Archdiocesan School Safety

The safety, security, and well-being of children attending Catholic schools within the Archdiocese of Washington is paramount to fostering a positive and nurturing learning and working environment, based on Catholic values, where students have the opportunity to obtain a high standard of academic excellence and achievement.

The Archdiocese adopted Policies for Catholic Schools (Policies 3540 through 3543) that support the safety and security of the children and the entire school community.

Child and Youth Protection

The Archdiocese of Washington Catholic schools are committed to keeping children safe and to bringing healing to those harmed. You are invited to learn more here about our child protection policy; to sign up for background checks and training if you are seeking to work or volunteer with young people in an archdiocesan Catholic school; and, perhaps most importantly, report suspicion of child abuse by visiting the Archdiocese of Washington Child Protection Police webpage.

Training of School Leadership

Our principals and support staff complete over 6 hours of FEMA certified training in school safety preparation and emergency response. We utilized the Incident Command System for responding to a school crisis or emergency structured under the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

All-Hazards Approach and Framework

Archdiocesan Catholic schools adopt an all-hazards approach and framework to school emergency management that proactively identifies, assesses, and evaluates potential hazards, risks, and vulnerabilities that impact the safety, security, and well-being of students and staff.

Four Phases of Emergency Management

The U.S. Department of Education Office of Safe and Healthy Students has developed a cycle of crisis planning and emergency management guidelines for schools to follow as they develop and enhance their emergency preparedness and response management plans and efforts. The cycle of crisis planning is sequential and identifies the four phases of emergency management as Prevention-Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. These critical phases are interconnected and serve as the foundation for a successful response to a school-related emergency and/or crisis. The figure illustrates the sequence of the four phases and summarizes key action steps of each phase.

Crisis Intervention Team Support

A specialized group of licensed counselors and administrators who assist responding to a school experiencing a sudden loss of a community member or addressing difficult news, like a school closure. On average, the team members participate in 12 hours of training per academic year.

Advanced Communication to Parents

Clear and timely communication with families is our primary goal during a school crisis or emergency. Our schools use an advanced communication resource to provide phone calls, text messages, and emails to parents during and after a crisis or emergency.