Safe Students, Safe Schools

This information is from FCPS' Safe Students, Safe Schools brochure. It is designed to enhance awareness of potential safety and security hazards, and to equip you with practical tips.

Fairfax County Public Schools believes that academic success is built on the foundation of a safe learning environment. A safe learning environment includes physical safety and mental health and wellness. 

FCPS has a comprehensive approach to safety that involves physical security measures, online monitoring by security staff, and crisis intervention support. This includes:

  • Physical and technical security 
  • Crisis management planning 
  • Staff and student training 
  • School Resource Officers (Fairfax County Police Department) 
  • Risk assessment 
  • 24/7 security operations 
  • Cybersecurity prevention supports 
  • Operational support programs that aim to prevent issues before they occur 

In our commitment to preparedness, we created the Safe Students, Safe Schools Brochure below, designed to enhance your awareness of potential hazards and to equip you with practical tips. The content of the Safety and Security Brochure is also available as a printable copy (PDF).


As part of Regulation 7001 (PDF), school administrators work with Region Offices, the Office of Safety and Security, the Office of Communications, and relevant outside response agencies to coordinate information sharing with the community.

How Can Families Support Safe Schools? 

The safety and security of our students, staff, and schools is everyone’s responsibility. Staff, students, parents, and the community are reminded to report any unusual activity to the authorities immediately.

Families and students can learn how to talk about safety concerns at school by taking a free, online, interactive training titled “Safe & Caring Schools for Families.” 

Keep your contact information up to date through ParentVUE

Make sure you are aware of our critical incident terms and what each means: Lockdown, Secure the Building, Shelter in Place, and Stay Put Stay Tuned

Report incidents to the FCPS Safety Tipline. This is a confidential way to report your concern via phone, text, email, or web options. We monitor this closely and will respond to these tips. alternate text is in the accordion below this graphic

Accessible numbers from graphic above


Text: 888777 (Keyword is "TIP FCPS)

Call: 571-423-2020

Email: [email protected]

Get to know your School Resource Officer (SRO). There are SROs at all FCPS middle and high schools. FCPS added uniformed school security officers (not SROs) to patrol elementary schools. 

Know that we take the safety and security of all students very seriously. 

Physical Safety Measures 

  • Electronic door access allows the screening of visitors through a video door access system while all external doors remain locked. 
  • Classroom door lock replacement allows for a quick visual to confirm that the door is locked, so classrooms may enter a lockdown protocol faster. 
  • Security vestibules provide an additional layer of physical security and screening before a visitor can enter the main building.

Transportation Safety Measures 

  • Electronic bus tracking 
  • Child check system 
  • Crossing control arm 
  • Strobe lights for visibility 
  • Video monitoring 
  • Fairfax County speed cameras 
  • Stop arm cameras

Technical Safety Measures 

  • Video cameras 
    • Located in all middle and high schools. 
    • Approximately 55% of elementary schools have external video cameras. 
  • Visitor Management System 
    • Visitors to all schools are screened through the National Sex Offender Registry. 
    • Visitors must wear an identification badge. 
  • Employee access is managed through programmed IDs and door access readers. 
  • An extensive intrusion alarm system installed at all schools and centers is monitored 24/7. 
  • Classrooms have phone intercoms to allow anyone experiencing a threat inside a classroom to call for immediate assistance. 
  • Fairfax County public schools are programmed for digital mapping to aid first responders to locate an incident quickly and efficiently.

Enhanced Background Checks 

  • FCPS runs background checks for all new hires through Virginia State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Social Services. 
  • All current FCPS employees (including temporary employees, hourly staff, and substitutes), per Regulation 4116 (PDF), are submitted for periodic criminal record monitoring background checks.

Technical Safety Measures Under Consideration/in a Pilot Program 

  • A systemwide independent third-party security review is complete and under review. 
  • A vape detection device is currently being piloted. 
  • Weapons screening system. 
  • Front office panic alarms.

Cybersecurity Safety Measures

  • Risk assessment program actively monitors for potential concerns involving both physical and data security. 
  • Comprehensive information security program protects student information encompassing physical, network, third-party, system, process and user security. 
  • Security evaluations for all products and vendors protect information and identities.

Crisis Intervention Services 

  • Response teams staffed by school psychologists, school social workers, and school counselors. 
  • Crisis management plans at all schools reviewed, updated, and approved annually. 
  • Emergency planning coordination with police, fire, and emergency management offices. 
  • Divisionwide emergency operations plan in concert with Fairfax County agencies. 
  • Classroom crisis management guides or “red books” in all classrooms. 
  • Incident response teams and equipment. 
  • Lockdown, Fire, Tornado, and Bus Evacuation Drills, staff safety training, and annual crisis scenario exercises (Table Top) at all schools. 
  • FCPS provides parents and students information about the risk assessment process, which includes training modules and other detailed information about how this process can prevent violence.

Aligning With State Law

FCPS' comprehensive package of programs and supports helps ensure compliance with Virginia Code, and is guided by Virginia’s Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and the Virginia Center for School and Campus Safety (VCSCS).