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 emergency situations at schools and have strong working relationships with district administration who would take the lead in any emergency.
They know 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. Following the Robb Elementary shooting last week, GPD had a noticeable presence on our campuses. Our SROs and other officers even spent time interacting with our elementary school students on the playground and in the hallways.
School Fencing: All district schools, including our 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 shootings.
Schools Locked During the Day: Schools are locked down shortly after the start of the school day until shortly before the end of the school day. Everyone entering the campus must come through the front gate and office during the day. The front entrances will remain locked to visitors for the duration of the 2022-23 school year. Anyone wishing to access campuses must call the front office.
Security Systems: Recently, staff began the process of updating, and installing new, state-of-the-art security systems at all 14 schools and preschools in the coming months. In addition, we have begun the process of installing video intercom entry systems on all campuses.
Schlage Locks: In 2018, the locks on all doors on our campuses were replaced with what is considered one of the top “Safe School Lock” systems: 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 a Run, Hide, Defend video. The video is shown to school staff and secondary students throughout Santa Clara County at the beginning of every school year. All GUSD staff and participate in a Run, Hide, Defend drill twice every year. The drill is observed by the SRO’s and District’s Safety Coordinator/Officer 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 our 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.
School Safety Coordinator/Officer: The district has an Emergency Safety Coordinator/Officer 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 and attends trainings regularly. He responds to concerns from principals and staff about a wide range of safety issues and is our liaison with a number of agencies. The School Safety Coordinator/Officer and the SROs take a very proactive approach in addressing threats of violence and respond quickly even during the evenings and weekend hours.
Visitor Sign In/Out on Campuses: The district has implemented a digital sign-in and sign-out procedure with the Raptor Technologies Visitor Management System. The system checks all visitors at our 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. We test with the radios during certain drills. We switched from analog radios to digital radios at school sites that were having issues with dead zones to prevent communication lapses.
District-Wide Communication Platform: In the event of a major emergency, GUSD uses the ParentSquare platform for instant parent/guardian notifications. We can notify parents and guardians via text and phone call with ParentSquare alerts if the need arises. It is critically important that the District have updated contact information on file for each of our students, 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.