School Safety Guide: From Kindergarten to College

This school safety guide can bring peace of mind no matter the age of your kids. From kindergarten to college, our school safety guide is full of resources to make sure your child is prepared at any point in their lives. Some of the best things parents can do to ensure their children's safety are to stay in contact with teachers, keep lines of communication open between you and your kids, and get involved at your kid’s school by volunteering to help with after-school activities or sports teams.

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Natasha McLachlan is a writer who currently lives in Southern California. She is an alumna of California College of the Arts, where she obtained her B.A. in Writing and Literature. Her current work revolves around insurance guides and informational articles. She truly enjoys helping others learn more about everyday, practical matters through her work.

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Nov 21, 2020

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When we send kids to school, we want to make sure that they are in a safe environment and that they know what they need to do to remain safe. In general, this means that we want to protect them from accidents, injury, violence, weapons, theft, bullying, and drugs.

Kindergarten

When students are at this stage, parents and teachers should help them to understand reasonable limitations when on the playground. While bumps and bruises can’t always be prevented, more serious injuries can be by teaching children how to use playground equipment safely.

Make sure that your child knows who they can reach out to in case of an emergency. Have them memorize their address and your telephone number. Also, make sure that the school has your correct contact information.

If your child has food allergies, make sure that the school knows, and that proper precautions are being taken to ensure that they are not exposed. Teach children not to share food or accept food from other students.

Resources:

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Elementary School

At this age, students should know how to evacuate the school and what to do during drills.

Remind them to walk, not run, in classrooms and hallways.

Teach children what to do if they experience bullying, check for signs of bullying (such as emotional withdrawal), and make sure to communicate with them regularly.

Keep a copy of the school safety plan so that you and your child know what to do if there is an emergency. In addition, make sure that the school always has your current contact information.

Resources:

Middle School

By middle school, there should be an emphasis on respecting others and preventing and stopping bullying.

Talk about bullying, drugs, and other potential dangers that your child may come across at school so that they know how to respond.

Volunteer at your child’s school to offer support and get to know their teachers and the school community.

Get kids involved in sports and afterschool programs.

Resources:

High School

Make sure that students are not bringing large amounts of money or valuable items with them to school where they may be lost or stolen.

Make sure that you know where your student will be both before and after school and that they are avoiding high-risk situations.

Keep communication open and check in with your student to see how they are doing at school.

Students should know to immediately report any information about a student with weapons or plans to use weapons.

Resource:

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College

If you are a college student out after dark, walk in well-lit areas and stay with a group if you can.

Bring a whistle in case you need to bring attention to a situation.

Report any suspicious activity on campus.

Remember that you still need to take care of your health. Make sure to get enough sleep, eat properly, and avoid substances.

Resources:

School Transportation Safety

The trip to and from school has unique safety risks.

Walking

If your child is walking to or from school, have them walk with friends when possible. They should also follow this safety advice:

  • Use a well-traveled route with safe areas to cross streets
  • Obey all traffic signals
  • Use crosswalks
  • Do not talk to or accept rides from strangers

Bike

If your student is riding a bicycle, make sure that they have a helmet, and understand the importance of wearing one. In addition, they should:

  • Follow all traffic signals
  • Be aware of traffic
  • Go with another student or group of students
  • Avoid interacting with strangers

Bus

If your child takes the bus, make sure that they get to the bus stop ahead of time in the morning. In addition, they should:

  • Know what to do if they get home and you are not there
  • Follow the rules on the bus
  • Know how to identify their bus number and driver
  • Stay out of the street
  • Know how to cross the street where the bus driver can see them

Car

If your student (or if you are the student) is old enough to drive, keep the following things in mind:

  • Always carry your keys in your hand when going to your parked car
  • Avoid darkly lit parking lots
  • Make sure to lock the doors and close all windows after parking

Resources:

Safety for School Faculty

Make sure that your classroom and school are prepared for emergencies.

  • Conduct regular drills.
  • Reduce opportunities for bullying
  • Maintain the locks on your windows and doors
  • Keep an organized classroom with clear exit paths
  • Set rules on violence and unwanted behaviors
  • Discuss concerns and implement plans with other faculty

Resources:

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Resources for Parents

Parents can be a part of school safety too.

  • Communicate with your children, ask about their day, and listen to their concerns
  • Set an example of good behavior
  • Stay in contact with your child’s teachers
  • Get involved in parent meetings and organizations at the school

Here are some resources to help you get and stay involved in your child’s safety at school:

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