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Safety Message

October 25, 2022
Dear East St. Louis School District 189 Students, Staff, and Families,

Our community and region is reeling from the recent school shooting tragedy at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in St. Louis, Missouri.  

The health and safety of our students and staff are our top priorities.  The East St. Louis School District is deeply committed to ensuring the safety of all students, staff, and school visitors on a daily basis.  Below is a list of existing safety and security measures we have in place.

Law Enforcement Partnerships

  • School District 189 partners with the East St. Louis Police Department, St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department, and Illinois State Police.  We communicate with them frequently and they respond in a timely manner, as needed.

  • Prior to the start of school, all law enforcement agencies received the Comprehensive School Crisis and Threat Plans to retain for potential emergency situations. 

On-Site Security

  • Each campus has full-time security staff.

  • Each campus has metal detectors used at main entrances plus additional scanning wands.

  • Each campus has an entry check-in point operated by security staff.  

  • Security staff use a Visitor Management System for all external visitors, including parents, to provide an additional layer of security.  The Visitor Management System allows us to conduct a brief background check (using a state-issued ID card) on visitors prior to entry and helps us monitor who is in the building.

  • All school doors are locked and closed to prevent unauthorized entry.  Entry points are enhanced with safety measures, including safety glass.  

  • Staff, students, and visitors are required to enter at designated points. 

  • Surveillance camera systems are utilized inside and outside each school to monitor entry and exit points as well as the perimeter of the schools.

  • When closed, the buildings continue to be monitored to prevent unauthorized entry.

School Threat Assessment / Crisis Responses

  • We are 100% compliant with all mandated safety and security drills and complete comprehensive risk assessments annually.

  • Each school has a Threat Assessment / Crisis Team to focus on preventative measures and respond to potential crises. The District Crisis Team meets quarterly to monitor the threat/crisis needs of the schools. 

  • In partnership with law enforcement and emergency responders, procedures (such as lockdowns) are in place to respond to specific crises.

  • We provide students with multi-tiered systems of support, including providing those in trauma with strength-based, culturally responsive mental health counseling.

  • A 24 hour (online/in-person) SOS Crisis Team responds to any traumatic event involving a youth as a victim, witness, family member or bystander. The team is composed of social workers, nurses, school psychologists, and school counselors. We manage a comfort room at the headquarters of local police and fire departments, as well as the Illinois State Police. 

  • Systems are in place to screen and monitor potential threats 24 hours a day.  Last year we launched SpeakUp189, where individuals can report bullying, planned fights, weapons at school, students in crisis or other urgent situations by emailing or by calling/texting 618.515.2165 and sharing your concern.  Reports are confidential so nobody will know who made the report.

We continuously assess, respond, monitor and improve our safety and security protocols.  We thank each of our staff, students, campus visitors, and law enforcement partners for their cooperation and ongoing support. Let’s continue to work together to keep our schools safe. 


Arthur R. Culver


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