Safety and Security
The Gilroy Unified School District is constantly working to prepare for situations that endanger our staff or students. Following are some examples of the measures in place at our schools and offices:
School Resource Officers (SROs): The district has two full-time SRO positions that are jointly funded by the school district and City. The SROs are Gilroy Police officers who have special training on managing emergency situations at schools and have strong working relationships with district administration who would take the lead in an emergency. The SRO’s are familiar with how the schools operate and know the school’s safety procedures. They work hard to develop positive relationships with students and staff. They have been trained in Restorative Justice practices. Since the Robb Elementary shooting in Uvalde, Texas, they have had an increased presence on GUSD campuses.
School Safety Coordinator: The District has a full-time School Safety Coordinator who handles all aspects of the District’s safety plans. His expertise as a former police officer has been very helpful to the district. He works closely with the SROs and other officers. He attends safety and tactical trainings regularly. He responds to concerns from principals and staff about a wide range of safety issues and is the District’s liaison with a number of agencies. The School Safety Coordinator and the SRO’s take a very proactive approach in addressing threats of violence and respond quickly even during the evenings and weekend hours.
School Fencing: All district schools, including preschools, are protected by fencing with gates at strategic locations. This is an initiative that was undertaken by the district following the Sandy Hook Elementary (Conn.) shootings 10 years ago. In light of recent school shootings, staff are currently conducting an assessment of each school’s fencing and location of gates to evaluate if improvements are needed.
Schools Are Locked During the Day: Schools are locked down shortly after the start of the school day and remain locked until the end of the school day. Everyone entering the campus must come through the front office during the day.
Entry Video Intercom System: All District schools have an entry video intercom system (by QOVO). Individuals wishing to enter the building must push a button and identify themselves and the reason for wanting to enter the building. Front office staff can see and hear the individual wishing to enter and determines who may enter the building.
Security Camera Systems: Recently, the District installed new, state-of-the-art security camera systems (Verkada) at all 14 schools. These school security camera systems help keep track of anyone entering and exiting school campuses.
Schlage Locks: In 2018, the locks on all doors on District campuses were replaced with what is considered one of the top “Safe School Lock” systems (by Schlage). Teachers can lock their doors from inside the classroom as soon as they hear a Code Red directive. The system’s technology makes it very difficult for anyone to enter a locked room without a key.
Run, Hide, Defend Drills & Training: District staff and GPD participated in the production of the Run, Hide, Defend video. The video is shown to K-12 school staff and secondary students (grades 6-12) throughout the District early in the school year. All GUSD staff and students participate in a Run, Hide, Defend drill twice every year. One of the drills is observed by the SRO’s and District’s Safety Coordinator and feedback is provided to the principal about what can be improved.
GPD Tactical Drills: The Gilroy Police Department, in conjunction with other agencies that would respond in the case of a school shooting, conduct tactical drills at one of the District’s secondary schools during summer break to prepare officers for what to do in the event of an intruder or shooter on campus.
Comprehensive School Safety Plans: Every school has a comprehensive school safety plan which includes a section on plans for dealing with an active shooter.
Visitor Sign In/Out on Campuses: The district has implemented a digital sign-in and sign-out procedure using the Raptor Technologies Visitor Management System. The system checks all visitors at the schools through the national sex registrant database to ensure that no registered offenders gain access to our students during the school day.
Radios: The District and school sites use radios for emergency communications. The radios are tested periodically.
District-Wide Communication Platform: In the event of a major emergency, GUSD uses the ParentSquare platform for instant parent/guardian notifications. The District can notify parents and guardians via text, email and phone with ParentSquare alerts if the need arises. It is critically important that the District have updated contact information on file for every student, including cell phone number and email address. If you are not receiving regular ParentSquare communication via text or email, please contact the Office Manager at your child’s school to ensure your contact information is correct.
In an emergency, critical information will also be communicated on the District’s social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you are not following GUSD on social media, please consider doing so.