School Safety and Security

Niles ESD 71 is committed to providing a safe and secure teaching and learning environment for all students and staff. Our comprehensive approach to safety and security includes protocols, programs, and policies on which we actively train staff to keep our school community and campus safe before, during, and after school hours.

School Crisis Response Plan

The District has a comprehensive school crisis response plan to ensure that we are both taking precautions to prevent or prepare for potential crises, as well as to guide a timely and effective response and recovery should one occur. This plan is based on best practices in school safety. It was reviewed by our District Safety and Security Committee on October 3, 2023, and will be updated annually by the District with guidance from local law enforcement and other first responders.

Please note: We do not make this document available to the public to keep those with ill-intent from misusing the information.  

Parent and Public Communications

The district is committed to providing timely and accurate information to our parents in a crisis situation. However, our top priority during any potential threat or emergency situation is to keep our school, students and staff safe and implement our safety protocols. As a result, communications may sometimes be slightly delayed for appropriate reasons.

The district has the capability to quickly notify parents of a threat or emergency situation through our SwiftReach system using text, email and voicemail—similar to messages sent during an inclement weather event.  We developed a communications policy/checklist, approved by the school safety committee and board of education, you may read here.  

Please contact the office promptly if any of your contact information changes.  You may also contact the office at any time to verify that we have the most updated contact information for your family.

While we understand that waiting for specific information is difficult, to avoid interfering with an active investigation, the district may not immediately release specific information about a potential threat. It can take time for district and school personnel to gather and confirm facts with law enforcement officials and/or first responders. We will always do our best to communicate accurate information as soon as we can.

Whole School Safety Framework

School safety encompasses more than just physical safety. Students must feel welcome, emotionally safe, and have confidence that school staff will be there for them when needed and will listen to and act on their concerns, as appropriate.

​Several years ago, the district adopted and implemented a research-based social emotional learning program called Second Step.  This is a comprehensive social-emotional learning (SEL) program designed to help children and adolescents develop the skills they need to thrive in school, relationships, and life.  We are focused on providing support for students who may be going through extra challenges through interventions, counseling, programming and other customized supports to meet their specific, individual needs.

Following a significant threat or crisis, to support mental health and well-being, the district may offer appropriate trauma or counseling resources to students and staff on an as-needed basis.


Send an anonymous tip to our school safety hotline to tell district safety staff about threats, bullying, drugs, weapons, concerns about student well-being, and any other safety problem.

School Safety Hotline