SPS safety and security measures

Summary: While last week’s tragic event happened at a school, it affects us all. Our collective hearts ache at this senseless loss of life.



Watch Superintendent Jones’ November 12 video message.

Translated videos

Dear SPS students, families and staff,

I feel the pain and frustration of our community following the tragic death of one of our students last week. Like you, I continue to mourn the violence that occurred at Ingraham High School.

My team and I continue to provide additional support to the Ingraham community. Principal Floe will hold a community meeting in Ingraham next week. Ingraham families will be messaged directly from the school with details of the event.

For the wider SPS community, I am working with my leadership team to create an event for all families and students to join us in a conversation about school safety. You will receive more information about this event once it has been scheduled.

Safety remains a top priority for all of us at Seattle Public Schools. Keeping our schools safe is part of our daily work. Here are some of the safety and security measures that our district is actively engaged in and the work that will soon begin.

Building Security and Support

Our work to ensure school buildings have up-to-date security systems, entrances and door locks continues. We have installed new interior locks on over 4,000 classroom doors throughout the district.

We are currently working on adding intercoms and cameras to school entrances.

The district has committed funds from Building Excellence (BEX) V Capital Levy for security resources and improvements. This work will help SPS strengthen data security and strengthen school building access systems. See the list of BEX V projects approved by Seattle voters in February 2019.

District security personnel monitor alarms and respond to suspicious activity around the clock. They respond quickly and coordinate with community emergency responders when an incident occurs.

The security team organizes school drills with first responders.

Readiness training provided by Safety and Security includes verbal de-escalation, conflict management and critical incident management.

Our coordinated school health team provides support immediately after critical incidents. The Health Services team and Employee Assistance Program help our schools meet the emotional needs of staff, students and families.

School and Community Partnerships for School Safety

All of our schools have a safety plan developed in conjunction with the SPS Safety and Security team.

The Seattle Police Department and SPS Safety and Security meet regularly to discuss strategies to reduce crime in and around schools, provide training opportunities, participate in drills and improve communication.

Our security team monitors trends related to school safety and security, working with local community emergency responders to help prevent or mitigate incidents.

To advance

I present three actions as part of a district-wide safety initiative that:

  • Perform a district-wide safety and security assessment.
  • Establish a community action team to help SPS determine immediate steps to improve school safety.
  • Launch a Child Wellbeing Council that will be led by nurses, paediatricians, psychologists and others with expertise in supporting mental health and social-emotional needs.

This fall, SPS and the educators’ union met to finalize the 2022-25 collective agreement. This agreement included several services related to academic support, including:

  • Add mental health support with an additional half-time social worker at each K-8, middle school and high school comprehensive school this school year.
  • Reduces the counsellor-to-student ratio in our most needy secondary schools.

Steps Families Can Take

Please talk with your student (depending on their age or your family) about school and personal safety.

As with all school-related issues that are important to your family, you are always welcome to contact your local, state, or federal representative. You can find your representatives by visiting the Washington State Legislature District Finder website.

We all play a role in school safety. You can use the SPS Safe Schools hotline 206-252-0510 to report any threats to SPS schools. This phone number is managed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We are SPS and together we will continue to look out for each other.

Sincerely,

Dr. Brent Jones
Superintendent
Seattle Public Schools


Job November 12

Dear SPS students, families and staff,

Seattle Public Schools (SPS) is committed to providing safe and welcoming learning environments.

Although last week’s tragic event happened in a school, it affects us all. Our collective hearts ache at this senseless loss of life. Our community experiences a wide range of reactions and emotions. Supporting the well-being of students and staff has been and will remain the highest priority.

At Ingraham, students will return to their classrooms on Monday to reclaim their learning space. Principal Floe, school staff, and district teams provided a supportive and safe space while giving the school community time to heal.

Over the past week and this weekend, emotional and wellbeing supports have been available for Ingraham students and staff. On Monday and the following days, additional counselors and social workers will be at the school. Additional security will be provided on the school campus. While Ingraham will follow his regular bell schedule, educators will be available to students during morning classes to discuss their experience.

The SPS Health Services team continues to be available for those in need of emotional support. Our Safety and Security team continues to work to provide additional safety measures to SPS schools.

Gun violence is something no student, family, or educator should have to put up with. Tragic events like this have hit particularly hard. As a community, we can distance our students from violence. We can teach our children the value of tolerance.

In his remarks at the Seattle School Board meeting last week, Superintendent Jones outlined a safety initiative comprised of three elements:

  • A district-wide safety and security audit
  • Creating a Community Action Team
  • Child welfare council launched

As a reminder, our community has access to the SPS Safe Schools Hotline. You can use the SPS Safe Schools hotline 206-252-0510 to report any threats to SPS schools. This phone number is managed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

If you have any questions or concerns, please use our Let’s Talk form.

Sincerely,

Public affairs
Seattle Public Schools


Job November 9

Dear SPS families and staff,

Tuesday morning we had an incident of gun violence at one of our schools. Tragically, an Ingraham student was shot and killed on campus. Our collective hearts are broken. We extend our deepest condolences to the victim’s family and the entire Ingraham school community.

Seattle Police are on the scene working with the district safety and security team. A suspect is in custody.

Ingraham students have been released from classes for the rest of the day and are reunited with their families. After-school activities at Ingraham have been cancelled. Classes at Ingraham have been canceled for Wednesday November 9 and Thursday November 10.

Coordinated School Health and Staff Welfare (EAP) is available to help our community manage this tragic incident. Here are some resources to help families.

Additionally, Crisis Connections provides a 24-hour crisis line at 866-427-4747 www.crisisconnections.org or Teen Link at 866-833-6546.

I am grateful for the quick response and thorough investigation from the Seattle Police Department and the SPS Safety and Security Team. I would like to commend the responsiveness of Ingraham’s principal, Martin Floe, and Ingraham’s staff. Thank you for your quick response to secure the campus.

Please hold your loved ones close and seek comfort in each other. SPS will keep families and staff informed as information becomes available.

Sincerely,

Superintendent Brent Jones
Seattle Public Schools


Reunification Update Posted Nov. 8, 2 p.m.

Dear Ingraham Families and Staff,

We had an incident of gun violence at our school. The campus is secure and currently locked. Seattle Police (SPD) are on the scene working with the district safety and security team.

All after-school activities at Ingraham today have been cancelled.

Students will be released at noon. A regrouping site has been set up at Meridian Ave. North and North 135th St. Families can prepare to meet at this location. Families are asked not to come to school to pick up their student. The SPD will be on site at the reunification site.

Classes at Ingraham High School have been canceled for Wednesday November 9 and Thursday November 10.

We will keep families and staff informed as the situation is changing rapidly.

Sincerely,

Public Affairs Office
Seattle Public Schools


Ad published November 8, 11 a.m.

Dear Ingraham Families and Staff,

Gunshots were reported at our school this morning. A student was reportedly shot dead.

The campus is currently in lockdown. Seattle Police are on the scene working with the district safety and security team. The SPD is looking for the suspect in the area.

The campus is secure at this time. We remain confined.

No student is released at this time. A regrouping site has been set up at Meridian Ave. North and North 135th St. Students are not released at this time, but families can prepare to meet at this location. Families are asked not to come to school to pick up their student.

We will keep families and staff informed as the situation is changing rapidly.

Sincerely,

Public Affairs Office
Seattle Public Schools