Now that we are midway through the school year, I'd like to update you on our continuing progress to ensure our students have a safe and welcoming environment to learn. As we have previously shared, while our core purpose as a school system is preparing all students to thrive in their futures, we know this cannot be achieved if students don’t feel safe and welcomed in our schools.
This video accompanies the community letter of February 1 and features comments from the new Director of School Safety and Security, Mr. Ed Clarke and the MCPS Director of for Psychological Services Dr. Christina Conolly. MCPS, has also initiated a full systemwide modernization and replacement of the Access Control Systems and Visitor Management Systems at each school. Learn more about these systems in this video.
Security planning and implementation is critical to keep students and staff safe in our school facilities. Vestibules are secured spaces with two or more sets of doors that only allow visitors access to one space within the building. They limit and regulate entrances, allowing for more efficient screening of people entering a facility.
In addition to the added security of knowing who is visiting the school, a security vestibule also serves as a single point of entrance for students who are late to school or coming from an appointment, as all other doors to the school remain locked while school is in session.
There are currently 173 Montgomery County Public Schools that operate with active security vestibules.
Access control systems (ACS) are utilized by all elementary, middle, and high schools, which include a camera at entrances. These cameras allow individuals monitoring inside the school to view the visitor before allowing access to the school.
Visitor management systems (VMS) also are used by schools that require all visitors to signin with drivers license information which enables the system to automatically cross-reference the visitor’s name with the Maryland Sex Offenders Registry.
MCPS uses closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV) to provide security and protection for our schools and offices. Additionally, the footage captured from these cameras can assist in the protection against internal threats, validating or disproving claims of abuse or bullying, or any other inappropriate behavior between students and/or staff members.
Additionally, our initial phase to deploy CCTV cameras is under way for elementary schools. MCPS has completed 16 of the 22 schools that make up the first round of the initial phase, with a target to have all elementary schools completed by the end of the 2019-2020 school year
Dates for Upcoming Community Conversations on MCPS Safety and Security
February 21, 2019 from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Carver Educational Services Center (CESC)
(*in-person, plus live streamed)
850 Hungerford Drive
Rockville, MD 20850
March 5, 2019 from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Silver Creek Middle School
3701 Saul Road Kensington, MD 20895
March 13, 2019 from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Paint Branch High School
14121 Old Columbia Pike Burtonsville, MD 20866
March 21, 2019 from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Northwood High School - Cafeteria
919 University Blvd., West Silver Spring, MD 20901
March 26, 2019 from 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Clarksburg High School - Cafeteria 22500 Wims Road
Clarksburg, MD 20871
The Maryland Safe to Learn Act of 2018 requires school districts to develop processes and have a district policy around behavioral threat assessments by September 1, 2019.
MCPS will follow the Maryland Model Policy on behavioral threat assessments that will provide interventions and supports to those who wish to cause harm in the school district. The Maryland Model Policy is based on research from the U.S. Secret Service on how to prevent violent situations.
During the 2018-2019 school year MCPS has been reviewing and refreshing its emergency preparedness procedures; in consultation with Montgomery County Police we have added an element to our Lockdown procedure called "Lockdown with Options". This video reviews the procedures that keep us safe during times of emergency and discusses "Lockdown with Options".
Age appropriate videos and in multiple languages
Safety is procedure and practice throughout MCPS from our Emergency Preparedness procedures, to pedestrian safety, to science and theater safety. This video shows these practices and many more.