A Responsibility for Safety in our Schools
School districts and individual schools are responsible for not only the education of their students, but also their safety. Not only do school staff need to know what to do in case of a fire or severe weather, but also in the event of suspicious packages, bomb threats, hazardous materials accidents, shooting incidents, hostage situations and assaults.
To that end, Iowa Dept. of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has worked with several partnering agencies to create some helpful planning tools. These documents were developed for the schools of Iowa to use as a template to enhance current school safety programs. Ultimately, schools can decide how much of the documents they would like to incorporate into their current plan.
The goal of the group was to make sure that every school in Iowa has a plan, and the vision was to give them a template to drive planning conversations at the local level. The plan was derived from these conversations and will increase the overall security and safety of every school in Iowa, because the schools were partnered with local first responders and county emergency managers.
- Iowa School Safety Guide 2023 (PDF)
- Iowa Threat Incident Report Form (Excel)
- Iowa School Self-Assessment (Excel)
Threat Information and Infrastructure Protection Program (TIIPP) staff are available to discuss these school safety products and school security assessments. Questions? Email HSEMD.
Iowa Dept. of Homeland Security and Emergency Management has also produced a brochure for teachers and administrators on preparing crisis kits: Prepare Your School: Crisis Kits for Teachers and Administrators (PDF).
Iowa Governor’s School Safety Bureau, Department of Public Safety
The Iowa Governor’s School Safety Bureau recently launched Safe+Sound Iowa—an anonymous reporting tool for students, teachers, parents and community members to help identify and provide intervention for students in crisis before they harm themselves or others. Reports are monitored 24/7 by trained dispatchers who immediately vet and share information with the appropriate local school administrators, law enforcement or other community partners— so outreach and support can be provided to the student in need. In additional to threat prevention, the School Safety Bureau offers active shooter training for educators free of cost. Training provided includes information on what do if an emergency occurs in your school and how to treat bleeding injuries. Presentations last between 2 and 3 hours.
Iowa Association of School Boards
The Iowa Association of School Boards has produced a toolkit for schools, built on the lessons learned from the 2008 disasters in Iowa. See the kit and get more information: Lessons Learned: Natural Disasters Toolkit for Schools (PDF).
- CISA School Safety Resources
- Planning Resources–U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Safe and Supportive Schools, Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center
- FBI School Shooter: A Quick Reference Guide
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security Active Shooter Preparedness website
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Windsor Heights, IA 50324