Desert Sands Unified School District has comprehensive safety programs that include safety plans and protocols, that are reinforced by safety and emergency response drills throughout the year on every campus.

safety

Indio Police School Resource Officers

The district’s comprehensive safety program includes an anti-bullying policy, as well as safety and emergency plans for every campus. The district assigns school security agents to every school and contracts with local law enforcement agencies to provide school resource officers to assist with safety and protection at our school campuses.

DSUSD campus security offers the following back-to-school safety tips for parents/guardians:

  • Learn the school’s rules. Each school provides a parent and student handbook which outlines the school rules.
  • Learn about the emergency plan at your school. School staff and students receive annual training on emergency procedures such as earthquake and fire drills. Know what you as a parent/guardian can do in the unlikely event that there is an emergency at your child’s school.
  • Update your child’s emergency contact card whenever home, work, or cell phone numbers change so that school personnel can contact you or another appropriate person when an emergency occurs.
  • Know your child’s schedule every day. What time does school begin and end? What time do after-school activities end?

If you are dropping students off at school:

  • Each campus has very specific drop-off procedures. Make sure you know them for the safety of all students.
  • Obey traffic rules around campus and whenever you are dropping off or picking up your children from school.
  • Don’t double park; it blocks visibility for other children and vehicles.
  • Don’t load or unload children across the street from the school.
  • Carpool to reduce the number of vehicles at the school.

DSUSD urges students to do their part to stay safe:

  • Know the school’s rules and code of conduct. Do your best to practice good behavior.
  • Walk to and from school with a buddy or group. Go directly to and from school every day. Don’t stop at a store, restaurant, or a friend’s home without your parents’ knowledge.
  • Avoid talking to strangers or getting into a stranger’s car.
  • Keep valuables, such as electronic devices, at home.

Walking to school:

  • Pedestrian injuries are the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths among children ages 5-14.
  • See the SafeKids.org infographic How Does a Teenager Cross the Road? Click here to see it.

To avoid injuries:

  • Never let children under age 10 cross the street alone.
  • Teach children to recognize and obey traffic signals and pavement markings.
  • Choose the safest route between home and school and practice walking it with children until they can demonstrate traffic safety awareness.
  • Be mindful when using electronics such as cell phones or MP3 players.
  • See the Moment of Silence video from SafeKids.org.

Remind kids to:

  • Cross streets only in crosswalks; never enter streets from between parked cars or from behind shrubbery.
  • Always look both ways before crossing the street.
  • Walk—don’t run—across intersections.
  • A flashing “walk” signal does not mean it’s safe to cross.
  • Use the same route every day and avoid shortcuts.
  • Don’t speak to strangers. If a stranger approaches, tell a trusted adult such as a parent or teacher.

Riding the bus

Although bus travel is one of the safest ways to get to and from school, injuries can still occur, and most of them take place when children are getting on or off the bus. Some safety tips for riding the bus are:

  • Arrive at the bus stop at least 10 minutes before the scheduled arrival of the bus.
  • Stay out of the street and don’t horseplay while waiting.
  • Wait for the bus to come to a complete stop before getting on or off.
  • Remain seated and keep head and arms inside the bus at all times.
  • Do not shout or distract the driver.
  • Do not walk in the driver’s “blind spot”—the area from the front of the bus to about 12 feet in front of the bus.

Riding bicycles

Bicycles are associated with more childhood injuries than any other consumer product except cars. To make sure children are safe when riding bicycles to school:

  • Check with your school principal to make sure bicycles are allowed. Some schools do not allow them.
  • Wear a helmet! State law requires it, and failure to wear one could result in a traffic citation. More importantly, helmets can reduce the risk of head injury by as much as 85 percent.
  • Obey the rules of the road. The rules are the same for all vehicles, including bicycles.
  • Stay on the right-hand side of the road and ride in the same direction as traffic.
  • Know and use appropriate hand signals.
  • Choose the safest route between home and school and practice it with children until they can demonstrate traffic safety awareness.

Driving

Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths among children age 14 and under. To reduce the risk of injury:

  • Always use child safety seats and safety belts correctly when driving or riding in a car.
  • Arrive early—especially the first few weeks of school—and use the school’s designated student drop-off and pick-up zone.
  • Do not double park or make u-turns in front of the school.
  • Children should enter and leave the car on its curbside.

It’s going to be a great year and we look forward to being a part of your child’s school day. If you have any questions regarding DSUSD safety and security procedures, please send us an email at workingtogether@desertsands.us.

Lead photo: DSUSD Security Team

Image Sources

  • Indio Police School Resource Officers: DSUSD
  • DSUSD Security Team: DSUSD