The safety, security and well-being of students and staff are one of the top priorities at CMS. We are committed to providing a safe learning environment for all students to succeed. When necessary, notifications and updates will be sent to keep parents informed of events or issues at or close to their child's school. Students WILL NOT be released during any emergency response until all-clear has been given by law enforcement and safe, orderly dismissal is possible.
Each school has emergency and safety plans developed in collaboration with our local law enforcement and emergency responders to guide effective and efficient responses. Any threats to CMS school are taken seriously and investigated immediately and thoroughly by local law enforcement, CMSPD and CMS administrators. In North Carolina, it is a felony to make such threats, and anyone found to have communicated a threat is punished to the fullest extent of the law.
- School Resource Officers (SROs) in schools are trained for emergencies, and the staff knows to contact law enforcement anytime there is a perceived threat to safety and security.
- Student mental health and support staff are always available, including counselors, psychologists, social work and partnerships for school-based mental health services. Parents can contact school staff if they notice disturbing changes in behavior or think their children may need mental/emotional support for any reason.
- All schools are required to create and update a safety plan to be activated in an emergency. While the staff is trained to implement this plan, specific details in these plans are kept confidential to ensure maximum security effectiveness.
- Lock-down drills are conducted twice annually and evaluated for improvement. Students and staff practice emergency procedures to block access to rooms. Learn about lockdowns.
- Closed campuses at all schools with exterior access doors locked and admittance controlled. Violations should be reported to school staff. Building security features:
- Secured doors, main entry buzz-in and camera systems at all schools.
- Fencing around school grounds.
- Future school buildings are planned with security vestibules at the entrance.
- Lobby area technology (Lobby Guard) provides background screening for all visitors, volunteers and guests, alerting staff when persons who should not be on campus attempt to be admitted.
- Access for students grades 6-12 to the Say Something Anonymous Reporting system, including an app, website and 800 number, for submitting tips about possible threats to schools or students who may harm themselves.
- Active survival instruction and training by a specialized CMSPD Instructor yearly for all CMS staff and employees.
- Bullying prevention anonymous reporting platform.
- Additional protocols and procedures at every school and CMS facility are not disclosed to preserve safety and security.
- Random safety screenings are conducted across K-8, middle and high schools. Screenings are also conducted at random by:
- Gun detection canine
- Narcotics detection canine
- Body scanners are actively monitoring entrances at select our comprehensive high schools. Installations are planned for K-8 and middle schools.
- CMS, law enforcement, community agencies and partners will remain vigilant to keep students and staff safe in every Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools classroom, building and facility.
- Community conversations in each learning community for feedback on what makes safe schools in our Let's Talk About Safety Nights series.