Greetings Asheville City Schools,
Safety for our students and staff is extremely important and will always be our top priority. We strive to always remain vigilant and to maintain a high state of readiness on each school campus. The following safety drills are in place: fire drills, tornado drills, perimeter lockdowns, full lockdowns, and evacuations. All students, staff, and visitors are required to participate in these drills.
Our drill procedures are based on best practices as outlined by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Department of Homeland Security. While the specifics of each drill have not varied much over the years, other elements have been incorporated in order to increase the levels of readiness and safety on our campuses including an increase in the number of video cameras, door keypad security with remote access, and additional training for staff.
Asheville City Schools conducts perimeter and full lockdown drills, which is the appropriate response during an active shooter situation. These drills are conducted at least four times a year. Specific actions for drills, exercises, and actual incidents are covered in the District Emergency Operations Plan and in the Guide to Emergency Procedures Flipchart. Each teacher, administrator, and office staff should have a copy that is readily available in the classroom, office, or assigned area. If you need additional copies for your assigned area or school campus, please contact your school principal or your immediate supervisor.
Safety Officer, Ms. Jeanne McGowan, will be meeting with each principal during the week of February 19th. The purpose of the meeting will be to review safety plans, conduct a safety tour of the school, and address any questions or concerns. Also, Ms. McGowan will be scheduling meetings with each principal and School Safety Team. These meetings will also begin the week of February 19th. We will update you regarding any safety procedures.
Please know that safety is our top priority. We strive to make sure that our school buildings and staff office buildings are safe so that our students and staff can learn, discover, and thrive!
Denise Q. Patterson, Ed.D.