Safe at School
American Academy works in a close partnership with the Douglas County School District Safety and Security team as well as local enforcement to ensure that we are following all current safety protocols. They also help us to regularly evaluate the safety of each of our campus buildings and make recommendations when changes or updates are needed.
All doors, inside and outside, at all American Academy campuses lock automatically when closed (we occasionally allow for monitored unlocked entry for special school events). We allow ONLY badged entry into our buildings. Visitors are required to approach the building through double locked doorways to allow our front office staff full view of the visitor and to allow questioning prior to entry. Once inside the secure lobby, all visitors must be background-checked and badged by the front office before further entry into the school building. Security cameras are installed inside and outside each of our campus buildings, including cameras at our front entry allowing our front offices additional visitor viewing.
American Academy may call for an alternate dismissal due to weather and/or safety concerns. We will notify parents as quickly as possible when this happens.
During an alternate dismissal, American Academy will supervise students until they are picked up so those picking up should always take the time they need to ensure their own safety before walking through the parking lot to enter the building. For example, if it is unsafe to walk through the parking lot, parents are welcome to remain in their car or leave and come back when it is safe.
Upon entering the building, those picking up will be required to either show their pick up status on American Academy’s carpool application on their phone and/or a driver’s license. Once cleared, they may pick up their student(s).
During these dismissals, American Academy asks for your cooperation and patience. These situations can be fluid and require staff and administration to adjust as needed, and sometimes very quickly. At all times, American Academy will prioritize the safety of our students.
School Resource Officer Program
American Academy participates in the School Resource Officer (SRO) Program. The program brings experienced law enforcement officers into each of our buildings on a permanent basis to provide security and to become part of American Academy’s culture. These officers will also continue to provide students with safety classes through the Y.E.S.S. (Youth Education and Safety in Schools) Program. American Academy has partnered with Parker Police Department (Lincoln Meadows and Motsenbocker campuses) and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (Castle Pines campus) to enhance security by providing officers for this program.
Training and Preparedness
American Academy conducts regular staff safety training and monthly staff and student drills to prepare for Evacuations, Secure, Lock Downs, and Shelter events. We also have onsite at each campus security walkies/radios that allows us to have direct communication with DCSD Security Dispatch as well as other local emergency first responders, providing increased response time for implementing security protocols and law enforcement support.
Standard Response Protocol
In the event of an emergency at one of our campuses, American Academy, DCSD, and local law enforcement will work together to follow the Standard Response Protocol "actions:" Hold, Secure, Shelter, Evacuate, Lockdown, and Reunification. Parents are encouraged to learn about the SRP actions in order to be prepared in the event of a school emergency.
American Academy has multiple mental health professionals, including a counselor and social worker at each of our three campuses, as well as a full-time Mental Health Coordinator to oversee and support mental health staff and initiatives, including counseling, programming, training, and crises prevention and intervention. The mental health team focuses on proactive measures and programming for our students as well as intervention as needed for individual students and groups of students.
We also work on resilience with our students, teaching them how to more effectively cope with stress and conflict with others. In the past, we have brought in Brooks Gibbs to speak to our students and to provide additional training for our staff, as well as programming for our parents in support of student resilience.
Reporting and Resources for Students
Every year, we share (age-appropriate) information with our students on how and when to: report bullying; use 9-1-1 (for our youngest students), or use Safe2Tell.. Our school restrooms and hallways (age-appropriate) feature posters with this information so students are reminded of these important resources on a daily basis throughout the school year.