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School Safety

School safety is one of our highest concerns at Cheney Public Schools, students thrive best when they know they are secure at school. 

School safety planning is guided by Washington State law and Cheney Public School Board policies. 

YES Officers

The District employs three YES (Youth Engagement Specialist) Officers. Their work in school safety is governed by Board Policy 4311.

Threat Assessments

The goal of the threat assessment process is to take appropriate preventive or corrective measures to maintain a safe and secure school environment, to protect and support potential victims, and to provide assistance, as needed, to the individual being assessed. A School-based threat assessment is distinct from law enforcement investigation and is also distinct from student discipline procedures. The role of Threat Assements in Cheney Public Schools are governed by Board Policy 3225.

Required Drills 

RCW 28A.320.125 requires all school districts and schools in Washington state to have current comprehensive safe school plans, or Emergency Operation Plans (EOPs), plans. Within that requirement, schools are required to have at least one safety drill per month, including summer sessions when students are present. These drills prepare students and staff for a wide variety of threats and hazards. Schools have been doing safety drills for decades. Staff and students need to know and practice the options that can be used in emergency situations. As a result, they drill.  Drills are essential; they help familiarize staff, students, and visitors in a school building with procedures, announcements, processes, and signals so, in the event of a real emergency, there will be no hesitation or confusion in the response.


In Washington, schools are required to practice three basic functional responses to threats or hazards: lockdown, evacuation, and shelter-in-place:

  1. Lockdown - to protect students and staff from threats of violence, such as suspicious trespassers or armed intruders, even wild animals, that may occur in school, around, or in the vicinity of a school.  Lock doors, lights out, and out of sight.  Students and staff are trained to enter or remain in a room that can be locked and maintain silence.  Please remain clear of the building and campus.   
  2. Evacuation - to move students and staff away from threats, such as fires, chemical spills, oil train spills, or tsunamis.  Students leave items behind if required, and follow instructions as adults lead them to a safe off-site location.  A student parent reuinification site will be announced to parents for pick-up, if necessary.  
  1. Shelter - to limit the exposure of students and staff to hazardous materials, such as chemical, biological, or radiological contaminants, released into the environment by isolating the inside environment from the outside.  Shelter may also be used in the case of a natural disaster.  Students are trained to use the appropriate safety strategy for the hazard.  Strategies may include evacuate, drop, cover, and hold, or get to high ground.  

These three basic functions can be used for a wide variety of possible emergency situations.

 "Secure the Building"  
Secure and teach or Secure the building is called when there is something dangerous outside the building.  Students and staff are brought inside the building and the outside doors will be locked and no one will be able to enter the building.  Learning and teaching occur as usual in the classrooms.

Safety and Security Protocols and Processes

  • Secured and monitored single point entry system.
  • Standardized, best practices approach emergency response protocols and drills that include Secure (secure the perimeter), Lockdown (active threat in the building), Evacuation, Shelter in Place (hazmat) and earthquake. These protocols are practiced in each building throughout the school year.
  • Extensive campus camera system that can be shared with first responders.
  • An All Hazards Comprehensive Emergency Management Operations Plan.
  • Threat Assessment Program to proactively identify potential risks.
  • Family Reunification Plan and pre-determined evacuation sights.
  • Crisis Communication Plan that includes direct communication between Cheney Public Schools and our first responders.
  • Successful "see something, say something" campaign.


Mr. Tom Arlt
Assistant Superintendent

Mrs. Kim Lefler
Director Safety & Student Well-Being 

Corporal Pat Carbaugh
YES Officer - AHPD

Officer Brad King
YES Officer - AHPD

Officer TBD
YES Officer - AHPD