Safety and Emergencies

Safety and Emergencies

Keeping your child safe

Our school system has plans and procedures in place to protect your child and communicate with you in the event of an emergency. Our security department works with school staff, local law enforcement and other public health and safety leaders to make our campuses safe places to learn.

To protect our students and staff, most WCPSS schools are outfitted with electronic security systems including burglar alarms, digital video recorders, access controls and a computerized keying system. We are also working on implementing a global card access control system. We are currently the only school system in North Carolina with a central monitoring station that oversees these systems.

If you have any questions or security concerns, contact our security department at 919-431-7777 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. After normal working hours, call the Alarm Monitoring Center with any security concerns at 919-856-2890.

School closings and delays

As with inclement weather, community incidents may require us to cancel classes, open schools late, or close them early. An emergency might affect the entire school system or, more frequently, just a small number of schools (as in a gas leak, water outage or power loss). In such a situation, the following plan goes into effect:

  • The school system's crisis team will monitor and manage the situation.
  • Our front page will carry the announcement of the closing, delay or early dismissal.
  • Depending on the number of students affected, the emergency phone system may be used to contact their parents.
  • We will notify media outlets.
  • If classes are canceled or dismissed early, all athletic and extracurricular events at the affected schools are canceled. Community Schools evening programs operate on a different schedule; any change will be announced separately.
  • Before-school programs will start on a delayed schedule. After-school programs will operate from an early dismissal to the regular closing time. Neither program will operate if school is closed.

Incidents on or near school campuses

Our school system has set up emergency plans for each school and administrative site. Each school has an Emergency Response Team that focuses on prevention and reaction to incidents, and a Crisis Intervention Team that provides support to students and staff after an incident.

If there is a potential threat or unsafe situation to a school, the school may "go on lockdown" to protect students, staff and visitors.

  • If there is an immediate threat to the school, a "code red" lockdown will be issued. Students will be moved into safe areas, and all interior doors will be locked.
  • If there is something in the community that may pose a threat to the school, such as a bank robbery or police chase in the neighborhood, a "code yellow" community lockdown will be issued. All outdoor activities will stop and students will move into the building. We will lock outer doors and prohibit movement between buildings, but all other activities will continue as normal.
  • When the incident passes, a "code green" will be declared ending the lockdown.
  • In an emergency situation, we must be able to contact you. 
    • Please provide accurate emergency contact information to your child's school at the start of the year.
    • Update your contact information with school staff as soon as it changes.
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