2023-24 School Emergency Guide

  • School Safety and Security Information

    Frederick County Public Schools is committed to providing and maintaining a safe environment for students and staff.  The school division works collaboratively with many agencies including the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, Fire and Rescue Department and Virginia Department of Health to ensure that all schools are safe.

    All Frederick County Public Schools have established school crisis, emergency management and medical emergency response plans that are reviewed annually.  In addition, safety audits are conducted at every school twice each year and safety/security enhancements are made as a result of the safety audit process.  Each school also has established a state-mandated threat assessment team which provides guidance regarding the recognition of behavior that may represent a threat and the appropriate response to such behavior.  School emergency drills are held periodically throughout the school year to help students and staff practice the appropriate actions to take in the event of an emergency.

    School security officers serve James Wood, Millbrook and Sherando high schools; the Dowell J. Howard Center and NREP/Senseny Road School.  In addition, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office assigns a school resource officer (SRO) to each elementary, middle and high school as well as the Dowell J. Howard Center and NREP/Senseny Road School. The SRO at James Wood Middle School also supports the FCPS Administration Building.  The SROs are supported by patrol deputies, as needed.

    Safety and Security Tools

    Frederick County Public Schools uses a variety of tools to promote safety and security. Information about a number of additional school security measures is not shared publicly, which is a safety measure in itself.

    Rapid Communication System

    The Frederick County Public Schools’ Rapid Communication System is used to contact families via telephone, e-mail and text message to notify them of emergencies that may cause a school to evacuate, relocate or go on lockdown.  The system is used to inform families when school schedules are impacted by inclement weather. Individual schools may use the system to communicate information to their school community.

    Secure Entrances

    All schools and the Frederick County Public Schools Administration Building are equipped with secure entrances.  The system requires visitors to utilize an intercom system to identify themselves and the reason for their visit prior to being granted entry into a secure vestibule for additional screening before being granted access to the building.

    Raptor Visitor Management System

    All schools and the Frederick County Public Schools Administration Building are equipped with the Raptor Visitor Management System. Everyone visiting a school facility is required to present a valid, government-issued ID which will be scanned through the system and checked against registered sex offender and other databases that may include custody orders and information on individuals prohibited from visiting school grounds.  Those who are cleared by the system will be issued a visitor badge bearing their name and photo.

    Raptor EM Alert

    Staff working at all schools and the Frederick County Public Schools Administration Building utilize Raptor EM Alert, a mobile panic button system.  The system sends instantaneous emergency notifications to administrators, staff members and first responder agencies to ensure rapid response and real-time coordination when addressing school issues and emergency situations.

    How You Can Help Keep Schools Safe

    Keeping schools safe requires families, students, staff and members of the community to work together.  Here are some ways you can help keep our schools safe and secure.

    • Work with your student to map out a safe way for them to walk to school or the bus stop.  Avoid busy roads and intersections.
    • Encourage students to walk to school or the bus stop with other students and to wait at the bus stop with other students.
    • Talk to your student about their day.  If they are having problems, consult with school administrators.
    • If you suspect your student is being bullied, contact the school principal.
    • Report any suspicious activity noted around schools and/or bus stops to the school principal.
    • Anonymously report any concerns about school safety to SpeakUp by calling or texting 540-546-0116 or sending an e-mail to speakup@fcpsk12.net.
    • Remind students who drive to school to make sure all windows on their vehicle are closed and the doors are locked.
    • Encourage students not to leave valuable items in plain view inside a vehicle. 
    • Remind students to retain possession of their personal property.  Try to limit others borrowing valuable items.
    • Do not leave personal property unattended.  
    • Properly secure all personal property, particularly electronics such as cell phones.  

    What To Do During a School Emergency

    1. Do not go to the school or scene of an emergency unless you are asked to do so.  Your presence may interfere with emergency response.

    2. Get accurate information and instructions.
      • Look for messages from the FCPS Rapid Communication System. These messages will be sent via home phone, cell phone, e-mail and text message.
      • Visit www.FrederickCountySchoolsVA.net for up-to-date information and instructions.
      • Follow the FCPS Facebook page at @frederickcountypublicschools.

    3. Do not listen to or spread rumors.  The school division will provide frequent updates in the event of an emergency.  The FCPS website, the FCPS Rapid Communication System and the FCPS Facebook page are the best sources for accurate information in the event of an emergency.

    4. Do not respond to a student's request to leave school.  Tell the student to remain calm and follow all instructions from school officials.
  • Contact Information

    Frederick County Public Schools

    Frederick County Sheriff's Office

    Frederick County Fire and Rescue Department