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Madison Metropolitan School District

Safety and Security

We strive to create learning spaces where all scholars can thrive.

We want our schools to be safe and welcoming environments that nurture academic excellence as well as the social-emotional and physical well-being of all students, staff, and families. We believe the safest schools are those that foster a climate of support and respect and instill a sense of community. School security, incident response, and threat assessments are vital components as well. 

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How MMSD Communicates Safety Concerns or Incidents with Families

In an emergency, schools aim to provide clear, factual, and timely communication with families and staff. Examples of emergency communication may include: weather-related closures; evacuations; community incidents affecting schools; transportation-related emergencies; or police/ambulance response to school. 

Follow-up communication to staff, students, and families is paramount to building a safe culture. Often, to address the crisis at hand, the School-Based Critical Response Team and the District Critical Response Team will be working together to share swift and accurate communication. This communication will come in the form of emails from school principals and/or district administrators, staff meetings, and continued follow-up.

Students boarding a school bus

Become a Crossing Guard!

Make a difference in your community & help children safely come and go from school. Part-time hours make this an excellent choice for retirees, students, parents, or anyone seeking additional income alongside their other commitments.

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Prioritizing Student and Staff Safety

When an emergency does occur, staff members follow a specific set of protocols, as detailed in the MMSD District Safety Plan. The safety and security of students and staff while managing an emergency response is always the first priority. We understand the desire to talk to someone at school as a reassurance, but when a school is actively dealing with an emergency, calling or coming to the school can tie up phone lines and take away resources needed to respond to the situation.

It is a commitment from MMSD that as soon as information can be shared, it will be.  Please note, privacy laws limit certain types of information schools can release to families and the public.

Information from External Outlets

We understand information travels fast, and that you may hear about something on social media, in the news, or through word-of-mouth before you hear about it from the school. When a critical incident arises, we encourage our community to focus on messaging from MMSD as the official source of information.  Our commitment to transparency and accuracy ensures that the information shared is reliable and up-to-date, so you can be confident about our emergency response efforts and any necessary instructions.

Update Your Contact Information

In an emergency or safety situation, families' contact information is pulled from Infinite Campus.  On a regular basis, log in to Infinite Campus, and:
  • Ensure your email and phone number(s) are current.
  • Keep your student's emergency contact(s) up-to-date in case we are unable to reach you. 
  • Add your high school student’s cell phone number to their Infinite Campus record. In an emergency, this allows us to text them important information. 

If you have questions about how to update your information, or you need help, email our Enrollment Office or call 608-663-4957.  

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Three Phases of Emergency Management

To illustrate our approach to school safety, our actions are categorized into the three phases of emergency management. Much of this work overlaps, but organizing our strategy in this way helps to describe how this looks in schools. 


Schools safe begins with proactively eliminating or reducing the likelihood of unsafe behaviors or events from taking place - whether at school, at home, or in the community. 

Preparedness and Protection

Preparedness in school safety refers to how staff plan, organize, equip, train, and exercise our procedures. Protection involves securing our schools against threats to safety.

Response and Recovery

After an incident has taken place, our response and recovery efforts aim to stabilize the situation, and establish a safe environment as we begin to restore and repair.  

Filter By Emergency Management Phase

Safety Tips and Resources

Are you or someone you know, looking for part-time work of 10-15 hours per week? As a Crossing Guard, you will be providing a great service as a friendly face and kin presence to students each morning and afternoon.

Chicago teens refused to be silent in the face of gun violence. They launched the #WearOrange Campaign and National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Their 15-year-old friend, Hadiya Pendleton, was killed by a stray bullet days after performing at President Obama’s second inauguration. After that, they took action in her honor. They selected orange because it is the color used by hunters to protect themselves.

beSMART logo

Secure firearm storage is an essential part of home safety. With more guns in more homes due to an unprecedented surge in gun sales over the past two years, it’s more important than ever for parents and caregivers to know how secure storage protects children.

Two hands covered in paint making a heart

Mental Health Month raises awareness of trauma and the impact it can have on the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of children, families, and communities. Mental Health Month was established in 1949 to increase awareness of the importance of mental health and wellness in Americans' lives, and to celebrate recovery from mental illness. We also give thanks to the dedicated mental health providers whose service and support improve the lives of so many Americans

students walking through garden

Through the Safe Routes to School program, The City of Madison, Healthy Kids Collaborative of Dane County, and the Wisconsin Bike Fed are promoting active transportation, important dates, and safety tips for drivers and pedestrians. 

Five crossing guards wearing masks and bright yellow vests. One holds a stop sign.

We are so thankful for our local crossing guards and their commitment to keeping our students safe on their journey to and from school. We need more of them. Would you – or a grandparent or neighbor – consider stepping up and helping our students cross streets safely next school year? The City of Madison is recruiting candidates.

Word bubbles hanging from twine

Did you know roughly a third of U.S. households with children also have guns? In fact, an estimated 4.6 million kids live with unlocked, loaded guns. Studies show children are naturally curious, even about a firearm they've been warned not to touch. The reality is having firearms in the home increases the risk of unintentional shootings, suicide, and homicide. The American Academy of Pediatrics Advises the safest home for a child is one without guns. 

Read more about the risks of having guns in homes and communities

Screenshot from Channel 3 news story with students and therapy dog

Meet Bonnie, one of two of the district’s certified WAGS (Wisconsin Academy for Graduate Service) dogs, trained in critical response. “Bonnie is trained to provide lots of love and unconditional non-judgment and positive regard,” MMSD Social Worker and Office of School Safety Director Gina Aguglia said. “It’s a great opportunity for kids who may be struggling to get some additional support.”

Sedric Morris and Gina Aguglia

MMSD's Office of School Safety works to ensure our schools balance the physical safety of our students, staff, and school buildings with the importance of social, emotional, and psychological safety.