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Safety is Always Top of Mind
Posted 12/8/22

Safety is always at the forefront at Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD), and we have made intentional efforts in meaningfully communicating with and engaging our school community to support improved safety throughout our school district. Please see below for a few updates. 


This summer, NMUSD hosted in-person and virtual School Safety Community Forums in each of the four school zones to solicit feedback about safety measures related to policy, prevention, response and facilities. There was also an online ThoughtExchange (similar to a survey) that allowed employees, students and community members to share their thoughts about school safety. 


As part of the feedback received from the community forums, NMUSD created a Safety Task Force with the goal of reviewing current school safety practices and making recommendations for enhancements. Task Force members included principals, district administrators, parent and student representatives, and first responders from the cities of Costa Mesa and Newport Beach. The task force met multiple times to identify potential improvements to school safety, many of which are now in the process of implementation (see below).


This is the emergency response protocol NMUSD is implementing districtwide as part of an effort to streamline terminology used in emergency situations. The SRP clearly defines the five actions to take in an emergency: hold, secure, lockdown, evacuate and shelter.

I Love U Guys posterNMUSD staff was trained in early November, with makeup and new hire training ongoing. Coordination with local law enforcement and school resource officers (SROs) is also a crucial partnership in implementing this SRP as we conduct future safety drills and training.

Appropriate signage and training materials will be provided in the implementation process, for the entire NMUSD community — from staff to parents and students to law enforcement and community members — to be aware of the common terminology surrounding school safety. This updated language will be integrated into each school’s Comprehensive School Safety Plans and Site Emergency Plans.   


NMUSD is partnering with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and Orange County School Mobile Assessment and Resource Team to train site-based teams on the Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines (CSTAG), an evidence-based threat assessment protocol. The CSTAG includes a series of steps to help evaluate whether a threat is credible and the appropriate response to potential threats. Employee training is expected to begin in February 2023 for principals, assistant principals, administrative interns, school counselors and psychologists, behavioral specialists, school social workers, campus safety personnel and School Resource Officers, as well as other employees.


NMUSD is also partnering with the Orange County Intelligence Assessment Center (OCIAC) to conduct physical security assessments of all NMUSD school and office buildings, with participation from local law enforcement. OCIAC is tasked with identifying ways to physically enhance safety measures. District standards will be revised to incorporate an integrated electronic security system that may include surveillance cameras, electronic access control and intrusion detection. 

While OCIAC conducts these assessments, it is anticipated that camera installation at our schools will begin in early 2023. The front lobbies at all school sites also are expected to have equipment installed to provide controlled entry by the start of the 2023-24 school year.

WETIP 2.0 

NMUSD is securing a contract with WeTip 2.0 for secondary schools. WeTip 2.0 is a 24-hour anonymous reporting system (tip line) through which suspicious activity and safety concerns at secondary schools can be reported via phone, text and an online form. The system includes two-way communication, allowing tip monitors to obtain more complete information. WeTip 2.0 is anticipated to obtain approval from the Board of Education in January, with implementation at all NMUSD secondary schools expected in early 2023.

Our elementary school community will continue to abide by the practice of “see something, say something” and report safety concerns to a teacher or other trusted adult on campus. This process allows us to continue to promote parents having direct connection with our elementary schools and continue to foster positive relationships with teachers and principals.


Employees at Newport Harbor High School and Davis Magnet School will pilot an emergency alert system, which allows emergency response team members to initiate any of the five SRP actions. 

While these are just a few current safety initiatives, please know that safety is always top of mind, and we continue to collaborate with our school community and law enforcement agencies to enhance safety. We will continue to keep you informed of our efforts to enhance safety and invite you to visit the NMUSD School Safety Webpage for more information. And remember, if you “see something, say something.”