Statistics consistently show that schools are among the safest places to be due to the strong commitment of educators, families, and our community to our students and schools. We strive to be proactive rather than reactive. 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.
Safety training occurs for staff and students throughout the school year, and school emergency operations plans are modified as needed in order to improve procedures. Within each school, training drills are conducted on a monthly basis that include the following: fire, severe weather (tornado, earthquake) and intruder. All drills are conducted with a preventative focus to be prepared for such emergencies.
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 and the National Weather Service during the threat of severe weather.
If the district is placed under a Tornado Warning by the National Weather Service, all schools will go use “Shelter in Place” protocol. 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 Tornado 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 Dennis Fetting.
Video 1: Williamson County is Not Immune
Video 2: Parental Involvement is Key
Video 3: Sexting
Video 4: Snapchat
Video 5: Photo Lockers
Video 6: The Consequences of Sexting
Video 7: Grooming Tactics
Video 8: Fake Profiles
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
The Franklin Special School District, Williamson County School District, and many Williamson County first responders collaborate to ensure the school safety plans reflect best practices. 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 plan. Their input is crucial so that, in the event their response is needed at a school, they know that the schools are all working from similar plans.
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. Example: 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. Examples: 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. Families will be notified through Blackboard Connect of the reunification site at the time of the evacuation.
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:
- Red Cross
- Williamson Juvenile Court
- Williamson County Sheriff’s Department
- Franklin Police Department
- Franklin Fire Department
- Williamson County Emergency Management Agency
- Williamson County Schools
- Williamson Medical Center
- 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.
School Resource Officers (SROs) are law enforcement officers who work inside school buildings in order to contribute to a safe school environment, and also to serve as educators pertaining to the topics of drugs, alcohol and/or student safety. School Resource Officers serve three main functions – as a police officer in the school setting, as a resource and problem solver, and as a facilitator in the development of teaching safety skills. We are extremely grateful for the FSSD SROs, which are provided by the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office and are in EVERY school. They help maintain safety in the buildings, as they are the first responders to any emergencies, and also act as a liaison between the WCSO and administration.
The District has had SROs in place since 2013, following the tragic school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT and the deputies are certified by the National Association of School Resource Officers.
Threat Assessment Protocol
Threat assessment represents an important component of a comprehensive approach to school safety. It’s a violence prevention strategy that involves: (a) identifying student threats against students, staff or property, (b) determining the seriousness of the threat, and (c) developing intervention plans that protect potential victims and address the underlying problem or conflict that stimulated the threatening behavior. The development and use of threat assessment teams to identify potential risks is essential to preventing targeted acts of violence in school and is considered a best practice. FSSD has embraced the threat assessment team concept and has implemented crisis teams at all schools.
All visitors shall report to the main office of the school or district office complex upon arrival. 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.
In schools/offices where an electronic visitor management/building access program is utilized, a visitor shall be required to scan a valid, government-issued, photo ID when they enter into the building vestibule. Upon a successful scan, the system will print a badge for the visitor to wear in a visible manner during the duration of his/her visit. In schools that do not currently operate electronic entry systems, visitors will sign in after presentation of a valid, government-issued, photo ID and receive a visitor badge to wear in a visible manner for the duration of their visit.
Why does the district use a visitor registration system?
We recently completed secure entries on all of our school buildings. The registration system and badge printer is the next phase to control access and know who is in our schools.
Where will the new visitor registration be used?
The system will be implemented in all 8 schools and our Central Office Annex.
When will I be asked to wear a visitor badge?
Visitors will be asked to wear a visitor badge on school days during school hours.
What if I don’t have a Tennessee driver’s license?
The system can scan state ID cards and driver’s licenses from all 50 states. A passport with a photo and birth date can also be manually entered by the school staff in the front office.
What information will be shared?
None. No information from IDs will be shared.
What if I have a common name and there is another person with my name who is a registered sex offender?
Staff will be able to compare the photo and other information to identify if there is a false positive.
What if I forgot my driver’s license?
You may be asked to wait in the office for your child to come to you, or asked to volunteer or visit at another time when you have your identification.
If you have additional questions please contact Celby Glass, FSSD Safety Supervisor, at 615-472-3117.
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. The safety supervisor meets regularly with administrators to discuss 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.