The Franklin Special School District is committed to school safety and has implemented the standards in the Tennessee Schools Against Violence in Tennessee (SAVE) Act in creating a more coordinated approach to school safety using Homeland Security’s National Incident Management System (NIMS). District and individual school policies were developed with the able assistance of community partners, local responders, and non-profit agencies.
n 2013, the district hired nationally renowned school safety experts, Safe Havens International, to conduct a top to bottom review – not only of safety plans but of the schools themselves. Based on the Safe Havens audit, the district has implemented a wide array of safety protocol and practices. Our school administrators, faculty, staff, and students are all trained in this school safety protocol. The adults have been trained and the children have been drilled in a variety of possible safety scenarios, including weather, intruder and lock-down.
Alerts and Weather Warnings
The Franklin Special School District Central Office monitors severe weather watches and warnings and maintains contact with the Williamson County Emergency Management Agency during the threat of severe weather. If the district is placed under a Tornado Warning by the National Weather Service, all schools will go into “Lock Down” mode. Students will remain in their buildings (which is one of the safest shelters in a storm) and may be released when the warning has been lifted. If parents are on campus when a warning is issued, they are encouraged to come into the building where they will be directed to a safe area.
If a warning occurs during dismissal, students will be instructed to remain in their classrooms or hallways and parents and bus drivers will be invited into the schools until the warning is lifted.
The FSSD will use the Blackboard Connect telephone and email alert system to notify parents of any changes in dismissal or after-school activities due to severe weather warnings.
Blackboard Connect Alerts
The Franklin Special School District uses a communications service to help keep parents connected to their children’s school. Called Blackboard Connect, this school-to-parent communications service enables the district to send periodic and personalized voice messages to parents within minutes.
The Blackboard Connect service is used to complement our emergency preparedness procedures and to inform parents of unplanned school closings or upcoming school events.
To update your contact information, please contact your school office.
Blackboard Connect is an internet-based school-to-parent communication service that enables school administrators to schedule and send personalized messages to thousands of staff and parents in just minutes, ensuring they all receive the same message quickly. Blackboard Connect bridges the communication gap between school and home by giving parents immediate information straight from the school principals and district administrators.
The FSSD partners with Internet safety experts to provide timely and relevant information to parents and students.
Digital Dangers Video Series
The following Williamson County Schools video series, Digital Dangers, features important information from Tennessee-based Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Dennie Fetting.
Video 1: Williamson County is Not Immune
For more internet safety resources, please visit FSSD Instructional Technology.
Safe and Healthy Schools
In addition to preparedness, school safety also uses resources from the federal Safe and Healthy Schools Office. This program is divided into three subordinate units:
- Safe and Supportive Schools Group
- Healthy Students Group
- Center for School Preparedness
The FSSD works within the federal guidelines to implement programs related to developing and maintaining safe, disciplined, and drug-free schools. It also works with approved programs that promote violence prevention, alcohol abuse prevention, and the health and well-being of students and families.
OSHS also supervises several other provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as reauthorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015. These provisions are consistent with the office’s mission to support the creation of safe, disciplined, drug-free and healthy learning environments for students, and include:
Safety Plan and Glossary
In 2013, the Franklin Special School District, Williamson County School District, and many Williamson County first responders collaborated to develop a new county-wide safety plan. The Safety Plan streamlines emergency procedures in all schools and uses common language so, no matter what the emergency, all involved are speaking the same language and responding in a consistent manner across all of the schools in Williamson County. First responders played a large role in the creation of this new plan. Their input was crucial so that, in the event their response was needed at a school, they know that the schools are all working from similar plans. The new safety plans were officially launched in the fall of 2016 and all schools are trained in response protocol.
Safety Plan Glossary
Reverse Evacuation: Students/Staff who are outside are required to come back into the school and stay in the school until further notice. This may be initiated for potential severe weather.
Shelter-In-Place: Students/Staff who are outside are required to re-enter the school. The building is locked and no one enters or leaves until further notice. Normal activities resume inside the school; however, based on the nature of the emergency, activities may be interrupted. Students/staff may be notified that this emergency protocol is being initiated for a multitude of reasons, including severe weather, police activity in the vicinity, or tornado.
Evacuation: Students/Staff may evacuate the school for a multitude of reasons, including fire, smoke or hazardous materials. The staff are trained on evacuation locations based on the nature of the emergency.
Reunification: Should the students/staff need to be evacuated to a location off the school campus, each school has a designated location(s) where they would be transported. At this location, the students would be reunified with parents/guardians following a specific procedure.
Lockdown: Students/Staff are trained in specific procedures on how to respond to a lockdown. An example for this protocol would include an unauthorized intruder in the building.
Community Collaboration: The FSSD works with many community partners regarding safety:
- Red Cross
- Williamson Juvenile Court
- Williamson County Sheriff’s Department
- Franklin Police Department
- Franklin Fire Department
- Williamson County Emergency Management Agency
- The Guidance Center
In the Event of a School Emergency:
- Parent/Child Reunification: Parents should wait for a notification from the media or a phone call from the FSSD before coming to the school. We understand the desire parents have to pick up their children as soon as possible; however, under certain circumstances, students may have to be moved to an alternate location for parent reunification. There are also scenarios that may require police intervention and emergency response. This will mean limited access by parents until the site is cleared by law enforcement. We do not want to limit any of our schools from a full emergency response, if necessary, by blocking access to the schools.
- Think Ahead: Parents need to make certain that anyone authorized to pick up children after a crisis situation has placed their name on the child’s release list at school. Students will not be released to anyone who has not been authorized in writing in advance. This applies to relatives, friends and/or neighbors. Phone calls will not be accepted. Please take care of these arrangements ahead of time by properly filling out your child’s enrollment form, complete with contacts who are authorized to take your children home from school.
- Volunteer Assistance: After an event, many people want to help. If the FSSD has a crisis or emergency event and needs volunteers to help, we will rely on our community partner, the American Red Cross, for training. Because the school district will not have time to do the required background checks on volunteers, and even less time to train volunteers, we rely on the expertise of the Red Cross for the volunteer screening and training. This is a valuable community resource that the district is grateful to have.
In a continuing effort to prioritize the safety and security of our school campuses and the students and employees therein, the Franklin Special School District Board of Education amended its Board Policy 1.501 (Visitors to School/District Properties – Security Management) in May 2017.
The policy states that “all visitors shall be required to present a valid, government-issued photo ID when they enter any school building or office during normal hours of operation and all visitors may be subject to a background check.”
If you do not have a current government-issued photo ID, please speak to the school principal or assistant principal and they will be glad to assist you.
Those who are simply visiting the office for the purpose of speaking to staff, filling out paperwork, or dropping items off do not need to present identification. However, anyone who wishes to visit an area beyond the office must abide by this revised policy.
Public schools are not public places and school officials have a duty to protect the students while they are on campus. While visitors and guests are always welcome, supervision of those visitors is a very serious obligation and we are proud that our school board has deemed this a priority by placing it in policy.
Celby Glass, Supervisor
FSSD Central Office Annex
1406 Cannon St.
Franklin, TN 37064
Digital Dangers Video Series
Entire series will be available under the Internet Safety tab on the left of this page as it is broadcast.
The FSSD Safety Supervisor is responsible for keeping the schools’ safety plans current and up to date according to state and federal guidelines. Reports are done each year and submitted to the states for approval. The safety supervisor also meets regularly with administrators to discuss their schools safety needs, provides resources as needed, and collaborates regularly with community first responders. In addition to providing support and collaboration, the safety supervisor provides training to SROs, teachers, and administrators as needed.
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