SSD Safety and Security FAQ

  • The Smyrna School District is happy to provide the community with safety features and procedures followed in our Pre-K - 12 environment. Please be aware this is a purposefully, generalized list. The nature of safety protocols are that they remain secure to the organization in which they are utilized.

    How does the Smyrna School District prepare for critical incidents and violent intruders?

    • The Smyrna School District participates in the State of Delaware Comprehensive School Safety Requirements with 2 intruder alert drills, a tabletop exercise, and safety assessments every school year with fidelity.
    • School Climate and Safety personnel worked with every teacher in the district to develop individual classroom safety plans which highlight the unique response of the school and classroom location in the event of a violent intruder, critical incident, or fire.
    • The Smyrna School District adheres to the ALICE Violent Intruder protocol. All staff are trained annually, with bi-annual simulations of intruder events.
    • We perform monthly fire drills and comply with all fire code standards and regulations with fidelity.
    • We complete annual bus evacuation drills with fidelity.
    • We complete yearly CPTED Assessments on each school (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) using a multi-disciplinary team of maintenance, custodial, technology, and safety employees. We address all findings as a team.

    How does the Smyrna School District secure buildings?

    • All exterior doors and classroom doors in the Smyrna School District are locked and secured.
    • All schools have secure vestibules. Office staff must identify and admit visitors via mechanisms within the office.
    • Each school office is equipped with the Raptor visitor management system, which screens and tracks all visitors who enter the schools and those picking students up. 
    • Each school has surveillance cameras on a continuous upgrade cycle. The latest upgrade will provide the district and local law enforcement with access to cameras from all schools via mobile technology.
    • Every school is equipped with a Panic Alert System with voice messaging capability. When a panic system is activated via the panic buttons, a voice message alerts continuously that an intruder is in the building and to get to safety.
    • We use the Cell Phone Panic Application SchoolGuard that notifies all users, including those on and off duty law enforcement within a five mile radius, of an intruder alert.
    • All required new construction will be fitted with secured vestibules outfitted with ballistic resistant materials and an external visitor screener.

    What human resources has the Smyrna School District provided to maintain safety and security measures?

    • We have created the Safety Specialist position in our district. We currently have two Safety Specialists who help to maintain safety standards throughout our K-6 schools.
    • We have three School Resource Officers (SRO) in the district: two Smyrna Police Officers, and one Clayton Police Officer.
    • We have added additional SRO and staff support to the Smyrna High School.

    How are staff prepared for emergency events?

    The SSD adheres to the ALICE Violent Intruder Protocol. All staff are trained annually, with bi-annual simulation of intruder events. Staff also receive coaching as it pertains to their Individual Classroom Safety plans. We train our staff on the SchoolGuard cell phone application prior to them receiving the app. Critical incidents are also addressed in a tabletop exercise.

    How are drills incorporated within schools?

    Our district completes two intruder alert drills, monthly fire drills, and one tabletop exercise every school year in each of our buildings.

    What is the first line of defense?

    The first line of defense for a school is a locked door. The standard in the Smyrna School District is that all exterior doors are secured at all times except for various entry and exit points that are manned by staff during arrival and dismissal times only.  All classroom doors are locked and secured while students are in them. 

    How are students incorporated into critical incident responses?

    All students participate in intruder alert drills that include activation of the panic system's voice messaging and strobe lights. Specific training for students varies at the elementary and secondary levels. Elementary training includes developmentally appropriate discussions about individual classroom safety plans and the panic system that alerts students via voice messaging. Secondary schools training includes the elementary standard as well as ALICE protocol.

    What additional safety features are in the Smyrna School District's comprehensive safety plan?

    • Each classroom will be equipped with an emergency "go-bag" for the 22/23 school year.
    • The Smyrna School District is currently applying for the United States Department of Justice COPS grant for school safety in which we plan to update our fire systems in all schools and place emergency boxes for first responders on the exterior of all properties.
    • The district has been in collaboration with Honeywell, Advantech, and SchoolGuard to integrate the hardware panic system in the buildings with the cell phone panic application software. We are hoping to end this project in the summer of 2022, so both systems can communicate an intruder alert within our schools, increase response time, and notification of an event. 
    • We are in the final stage of collaborating with external stakeholders (fire/EMS/police) to validate our new, updated school and district emergency response guide that includes a two-pronged mental health critical incident recovery plan and reunification plan for our schools and district.
    • In the 22/23 school year, all students' Chromebooks will be equipped with GoGuardian for additional Cyber Security features.
    • The district is currently working on the expansion of our mass communication modalities.