2022-23 Helena Public Schools Safety Improvements and Initiatives
  • Selected doors in all K-8 schools are equipped with electronic keyless entry fobs that can be activated or deactivated at a moment’s notice. This enables staff to open interior and exterior doors as needed during normal operations and during emergencies.
  • All K-8 schools are now equipped with exterior door alarms that sound loudly if an exterior door is left open or not secured.
  • Additional cameras are being installed this school year at K-8 schools per the recommendations of the safety audit the district conducted through a contractor in fall 2022. The cameras, to be fully operational before the start of school this fall, eliminate blind spots and ensure that all exterior entries are monitored, including those used by the community outside of school hours.
  • The district conducted three active shooter trainings in coordination with the Helena Police Department during the 2022-23 school year, with two more planned in summer 2023. More than 60 Helena Public Schools staff members have participated. The district is seeking grants for additional training opportunities in 2023-24.
  • The district continues to enhance building location signage to enable students and staff to communicate their exact location during an emergency. These improvements were recommended by the safety audit the district conducted through a contractor in fall 2022.
  • At the high school level, 2022-23 security improvements included the installation of secure vestibules as well as new software to allow staff to initiate an emergency response, with training to take place in fall 2023.  In addition, teachers and administrators will be able to receive emergency notifications on their desktop computers and cell phones.
  • Helena Public Schools conducted more than 135 drills across its buildings during the 2022-23 school year to ensure that students and staff and facilities were prepared for a range of potential emergency situations.
  • The district implemented an enhanced safety system testing schedule this year in coordination with Helena Police dispatch to ensure that safety technology is fully operational and will perform as needed during an emergency.