Stoney Creek High School Safety Update

Stoney Creek High School all clear – students and staff are safe

At 11:48 a.m. on Tuesday, September 20, an alarm sounded at Stoney Creek High School (SCHS) indicating the building was placed in lockdown. The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and Rochester Police Department have provided the Rochester Community School District with an all-clear, indicating that Stoney Creek High School is secure.

All students and staff are safe and accounted for. Dismissal continued as normally scheduled. District social-emotional wellness teams remain available to provide support.

A thorough investigation revealed that the alarm system was inadvertently activated. Reactions to the lockdown prompted misinformation. Law enforcement confirmed that there was no active shooter or threat.

“The safety of our school community is always our priority. We are proud of how our students and staff systematically follow the security procedures that are practiced throughout the year. Our ongoing training and drills have prepared our school communities to take the necessary safety precautions during critical incidents,” said Superintendent Dr. Robert Shaner.

“We remain grateful for our partners at the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office, the Rochester Police Department and our security consultants who protect and serve our school community,” said Dr. Shaner. “We realize that safety is not always convenient, but we are committed to doing everything within our control to protect our students, staff and guests.”

Rochester Community Schools continues to build upon the district’s security prevention measures and crisis response training.

The district made a strategic investment through recent bond efforts to enhance student safety and school security. Completed initiatives include redesigning the main building entrances with two sets of vestibule doors (along with a door to the office) and providing staff with a better visitor verification system and building lockdown capabilities. Locks that latch from the interior side of the classroom door have been added, and video surveillance cameras have been installed in the schools and on buses. An updated districtwide telephone system, radio, and public address (PA) system also ensure proper notification and warning during an emergency.

At the end of the 2021-22 school year and into the summer, a team from Secure Education Consultants (SEC) toured every building across the district to determine additional opportunities to enhance security. This team included staff with prior U.S. Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security, military, police, fire, and education experience. The district continues to work with these experts to further evaluate and implement recommendations.

Safety procedures include the following:

  • All visitors must enter through the main entrance using the visitor verification system. Guests are required to show picture identification and sign in, documenting their name, time in/out, and purpose of the visit. Staff, students, and guests should never open a door for other visitors.
  • All exterior doors are locked throughout the school day. If staff or a community member notices a door that has been propped open for any reason, they should close the door and report the incident to the front office immediately.
  • All interior classroom doors remain locked at all times. (An open door does not mean the door is unlocked.)
  • All exits and hallways should provide a clear path to allow for a quick exit in the case of an emergency.
  • All rooms in the district have an Emergency Management Response Plan for quick reference and instruction.

Throughout the school year, each school conducts drills during both structured and unstructured times. Drills include, at a minimum, three lockdown/shelter-in-place drills, five fire drills, and two tornado drills. Each building also has an emergency response plan that outlines procedures for staff to follow in case of a crisis. The plan includes securing all students in a classroom, covering windows, turning off the lights and having students sit in a designated area away from the hallway and door. These drills help improve readiness and response to incidents. Detailed drill information for each school is located on the district website. Each district building has an emergency “go kit” with essential emergency items including first-aid supplies, flashlights, and other important items.

Local law enforcement, security consultants, and police liaison officers provide RCS with the guidance and training to keep students and staff safe. Regular staff training opportunities for multiple scenarios include medical emergencies, lockdown/shelter in place, aggressive intruder, fire/evacuation, natural disasters and weather-related emergencies. RCS uses the “run-hide-fight” protocol response for active shooter training, which aligns with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security guidance.

In 2017, RCS made a commitment to ensure all district schools were designated as a MI HEARTsafe School. At that time, only 53 buildings in Oakland County received the MI HEARTsafe School designation, with 21 of those buildings being from RCS. To continue the district’s commitment to wellness, Ascension Providence Rochester Hospital partnered with RCS in 2022 to provide free CPR/AED training (cardiopulmonary resuscitation/ automated external defibrillator) for approximately 160 RCS staff members across the district. The training certifies members of RCS critical incident teams through the American Heart Association for two years.

For the 2022-23 school year, staff also received training in the use of tourniquets, which aligns with the American College of Surgeons Stop the Bleed® program. Stop the bleed kits have been ordered for each building.

Each RCS school/building has an emergency operations plan that is revised annually to empower employees to act quickly and knowledgeably in an emergency situation. The plan represents collaboration between the school district, education professionals, local first response agencies, and emergency management officials. The plan is based on guidance provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Department of Education, the Michigan State Police and Oakland County. Portions of the emergency operations plan are confidential even against Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to prevent theft, inadvertent access, unauthorized disclosure, and potential security breaches in RCS buildings.

RCS encourages parents and caregivers to talk with their student on a regular basis about the importance of making good choices and sharing concerns if something doesn’t seem right. In case of an emergency, call 9-1-1. Families can also relay information to their school principal, and report information using the district’s Talk to RCS feature or anonymously using OK2SAY.

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