered Nurses are on staff at each school and trained aides work with the nurses to provide assistance to students when needed. Liberty Public Schools is unique in having RN’s at every site.

Tornado Safety Rules in Schools

Several times in recent years, schools have been hit by tornadoes. In most instances, fortunately, classes were not in session. In some other instances, where students were present, school officials familiar with twisters safeguarded the children by taking prompt action just before the tornadoes hit.

NOAA's National Weather Service urges that all schools develop plans and conduct drills to cope with tornadoes--particularly in the south and central states where the threat is greatest. Tornado drills require different actions than fire drills.

Among details to consider:

  • Remember that the National Weather Service issues a Tornado Watch when the possibility of tornadoes exists, and a Tornado Warning when a tornado has been spotted or indicated on radar. Remember also there may not be time for a Tornado Warning before a twister strikes. Tornadoes form suddenly. Teachers and students should know the difference between a Watch and a Warning.
  • School officials at the state and county level should have a plan for rapid dissemination of Tornado Watches and Warnings to every school in the system--either by radio or telephone.
  • Each school should be inspected and tornado shelter areas designated. Schools with basements should use these as shelters. Schools without basements should use interior hallways on the ground floor that are not parallel to the tornado's path, which is usually from the southwest. Never use gymnasiums, auditoriums, or other rooms with wide free-span roofs. Teachers and students should know their designated shelter areas.
  • School administrators should establish procedures governing use or non-use of school buses during Tornado Watches and Warnings. Generally speaking, school buses should continue to operate during Tornado Watches, but not during Tornado Warnings. School buses are easily rolled by tornado winds.
  • During a Tornado Watch, specific teachers or other school staff members should be designated to monitor commercial radio or TV for Tornado Warnings, even if the school has a NOAA Weather Radio tone-alert system. Weather spotters also should keep an eye on the sky for dark, rolling clouds, hail, driving rain, or a sudden increase in wind, in addition to the telltale funnel. Tornadoes are often obscured by precipitation or darkness. Other public agencies report tornado sightings as well.
  • A special alarm system should be designated to indicate a tornado has been sighted and is approaching. A backup alarm should be planned for use if electrical power fails--perhaps a battery-operated bullhorn, an inexpensive hand-cranked siren, or even an old-fashioned hand-swung bell.
  • Specific teachers should be assigned to round up children on playgrounds or other outdoor areas during a tornado warning. Otherwise, they might be overlooked.
  • Children in school rooms of weak construction, such as portable or temporary classrooms, should be escorted to sturdier buildings or to predetermined ditches, culverts, or ravines, and instructed to lie face down, hands over head.
  • Most tornado deaths are caused by head injuries.
  • When children are assembled in school basements or interior hallways during a tornado drill or warning, they should be instructed to respond to a specific command to assume protective postures, facing interior walls, when the danger is imminent. Such a command might be: "Everybody down!". It is essential that this command be instantly understood and obeyed. Illustrations showing the protective position should be posted on bulletin boards.
  • If a school bus is caught in the open when a tornado is approaching, the children should be escorted to a nearby ditch or ravine and made to lie face down, hands over head. They should be far enough away so the bus cannot topple on them.
  • School bus drivers should be regularly drilled in tornado procedures.
  • School district officials planning new buildings or additions should keep tornadoes in mind when setting construction standards.

Tornado Watch
There is a chance of dangerous weather later with damaging winds. Be on the lookout for the danger signs listed below and be ready to move quickly to safety if the warning signal is given.

Tornado Warning
A tornado has been sighted. If you see or hear the tornado coming, do not wait for the warning signal--go to your shelter area if there is time; if not, curl up on the floor and protect yourself. If a tornado comes while you are on the school bus, get away from the bus and into a nearby ditch or ravine. Lie down, hands over head.

DANGER SIGNS

SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS
Thunder, lightning, heavy rains, and strong winds
ROARING NOISE
Like a hundred railroad locomotives; a crashing thunderous sound
HAIL
Pellets of ice from dark-clouded skies
FUNNEL
Dark, spinning "rope" or column from the sky to the ground  

Life-saving Automated External Defibrillators placed in all schools in district

Approximately 10,300 students in the Liberty School District are starting the school year Heart Safe, thanks to the school district's commitment to their health. Through Saint Luke's Mid-America Heart Institute's Heart Safe Community Partnership program, the Liberty School District has placed Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in each of its schools, including kindergarten through high school, Liberty Academy, and in the district office/Early Childhood Center. Athletic trainers also have mobile devices they can carry to various athletic events. Several of the AEDs were donated to the school district by community members. Todd and Cheryl Grace donated seven AEDs in memory of their son Carter through his foundation. The family of Dana Heese-Spry donated one AED in her memory, and Leah Stanley, a former district nurse, donated one AED. The school district purchased the remaining AEDs. "All athletic coaching staff are trained, and we offer CPR/AED training throughout the school year for all faculty/staff who want it," said Danette Peck, B.S.N., R.N., AED Program Coordinator for the school district. "There are faculty in each building who have been trained. Additionally, students in the eighth and ninth grades receive CPR/AED training. We are committed to providing a safe environment to all who use our facilities."

Emergency Awareness and Collaboration

Liberty Public School District is committed to taking appropriate and direct measures ensuring the safety of all our students and staff members. We have made arrangements to deal proficiently with crisis situations that could occur in or around the school while classes are in session. While we hope that a natural disaster or other serious event never occurs, our objective is to be as prepared as possible for any probable emergency. At all times our priority is to protect all students and staff.

Every Liberty Public School facility has a comprehensive crisis and safety plan. The plans are designed with the assistance of professional law enforcement, counselors, federal officials, administrative staff members, and public health officials. The plans, which are regularly updated, include procedures to respond to a variety of crisis events. School district personnel practice the drills associated these specific emergencies on a regular basis which include fire, intruder, tornado or a modified event that would include a combination of multiple emergencies at the same time. These drills are supervised and evaluated by professionals from law enforcement and fire departments. We prepare to improve and we improve the way we prepare.

The district is an active participant with local, state, and federal officials planning terrorist events, both chemical and biological and any other type of wide area threat with a variety of emergency response situations already planned. The district continues to participate in staged events with professional agencies for training purposes at our district sites to better prepare for an actual event.

Emergency Response in the Liberty Public Schools

Successful emergency response is a collaborative effort. Liberty Public Schools is extremely fortunate to have several important groups that play lead roles in shaping the district's response to emergency situations. In the event of an emergency, these groups work with the school leaders at the site and with public safety officials to provide immediate and coordinated response and support.

District Crisis Management

Leading the direct response to any event in the district is Ms. Carol Embree, Chief Financial & Operations Officer. Ms. Embree works with the district crisis teams, district safety coordinators, school resource officers, Liberty Police and Fire Departments, and district department personnel to assist public safety officials as they secure all facilities, evacuate students and staff, while administering the situation.

Crisis Communications

Ensuring that students, staff, parents, patrons, media, and the Liberty community have accurate and timely information during a crisis is the responsibility of the Communications Director. The Communications Director works in conjunction with emergency response teams, issues emergency information via radio, television, the district Web site, and coordinates with district administration to convey direct and concise information.

Radio/TV:

  • KMBZ AM/980
  • KMBC Channel 9 (TV)
  • WDAF Channel 4 (TV)
  • KSHB Channel 41 (TV)
  • KCTV Channel 5 (TV)
 
Crisis Intervention Support

Liberty Public Schools Crisis Response Team is led by district counselors and social workers. This group provides care and support for students impacted by a crisis or emergency crisis.

This group has been highly praised and recognized for their fast and effective responses to a number of incidents within the community of Liberty over the past several years. Some involving the death of a student, family member, community disaster, and other student support needs.

Contacts include:

District: Dr. James Hammen 816-736-5318 jhammen@liberty.k12.mo.us

High School: Mr. Greg Casel 816-736-7045 gcasel@liberty.k12.mo.us

Middle Level: Mr. Tim Anderson 816-736-5394 tanderson@liberty.k12.mo.us

Elementary Level: Mr. Rob Fisher 816-736-6761 rfisher@liberty.k12.mo.us

Parent Crisis Communication Procedures

In order for our emergency-response plans to be effective, we must depend on the cooperation and assistance of many people, such as the Liberty Police, Liberty Fire, Liberty Hospital, Clay County Sheriff, Missouri Highway Patrol, Kansas City MO Police, and other local departments. We also must have the cooperation of the parents of our students to support our detailed emergency-response plans. Your cooperation is vital to protecting the safety and welfare of all our children and school employees.

Therefore, we insist parents observe the following procedures during a crisis situation:

  • Do not telephone the school. We understand and respect your concern, but it is essential that the telephone system be available for emergency communications.
  • Tune to local radio and television stations for emergency announcements and status reports. District Cable Channel KLPS-TV 18 will also be a direct source along with our Web site. You will also receive instructions on where you should go and how/when you may be able to pick up your child. Information to parents is a priority along with the safety of each child. We will begin communicating with parents as soon as possible.
  • Do not come to the school or evacuation location until you are instructed to do so. It may be necessary to keep the streets and parking lot clear for emergency vehicles. If evacuation is required, students may be transported to a location away from the school. LPS has sites planned and mobilization plans in place (We do not publicize all locations to protect the children and the specific emergency). You will be notified of the locations through the media outlets or district website and Cable Channel KLPS-TV 18.
  • Talk to your children and emphasize how it important it is for them to follow instructions from their teachers and school officials during any emergency.
  • Carefully read all information you receive from your school. You may receive updates about our safety precautions from time to time or Parent Alerts for possible safety concerns.

We hope you find the information contained here to be helpful in your understanding of and response to emergency situations. We encourage you to contact your building administrator if you a have questions. We prepare and drill throughout the school year for event training in hopes we never have to implement these emergency plans.

Useful Internet Safety Resources

Missouri State Highway Patrol:

http://www.mshp.dps.missouri.gov/MSHPWeb/Root/index.html

Department of Homeland Security:

http://www.dhs.gov/

City of Liberty:

http://mo-liberty.civicplus.com/index.aspx

Kansas City Missouri Police Department:

http://www.kcmo.org/police

Clay County Sherriff's Office:

https://www.claycountymo.gov/Sheriff

SafeKids.com:

http://www.safekids.com/

SafeTeens.com:

http://www.safeteens.com/

FamilyTechTalk.com:

http://www.familytechtalk.com/

Safety & Security Contact Information

Rick Fletcher

Coordinator of Safety & Security

816-736-7319

rfletcher@liberty.k12.mo.us