Safety and Security

The safety, security, and well-being of UCSD students and staff are top priorities. We are dedicated to creating safe, supportive, and welcoming learning environments. Please review the following information regarding emergency plans, preparedness, protocols, reunification, and what parents/guardians should do during a school emergency situation.



 

District Emergency Operations Plan
In partnership with law enforcement agencies, the District Crisis Management Team has worked extensively in the development of a comprehensive, agile, and actionable District Emergency Operations Plan (EOP). The EOP outlines district-wide security and crisis response protocols and serves as the umbrella for all emergency operations.

Emergency Plans

The following emergency plans exist under the District EOP umbrella. For security reasons, UCSD cannot share specifics of these plans. 

  • Activities Plan—Outlines emergency response procedures specific to each venue that supports Activities.
  • Behavior Intervention Plan—Outlines threat assessment protocols to determine if a student is a threat to self or others.
  • Business Continuity Plan—Outlines procedures for providing critical business services and functions in the event of a crisis or other disruption of operations.
  • Building Emergency Plan—Outlines emergency response procedures specific to each building. 
  • Crisis Communications Plan—Outlines procedures for effectively coordinating communications with District stakeholders during a crisis situation. 
  • Health Risk Assessment Plan—Outlines procedures for responding to student and staff injuries during a crisis, pandemic response, and chemical/biological response.
  • Information Systems Plan—Outlines procedures for accessibility to critical digital assets and resources during a crisis situation.
  • Reunification Plan—Outlines procedures for the safe, orderly, and documented release of students to their parents/guardians following an emergency evacuation.


 

Preparedness
UCSD has implemented a multitude of tactics and measures in order to efficiently and effectively respond to a crisis situation. Only the strategies that can be shared publicly are represented below.

Preparedness Tactics / Preventative Measures
  • UCSD District Crisis Management Team meets frequently throughout the year to assess the effectiveness of emergency plans and makes adjustments as needed.
  • All schools have safety committees that meet multiple times per year to review emergency response procedures specific to their building. 
  • Students practice safety drills throughout the year to help improve response times and safety procedures. 
  • All UCSD exterior doors remain locked throughout the school day. Exterior doors will also remain locked throughout the Adventuretime Before and After School program. 
  • All buildings have a doorbell/camera system that provides controlled access; visitors must be granted access by the main office.
  • Throughout the 2022-23 school year, UCSD will be implementing a district-wide visitor management system. More will be shared about this new system once installation is complete.
  • Urbandale Police Department (UPD) has keys to all school buildings and all classrooms in case of emergency.
  • UPD has conducted numerous building visits to examine the layout, entrance/exit points, and security of all UCSD schools.
  • Throughout the school year, UPD will be conducting frequent check-ins at all UCSD schools in order to continue building relationships and monitor safety and security. 
  • In June 2022, UCSD requested a Vulnerability Risk Assessment from the Governor’s School Safety Bureau and is awaiting response. Once the assessment has been completed, the District Crisis Management Team will review results with UPD and make adjustments as needed.


 

Emergency Protocols
If there is an unsafe situation inside or outside our school buildings, schools will implement the following emergency protocols. Each protocol places the utmost priority on the safety of students and staff. Only the tactics that can be shared publicly are represented below.

Building Shelter-In-Place

A “Building Shelter-In-Place” is called when we’ve been notified of an unsafe situation taking place outside our school building that requires us to prevent anyone from exiting or entering the building. All functions of the day continue as normal with no one allowed to exit or enter the building. When we receive confirmation from law enforcement that the situation has been resolved, we make an announcement that the Building Shelter-In-Place has ended and we can return to our regular procedures for exiting and entering the building.


Secure Classrooms

A “Secure Classrooms” is called when there is a medical or non-threatening situation taking place inside the building and we need to limit movement throughout the building to ensure the safety of students and staff. During this time, all students and staff remain in their classrooms with doors locked and teachers continue to teach class. Once the situation is deemed safe, we make an announcement that Secure Classrooms has ended and it’s now safe to return to our regularly scheduled day.


Active Threat

In collaboration with the Urbandale Police Department, UCSD has changed Lockdown protocols to Active Threat protocols. The main difference being the primary course of action—Lockdown focused primarily on hiding for safety, whereas Active Threat prioritizes exiting the building for safety. If it’s not possible to exit the building then students and staff will hide inside the building staying out of the line of sight. If faced with immediate danger, students and staff could defend themselves as a last resort. UCSD will provide phone call/text/email notifications to parents/guardians with instructions for reuniting with your child(ren). See “Regional Reunification Process” below for more information.


Severe Weather

In the event there is severe weather or a tornado warning, students and staff will move to designated shelter areas inside the building. If severe weather occurs during dismissal, students will return to the building and move to shelter areas. Dismissal may be delayed due to severe weather. An announcement will be made when severe weather has passed and teachers will escort students back to class or proceed with dismissal. 


Evacuation

In the event students and staff must exit the school due to an unsafe situation impacting the building, students and staff will either remain on school grounds or move to the designated local evacuation site. 

If it is safe to remain on school grounds, students and staff will evacuate the building and remain outside of the building on school grounds. If/when the building is deemed safe, students and staff will re-enter the building and continue with their regularly scheduled day. Standard dismissal procedures will be followed at the end of the school day.

If it is not safe to remain on school grounds, students and staff will move to the designated local evacuation site. Depending on the situation, students will either be dismissed from the local evacuation site or students and staff will be transported to the regional reunification site at which time the Regional Reunification Process will be implemented.

Dismissal from the local evacuation site: UCSD will provide phone call/text/email notifications to parents/guardians and emergency contacts with instructions for reuniting with your child(ren) at the evacuation site. For security reasons, evacuation site locations will not be shared ahead of time. Bus transportation will be arranged for students who are registered to ride the bus (i.e. the bus will pick up students from the local evacuation site and follow a similar bus route for taking children to their after-school destination). For students who do not ride the bus, parents/guardians or a designated emergency contact will need to go to the local evacuation site in order to pick up their child. Parents/guardians or a designated emergency contact will need to bring a government-issued photo identification in order for staff to verify your identity. Students will not be allowed to walk home from the evacuation site. Parents/guardians should pay close attention to their phone/computer in order to receive the most current evacuation information and instructions via phone call/text/email notifications. 

(Note: Only parents/guardians and designated emergency contacts will be able to pick up your child. If an adult arrives to pick up your child and is not in our system as a designated emergency contact, we cannot release your child with that adult. Please make sure your emergency contacts are updated each year to reflect your current preferences.)



 

Regional Reunification Process
When deemed necessary, students and staff will be transported from their local evacuation site to the designated regional reunification site(s). For security reasons, the regional reunification site location(s) will not be shared ahead of time. The reunification process will provide a safe and controlled release of students to their parents/guardians or designated emergency contact. UCSD has established a regional reunification site(s) and comprehensive reunification procedures for reuniting students with parents/guardians or designated emergency contact.

Notification

UCSD will provide phone call/text/email notifications to parents/guardians and emergency contacts with instructions for reuniting with your child(ren). For security reasons, the regional reunification site location(s) will not be shared ahead of time. Parents/guardians should pay close attention to their phone/computer in order to receive the most current reunification information and instructions via phone call/text/email notifications.


Who Can Pick Up My Child

Students will only be released to a custodial parent/guardian or a designated emergency contact whose identity has been verified. (Note: Only parents/guardians and designated emergency contacts will be able to pick up your child. If an adult arrives to pick up your child and is not in our system as a designated emergency contact, we cannot release your child with that adult. Please make sure your emergency contacts are updated each year to reflect your current preferences.)


What To Bring
  • Government-issued photo identification is required. 
  • If time allows, bring any emergency medications your child may need. You could provide these to your child as soon as you are reunited.

What To Expect

The reunification process is intended to protect both the safety of the student and provide for an accountable transfer of the student from the custody of the school to the verified custodial parent/guardian or designated emergency contact. Please be patient with the reunification staff who will be working to reunite you with your child as soon as possible. 

  • Parking: Follow traffic control / law enforcement directions for parking at the regional reunification site. 
  • Parent Check-In: Go to the Parent Check-In area and form lines based on the first letter of your child’s last name. Complete a Student Information Form. One form needs to be completed for each child at the regional reunification site. Be prepared to provide a government-issued photo ID. 
  • Parent Waiting Area: After check-in, you will be directed to the Parent Waiting Area. Families will wait while their child is being retrieved from the Student Waiting Area. Keep in mind, your child may still be on a bus in transit from the evacuation site. If there is a medical concern with your child, you may be directed to meet with a counselor. 
  • Release Door: Students will be escorted to the Release Door to be reunited with their parents/guardians. Parents/guardians will be escorted to the Release Door to be reunited with their child(ren). Staff will confirm the identity of the parent/guardian and identity of the child to ensure the parent/guardian is authorized to reunite with the child. (Note: Only parents/guardians and designated emergency contacts will be able to pick up your child. If an adult arrives to pick up your child and is not in our system as a designated emergency contact, we cannot release your child with that adult. Please make sure your emergency contacts are updated each year to reflect your current preferences.)
  • Support Services: As you and your child exit the reunification site, you will receive resources for support services.


 

What Parents/Guardians Should Do During A School Emergency
When an emergency situation arises, UCSD and law enforcement agencies will be responding to protect and safeguard your children. Our comprehensive, agile, and actionable emergency plans will guide our response in the safe reunification of you and your child. Please review the following ways in which you can help us effectively respond during an emergency situation.

What To Do
  • During an emergency situation, UCSD will focus on ensuring the safety of students and staff, collaborating with law enforcement to determine the scope of the crisis, and then providing information to parents/guardians and staff. Oftentimes, initial information shared by sources other than the District can be incomplete and/or inaccurate. Therefore, please pay close attention to your phone/computer in order to receive the most complete and accurate District information and instructions delivered via phone call/text/email notifications. 
  • Please do not go to your child’s school. Law enforcement will establish a secure perimeter around the building / neighborhood and only emergency responders will be allowed inside / near the perimeter.
  • Please do not call your child’s school. Main office staff will be collaborating with law enforcement to ensure the safety of your child(ren).
  • Please do not call 911 with questions about the emergency situation. Law enforcement will be responding to the situation. 
  • Follow instructions provided by the District. Check to make sure you have a government-issued photo ID with you prior to going to the evacuation or regional reunification site. 
  • Only parents/guardians and designated emergency contacts will be able to pick up your child. If an adult arrives to pick up your child and is not in our system as a designated emergency contact, we cannot release your child with that adult. Please make sure your emergency contacts are updated each year to reflect your current preferences.
  • UCSD may post non-confidential updates on the District website, Facebook, and Twitter (@UrbandaleCSD) to the extent it is safe to share information via these public mediums. Any specific information and instructions regarding the emergency situation, evacuation, and/or reunification will be sent directly to parents/guardians and emergency contacts via phone call/text/email notifications.