Safety & Security

Our Commitment

Because of our commitment to safety and security preparedness, the Williamsport Area School District has the following structures in place.

All-Hazards Plan – Our All-Hazards Plan is the framework for a unified response to an emergency on school property. Developed and annually reviewed with community first responders, this plan empowers District administrators to act quickly and efficiently in the event of an emergency.

Incident Command Team – This team is comprised of central office administrators, principals, local law enforcement, local emergency providers, and county 911 emergency planning representatives. This team meets monthly and is briefed on safety and security updates thorough out the school year and provides oversight on continued safety program development.

Director of Student Services and Coordinator of School Safety – Working in coordination with our Superintendent, Central Office Team, other school leaders, including our building principals, the Director of Student Service leads efforts focused on promoting the safety of our schools.

Emergency Management Coordination – We are grateful to maintain close working relationships with municipal and state first responders and emergency management professionals who help to guide planning our response to the emergencies that could occur on our campuses.

School Resource Officer (SRO) – The WASD has one uniformed Police Officer from the Williamsport Bureau of Police assigned to the school district. Our SRO works with all schools K-12 and assists with investigations, violations of the law, and classroom lessons.

Threat Assessment Team – 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 to commit a violent act, (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. The Williamsport Area School District has embraced the threat assessment team concept and has implemented a team in the WASD. 

General Practices & Procedures

Building Visitor Procedures – We require visitors to present photo identification upon arrival at any of our school buildings.

Surveillance Camera Systems – Cameras are positioned in all our buildings and on school buses to help ensure the safety of all our students and staff.

Professional Development – We provide teaching and learning opportunities for staff related to safety such as A.L.I.C.E. Response Procedures (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) and steps to be taken in more general critical incident scenarios like severe weather events and other emergencies that may arise in schools.

Learning Experiences for Students – Various drills such as fire drills, severe weather drills, and intruder or evacuation drills are examples of measures taken by our schools to prepare students for an emergency. We recognize developmental differences among our K-12 students.

In Case of an Emergency

The safety and welfare of students is a primary concern in the Williamsport Area District. Annually, a comprehensive all-hazard plan is prepared and distributed to each school and local area first responders. Additionally, each school exercises emergency evacuations and procedures on a regular basis to prepare students to react in the event of an emergency. To this point, the Williamsport Area School District feels that it is important to provide parents and guardians with an understanding of the expectations in the event of an emergency. Below are guidelines that you can reference should an emergency occur in your child's school. Your adherence to these guideline will allow for efficient emergency communications and an unimpeded response from emergency personnel. 

  • Should an emergency occur, please do not phone your child's school. Open phone lines are critical to emergency communication.
  • Do not report to your child's school. Congestion on school grounds can impede the efficient response of emergency personnel and reduce our ability to move students away from danger to a safe location.
  • In the event of an emergency, the district will communicate updates and next steps regarding dismissal and student reunification via mass notification with Swift K-12 (phone, text, e-mail, website). 
  • Should a mass reunification be necessary photo identification will be required in order to take custody of a student from the reunification center. You will also be required to fill out a form that will be provided at that time.
  • As stressful as a reunification may be, we ask for your patience. Reunification is a process that protects both the safety of the student and provides for an accountable change of custody from the school to a recognized custodial parent, guardian, or emergency contact.

How We Communicate During a Crisis

We work very intentionally to develop and send messages that keep our many stakeholders informed. We focus on providing clear and accurate information before releasing it to the public. While we understand that people may want immediate details, our goal is to provide information as timely as possible, ensuring that what we release is accurate. We also coordinate with our local police departments to ensure that the information shared is clear and consistent. In an emergency situation we will communicate with all our families through the use of our Swift K-12 messaging system. This system utilizes email, text and voicemail notifications.