The best time to prepare for an emergency is before it takes place. SVUSD does that in multiple ways, including safety drills, partnerships, and training with Santa Cruz County Office of Education, Scotts Valley Fire, Sheriff, and Police Departments, and constantly updating health and crisis response protocols. Each school site has a comprehensive school safety plan updated annually and approved by our school board.
According to the California Education Code, each school site holds safety drills for emergency situations such as earthquakes, fire, or imminent danger on campus. Drills are practiced throughout the school year and debriefed with staff and students to address any areas of improvement. October is safety month and a time when we practice our incident commander system protocols district-wide and in partnership with local emergency services. Drills are not always announced in advance so that the unexpectedness of a drill mimics real-life emergencies.
Partnership with Emergency Services
SVUSD is grateful for the partnership with emergency service first responder teams and the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. With these partnerships, we can annually train staff on how to respond to emergencies using the Incident Command System (ICS), which is a standardized approach to the command, control, and coordination of a crisis.
Health and Well-being
Whether maintaining updated COVID protocols or ensuring mental health services, SVUSD prioritizes the health and well-being of staff and students. Each school site has counselors, a school psychologist, and access to a school nurse and health aides. Students TK-12th grade learn about well-being through social-emotional learning (SEL) both in the classroom and campus-wide. Both the middle and high schools have peer-driven Hope Squads.