School Safety

BCPS Safety Practices

The safety of all students and staff in Bedford County Public Schools is the top priority.  BCPS employs a full-time Safe Schools Coordinator.  The division has very strong relationships with local first responders and the office of Emergency Management.  BCPS continually evaluates current safety practices with our community partners to make schools safe for everyone.  The following are standard practices throughout the division:     

  • BCPS annually participates in a required safety audit process.  The School Safety Audit is a process that requires:
    • School Safety Inspections
    • Certification of Comprehensive School Emergency Operations Plans
    • School and Division Safety Surveys
    • Safety Audits
  • In collaboration with the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office and the Bedford Police Department, BCPS has a School Resource Officer (SRO) or a Community Resource Officer (CRO) assigned to each school. BCPS and local law enforcement maintain a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that outlines roles, responsibilities, and procedures for our work together. This MOU is available at the following links:
    2023-2024 Bedford County Sheriff's Office MOU
    2023-2024 Bedford Police Department MOU
  • In collaboration with our community partners (Bedford County Sheriff’s Office, Bedford Police Department, Bedford County Fire and Rescue, Office of Emergency Management, Virginia State Police) BCPS has a Safety Advisory Committee that meets quarterly to review safety needs, safety data, and determine priorities and plan training.
  • All schools meet or exceed the required standard for drills and exercises designed to educate and prepare students and staff on how to respond in the case of lockdown, fire, severe weather, or other emergency situations.
  • In the case of an emergency situation that requires the relocation of students and staff, BCPS utilizes the Standard Reunification Method and has designated reunification sites for each school.
  • School leaders engage in training in emergency response strategies through division initiatives, programs sponsored by the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety and other reputable sources.
  • BCPS utilizes best practices for comprehensive threat assessment strategies.  School administrators, counselors, and other staff are trained to conduct threat assessments on any threats made against students or staff.  This training is research based and includes immediate decision making guidance and long term monitoring of students making and receiving threats.
  • BCPS utilizes the STOPit anonymous reporting app to allow students and other school community members to report concerning issues. Reports can be made via app or at the STOPit webpage.
  • BCPS utilizes the Raptor Emergency Management platform which allows instant notification of drills and emergencies to all staff and first responders.
  • All schools have secure entrances that require visitors to be screened and allowed into the school only after determining that there is a legitimate need and a background check has been run on the visitor’s driver’s license against the state and national sex offender registry.
  • All schools utilize electronic locking hardware and controlled access protocols.
  • All schools have digital surveillance cameras that allow for monitoring of school buildings and grounds.