School Safety

Suffolk Public Schools remains committed to provide a safe learning environment for all of our staff and students.

PLANS AND PRACTICE: Every Suffolk school has a crisis management plan approved by the Virginia Department of Education. All students, staff and administrators regularly participate in safety and lockdown drills to test their preparedness and understand their roles and responsibilities in the event of a crisis.

BUILDING SECURITY: All schools have locked access control systems at the front doors.  Every school has safety monitors to bolster building security and visitor authorization. We also use a combination of mobile metal detectors and drug screening dogs at all schools to monitor what is being brought into schools.

PARTNERSHIP: Suffolk Public Schools has a strong working relationship with the Suffolk Police Department. This partnership allows school administrators and police to work together quickly and efficiently on threat assessments, investigations, and any other safety concerns.

COMMUNICATION: We commend students and families for coming forward whenever situations make them uncomfortable. We take every piece of information and every cyber threat seriously. Parents, continue to encourage your children to report anything they see, hear or sense that could affect student, staff or school safety.

These are just some of the measures we have in place to promote safety and security as our top priority. We are relying on you as partners in this process to keep our students and staff safe. 

Keeping students and staff safe is very important to us. 

For that reason, Suffolk Public Schools:

  • Conducts drills in each school throughout the year, including fire, severe weather, intruder, and lock-down drills. These drills help prepare students and staff in the event of a true emergency.
  • Reviews and updates each school's safety plans. These plans include specific information on a variety of crisis situations that could occur in a school. To maintain the integrity of these plans, school and division crisis plans are not available for public distribution.
  • Maintains close contact with the Suffolk Police Department and the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Department. They are the experts and we value their advice in addressing emergencies.

Communications

  • Emergency, closing and cancellation information will be posted on this site as soon as possible. Information will also be sent to parents via the division's notification system (School Messenger). 
  • Depending on the type of emergency, our response could include evacuation, lock-down, relocation to previously designated safe havens, or a modification of any of the above options. In every event, our primary objective is to ensure the safety of our students and staff. Our administrators are trained to remain flexible, to make situation-appropriate decisions, and to wisely and effectively use available crisis management tools.
  • Please do not call the school since all lines may be needed to address the emergency.

SPS Safety Codes

Suffolk Public Schools has developed a standard code system used at all schools to inform staff and students of situations in which they might need to take action.

Code Green
... Normal operating conditions
... All Clear code after red, yellow or blue

Code Blue
... Severe weather alert

Code Yellow
... Classrooms locked
... No one leaves the room or area
... Only designated persons in the hall
... Used for such non-threatening emergencies such as drug dogs, random metal detector checks, severe injury in the building

Code Red
... Classrooms Locked
... No one leaves the room or area
... Move away from the windows and doorways
... Used for such threats as intruder, weapon in building, etc.