Forest Hills works to provide a safe and nurturing educational environment for all students so they can focus on being fully engaged in their schools. With that in mind, Forest Hills works with local law enforcement and emergency management agencies to continually review and refine building safety plans that include specific procedures should an incident occur. In addition, the district has implemented several policies, procedures and committees to support this work.
In Forest Hills School District, safe and secure learning environments are the first priority: students must first feel safe in order to be able to focus on their education. All FHSD schools received significant safety upgrades during the 2014 bond project and the district has continued to look for ways to improve the physical safety of buildings over time. The district recently earned more than $500,000 in state grant awards to implement safety upgrades at eight schools, and another grant was earned afterward to ensure all schools were able to improve entryway security.
While many of these changes will significantly enhance the safety and security of FHSD schools, it is also important to communicate additional actions that ensure safe school environments. Every emergency situation is unique and the response depends on a number of factors that can't be anticipated, so the information in the Emergency Guide is not all inclusive. However, it is intended to provide a better understanding of FHSD responses in the event of a crisis or emergency.
Forest Hills School District’s priority is the safety and security of students and staff. To ensure FHSD schools and offices are safe places to learn and work, the district convenes a district safety committee to engage in a collaborative process with all stakeholders. Comprised of parents, students, community members, EMS personnel, law enforcement representatives, government officials, school board representatives and district administrators, the committee meets annually to review and discuss improvements to current safety practices and procedures. Throughout the school year, students and staff also continue practicing emergency drills to increase preparedness in the case of a real emergency.
If an emergency occurs while school is in session, the district’s first action is to make sure students and staff are safe and to engage local emergency officials to determine next steps, gather information and discuss what information can be released so as not to hinder any necessary police investigations. The district will then use appropriate methods of communication to inform families and community members; in the event of a crisis, parents should monitor phones, email, website, district social media channels or local media for information about the status of the event. One or many of these methods may be used to share information based on the situation and guidance from legal and emergency response officials.
In any emergency situation, it is critically important school leaders and safety personnel can respond quickly and focus on the situation. According to law enforcement and safety officials, it is important that parents and guardians wait for a phone call to pick up their children rather than rush to a site. If the determination is made to send students home or evacuate from a particular location to another location, specific information and directions will be communicated via a phone message to the appropriate parents/guardians. Families can be assured that no child will be left alone and that strict procedures will be enacted to ensure student safety and their release to parent-approved, appropriate adults. Any adult desiring to pick-up a child should bring photo identification with them to the pick-up location.
Traumatic Event Crisis Intervention Plan (TECIP)
The Forest Hills TECIP Team is comprised of counselors, psychologists, teachers, administrators and various community partners who work collaboratively to ensure the physical and mental well-being of students and employees in the event of a district crisis, such as natural disasters, intruders, car accident or a death within the school community. This team works to provide our students and staff with all of the supports necessary in time of need.
Safety Tip Line
Every school in the Forest Hills School District is registered for a safety resource that helps proactively ensure the safety and well-being of students, staff and property. Called SaferOH, the tip line allows students and adults to share information regarding threats to school or student safety, such as bullying, suicides or violence, with district and law enforcement officials. Callers can remain anonymous or share their contact information for possible follow-up. The line will accept both calls and texts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Individuals can contact the tip line by calling or texting 844-SaferOH (844-723-3764). Calls or texts are received by analysts in the Ohio Homeland Security’s Threat Assessment and Prevention Unit. The TAP Unit will then immediately forward information to district officials, local law enforcement agencies and others, as necessary, to ensure that the incident is investigated, action is taken and the outcome is tracked. Through partnerships with the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Department of Public Safety, the SaferOH tip line is provided to Forest Hills at no cost.
In collaboration with the Hamilton County Sheriff Department and Anderson Township Fire and Rescue, Forest Hills has proactively implemented ALICE, the leading active aggressor response program in the nation. Created by a police officer, ALICE prepares individuals to handle the threat of an active aggressor. Learn more about ALICE.
The Forest Hills School District Board of Education is committed to providing a safe, positive, productive and nurturing educational environment for all of its students. The Board encourages the promotion of positive interpersonal relations between members of the school community.
As part of the requirements prescribed in Ohio Revised Code 3313.666, administrators from each school building shall provide the superintendent with a written summary of all substantiated incidents of harassment, intimidation or bullying.
Adopted by the Board in March 2008, the Forest Hills’ policy on bullying and aggressive forms of behavior is in compliance with House Bill 276 and protects all students from bullying/aggressive behaviors by prohibiting such behavior on school property and during school events or activities regardless of the subject matter, motivation for such behavior and person enacting the behavior. "Harassment, intimidation, or bullying" is defined in House Bill 276 as “an intentional written, verbal, or physical act that a student has exhibited toward another particular student more than once. The behavior both (1) causes mental or physical harm to the other student; and (2) is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that it creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for the other student.” For more information, including definitions and examples of bullying and aggressive behavior, procedures for reporting bullying and aggressive behavior, and false reports, please refer to Forest Hills’ policy on bullying and aggressive forms of behavior and the parent letter.
Building administrators provide written summaries of all substantiated incidents of harassment, intimidation and/or bullying. To view an updated chart of substantiated incident counts, please click here.
Limited Use of Restraint and Seclusion
Forest Hills School District is required to have an evidence-based, school-wide system or framework of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. Each of the district’s nine buildings have a framework to support students under this model. In addition, staff are trained in Crisis Prevention Intervention strategies, including appropriate use of restraint, to respond to immediate risk of physical harm to students and staff. For more information, refer to Board policy 5630.01.
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