At the Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS), our number one priority is ensuring a safe and welcoming environment for all students, staff, and visitors. To support this priority and ensure everyone is prepared in the event of a school emergency, each of our schools has a safety plan that is unique to the building and aligned with best practices. Each school has a safety team, and all staff receives flip charts outlining emergency procedures. Throughout the year, schools perform various safety drills including fire, bus evacuation, severe weather, building evacuation and lockdown. All schools conduct lockdown drills during which students and staff practice emergency procedures. These lockdown procedures are evaluated for improvements after each drill.
To ensure schools are prepared to proactively handle the threat of an intruder or active shooter, all principals and teachers have been trained in ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate). We will start the process of scheduling active shooter drills with students beginning March 2018. Central Office staff will also receive training in ALICE. Find frequently asked questions related to ALICE.
To support the needs of each of our schools, the Department of School Safety and District personnel work closely and collaboratively with school leaders, local emergency responders, community agencies as well as out of school time partners. In 2013, the District replaced all school classroom doors to ensure they can lock from the inside and are secure. The District also has mobile units that are able to respond quickly to backup support to schools, especially schools where there may not be a permanent security officer stationed.
As a parent or guardian of a PPS student, we encourage you to review the District's emergency procedures and become familiar with procedures at your child's school.