image of police and students

Safety and Security in GCISD

In GCISD, safety of students and staff is a top priority. Since 2011, GCISD has implemented and updated protocols, procedures and operations to help ensure the safety of all. Please click the buttons below to expand and learn more about the District’s safety initiatives.

Proactive Measures

  • In GCISD, safety is our top priority. Allen Smith is the Director of Emergency Management and School Security. The Board of Trustees approved this new position in June 2016 and Allen joined GCISD with twenty-five years of experience as a police officer with the last fifteen as a School Resource Officer. Visit here to learn more about Allen and the Security and Emergency Management team.
  • A “See Something, Say Something” icon and link is found on all student-issued computers and devices to ensure students can easily and anonymously report crimes, bullying, threats or students in crisis. Every student in GCISD has access to the link, which is a direct reporting site for Tarrant County Campus Crime Stoppers and Friends for Life.
  • Every campus has a door access management and control system to keep doors locked and alert campus administrative staff when doors are held open for an extended period of time. Non-essential doors are exit only.
  • The district initiated “teach behind the locked door” based on data and research showing that most armed intruders did not attempt to forcibly gain entry into a room that was locked. The district implemented this practice beginning in 2019 and it is now standard across all campuses. 
  • Campuses are equipped with a video intercom system at the main entrance to identify visitors before allowing them into the school. Additionally, all GCISD schools use a visitor management system to check the background of visitors for sexual offenses and to have a list of visitors in the building in the event of an incident. The system also produces identification stickers for visitors so students and staff know they are permitted to be in the building.
  • Video cameras are in place to view entrance points, campus hallways and certain outdoor areas.
  • Many campuses have speakers on the exterior of the building connected to the public announcement system. The remaining campuses will receive speakers as part of the renovations in 2020.
  • Signage is posted at all campuses reminding students to keep their building secure by not allowing unauthorized people into the building.
  • The District has implemented the CODE GCISD app with campus staff and trained them on its use in November 2019. This app allows staff the ability to remotely initiate any emergency event (such as a lockdown) from their phone.
  • Campus administrators emphasize the importance of staff building relationships with students and with other staff members in order to have a healthy campus culture and they encourage students to share information and report concerns.
  • The GCISD Council of PTAs held a School Safety Discussion for parents to attend that included a panel with area safety officials.
  • GCISD counselors and other District staff have been trained to use a threat assessment protocol to conduct assessments of students, staff, or others as needed to determine any possible level of the threat. Additionally, counselors have a list of current strategies for psychological safety and suicide prevention 
  • Counselors employ strategies with students for psychological safety and suicide prevention.
  • Growing our students’ social-emotional skills is an important goal in GCISD. We strive to create global citizens who are skilled problem solvers, effective communicators, self-regulated learners and collaborative workers through our Portrait of a Graduate. In order to identify areas of strength, needs, and support, GCISD is conducting student surveys to align with Goal 2 of LEAD 2.0: designing learning environments that support social and emotional well-being.
  • A specially trained crisis team provides counseling immediately following any traumatic event affecting students or staff.
  • Secondary campuses in GCISD have a Hope Squad, which is comprised of high school students who are trained to identify peers in need of assistance and report that information to counselors.
  • The District has a partnership with Mind Above Matter to provide mental health services to our students and families at the JPS facility.
  • Secondary students are required to wear their school identification badge while on campus.
  • GCISD regularly conducts tests of its emergency communication system, which includes email, text and phone message.
  • The District has filtering systems in place and has implemented cyber security measures, including routine phishing testing, monthly dark web searches and more to maintain a safe network.
  • If a student, parent, staff member or community member has a concern, please contact the Director of Emergency Management and School Security, Allen Smith at 817-251-5308, or Tarrant County Crime Stoppers and Campus Crime Stoppers at www.469.tips or 817-469-TIPS (8477).

Police Partnerships

  • GCISD partners with numerous agencies to ensure the safety of its students, especially the Colleyville, Euless and Grapevine Police Departments.
  • Each secondary campus has a School Resource Officer (SRO) that is stationed at the school during the school year. 
  • Police officers regularly visit all campuses and are assigned from all divisions to visit campuses and build relationships with staff and students, including police officers eating lunch with students for free.
  • Police command staff and dispatch have access to school video cameras for emergency events.
  • Local police use the District’s schools for tactical training. This continues to familiarize them with each school and how best to respond to emergency situations.
  • The District uses internal audits and assistance from police to audit District schools and other facilities to assess vulnerabilities and make recommendations.
  • Off-duty police officers are hired as security at any event that may be heavily attended. The community is accustomed to seeing police partners at varsity football games, and GCISD has gone further to ensure safety at all heavily-attended events. These events could be large rivalry sporting events, fine arts performances or any other large event that is hosted in the District where extra security is needed.
  • Local police officers have provided training to the District’s bus drivers and bus monitors on various topics. 

Bond Work

The 2011 Bond Program provided the following upgrades to support a safe and secure school environment:

  • Replaced and upgraded video cameras at campuses that were identified to have reached their life expectancy. 
  • Added video cameras at campuses in identified areas in order to expand views.
  • Upgraded the video camera management system to allow for remote access to cameras for real-time viewing. While the access provides for real-time video viewing, audio is not heard. Campus administrators and all SROs have access to real-time camera views in their offices. The Director of Emergency Management and School Security also has access to the camera system and views. 
  • Replaced and upgraded the exterior door access management system. This provides the District and campuses with the ability to schedule doors to be locked or unlocked, as well as the ability to allow access to the building through a card reader. This project also included upgrades to door hardware where needed.   
  • Removed the ability to enter certain exterior doors with a traditional key, which narrowed the number of doors that could be used to enter the building through exterior door hardware upgrades. 
  • Added electronic controls to the doors leading to the academic areas at several elementary campuses. This prevents visitors from being able to enter directly into the academic areas without going through the reception area and checking in with staff.
  • Added a visitor management system at all campuses that scans a government issued ID to check the history of visitors for sexual offenses and to have a list of visitors in the building in the event of an incident. The system also produces identification stickers for visitors so students and staff know they are permitted to be in the building.  
  • Added video intercom systems at entries of schools. These are “request to enter” intercom systems that provide campus staff with the ability to see the visitor and ability to ask why they are visiting prior to letting them enter the building. 
  • Upgraded the infrastructure (antennas) supporting the emergency handheld radios used by campuses for communication.
  • Added lighting in identified areas at the exterior of some buildings in order to better illuminate common exit points.
  • Added emergency lighting in restrooms and some gymnasiums that activate when power is lost to the building.
  • Added security gates for after-hours separation at Heritage Middle School. These are used after-hours to control or prevent access to the school when activities are taking place. 
  • Enclosed the connection between K & N halls at Colleyville Heritage High School so students do not exit the building to enter another hallway.  

The 2016 Bond Program provides the following upgrades to support a safe and secure school environment:

  • Create controlled entry access vestibules for schools that do not have one. 
    • Not planned in the bond but being added during the renovation process at campuses with existing vestibules are kiosks to allow the visitor background check to be performed in the vestibule instead of the campus office. This allows for the visitor's background to be checked before they are able to enter into the campus. 
  • Upgrade the entry door video intercom systems of identified schools due to age. The new system provides a higher definition image of the person requesting to enter the school and is integrated into the District’s network so the door entries can be viewed by the director of emergency management and school security as needed. The director can also remotely speak to the person at the door in the same way that campus staff can. 
  • Add exterior building speakers connected to the campus public announcement system so announcements can reach nearby outdoor areas associated with the campus. 
  • Replace outdated handheld communication radios that campuses use in emergency situations.
  • Add hardware to classroom doors to make it easier to keep them locked in order to maintain the required fire-rated corridor (required by the fire code to prevent the spread of fire) and make it simpler to lock the door from inside the room. 
  • Replace identified video cameras at campuses that are expected to reach their expected life during the bond cycle. 
  • Replace servers supporting storage of video from cameras and add storage capacity for video archive at higher quality.
  • Add a bus monitoring GPS system that provides the District with the ability to see the location of buses in real time. This system also provides an app for parents of students that ride daily routes, with a notice when the bus has entered their neighborhood area.
  • Upgrades to provide a fully integrated security system to prevent attacks on the District’s network system and protect data.

Construction Projects – Determining Priorities

During the 2016 bond planning process, the FIRST committee was concerned with rising costs and how much more the costs would be for more expensive projects if the District were to wait one or more years before initiating these projects. Therefore, larger projects were prioritized first as a point of fiscal responsibility. For example, replacing Cannon Elementary School was first in line along with building the new Multipurpose Activity Centers.

Classroom additions were also deemed a priority due to projected enrollment and increasing construction costs. The District, therefore, moved forward with additions to Grapevine Middle School and Timberline Elementary School that began in the Summer of 2017. As the District was already working on these campuses, the renovations approved in the Bond also were completed, which included a controlled vestibule, upgrading  public announcement systems, adding speakers so announcements reach adjacent outdoors areas and upgrading and adding video cameras. These projects were completed in 2018 and  renovations were also completed at Heritage Middle School.

Out of concern with continuing cost increases, the District accelerated its schedule and embarked on renovations to a total of eight campuses beginning in June 2019 - while still offering all of the District's summer school and summer enrichment programs. Most construction work cannot be completed when school is in session because of its disruption to the learning environment, so the District schedules as much as possible to be completed during the summer. Renovations were begun and included updating or creating controlled access vestibules at: Dove Elementary, Glenhope Elementary, Grapevine Elementary, O.C. Taylor Elementary, Silver Lake Elementary, Colleyville Middle School, and Cross Timbers Middle School. The vestibule at Grapevine High School is scheduled to be completed in February 2020. Other safety items were also included in the renovations such as: more access control, upgrading public announcement systems, replacing outdated video cameras and adding a sprinkler system at GHS. Six of the eight campuses received a vestibule while the other two saw upgrades. 

Remaining campuses are slated to begin June 2020. The facilities to be addressed during the Summer of 2020 include Bear Creek Elementary, Bransford Elementary, Colleyville Elementary, Heritage Elementary, Colleyville Heritage High School and Swim Center.

*19 out of 20 campuses will have a secured vestibule by February 2020. Colleyville Heritage High School will receive a vestibule during the Summer of 2020. The work in Summer of 2020 will be at Bear Creek, Bransford, Colleyville and Heritage Elementary Schools will be to upgrade existing vestibules.

Emergency Operations Plan

  • GCISD has a School Safety and Security Committee that is comprised of police, fire and emergency management representatives from local government, as well as parents, Trustees and campus staff. 
  • In GCISD, the School Safety and Security Committee existed prior to the mandate from the 86th Texas legislative session in 2019. The Committee was created as part of GCISD’s standard operating practice to involve stakeholders in helping the district evaluate and plan. The committee is composed of district and campus leaders, local emergency personnel from Grapevine, Colleyville and Euless, GCISD parents and community members.
  • Students and staff regularly participate in a series of drills known as the Standard Response Protocol (SRP), including lockdown, lockout, shelter in place, evacuation and hold in classroom.
  • GCISD operates under a district-wide Multihazard Emergency Operations Plan as well as a campus-specific plan for each campus. These plans follow the requirements of the federal U.S. Department of Homeland Security and as required by the Texas Schools Safety Center. The Director of Emergency Management and School Security works closely with an Emergency Management Team at each campus to implement and practice these plans and District required drills for students and staff. All plans include a location for offsite reunification as needed.
  • All administrators have been trained in National Incident Management System (NIMS) which provides for common language and practices during emergency situations and matches municipal, county, state and national procedures.
  • HB 496 requires all Texas school districts to have bleeding control stations available on campuses by January 2020. This will be ready and kits are easily located with campus AEDs.
  • The District has weather monitoring equipment near outdoor athletic facilities and fine art practice and performance areas. The weather monitoring stations include severe weather and lightning detection, as well as warning sirens. The District utilizes the Perry Weather Notification System which has several components, including allowing  users to receive updates via the Perry Weather Mobile app. The app is made available to any District employee who needs to monitor the weather for the safety of students, staff and community.
  • GCISD communicates with staff, parents and the community when matters arise that warrant wider communication. When the District does have to communicate, there are questions that may be left unanswered for families based on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which prohibits the District and campuses from sharing specific information related to the incident or students. GCISD has policies and procedures in place for addressing these incidents, even if the District is unable to provide those specific disciplinary details. For more general information on the district’s disciplinary guidelines, please review the Student Code of Conduct.
  • The District has implemented the CODE GCISD app with campus staff and trained them on its use in November 2019. This app allows staff the ability to remotely initiate any emergency event (such as a lockdown) from their phone.
  • The district has several equipped command centers to support emergency operations coordination including backup for technology, loss of power, etc.

Unauthorized Persons

In accordance with Texas Education Code 37.105, the District has the right to refuse entry to or eject a person from property under the District's control if the person refuses to leave peaceably upon request and:

  • The individual poses a substantial risk of harm to any person; or
  • The individual continues to behave in a manner inappropriate for the school setting after having received a verbal or written warning to cease the inappropriate behavior.

A person ejected from or refused entry to District property under this provision may appeal this action by filing an appeal under FNG (LOCAL) or GF (LOCAL) and shall be permitted to address the Board in person within 90 days of commencement of the appeal if the grievance is not resolved at a previous level.