School Safety

The safety and security of the division’s students and staff is paramount. Administration works throughout the school year to strengthen practices and implement new procedures and protocols to help ensure the safety of all students.

While specific details of schools’ emergency response plans are not released publicly, families should know the division deploys the following security procedures: 

  • Weapons detection systems by Evolv Technology have been installed at each school and office building. All students and school visitors are required to pass through these weapons detection systems in order to gain entry into the building. You can learn more about Evolv Technology and the weapons detection systems here.
  • School Resource Officers (SROs) are provided at all middle and high schools in partnership with the Portsmouth Sheriff’s Office. These SROs also support all of their assigned feeder elementary schools.
  • Every school has full-time School Security Officers (SSOs) on site who receive annual training by the school division.
  • All schools exterior doors are locked, and visitors can only access the building via a buzz-in system, which is manned by one of the school’s SSOs or members of the main office. 
  • PPS utilizes the Raptor Visitor Management System to check in all visitors and screen them against the national sex offender database. You can learn more about the Raptor system and the check-in procedure here.
  • Schools host all state-mandated drills throughout the year for students and staff. These include fire drills, internal lockdown and external lockdown drills. 
  • Internal and external cameras, lights and radio systems are routinely inspected and updated at all schools, as needed, to ensure their correct use. 
  • Metal detectors are available at all of the middle and high schools for random weapon checks; handheld metal detectors are used at sporting and other extracurricular events. 
  • Clear bookbags, backpacks or purses are NOT required in schools and offices. 
  • Schools have all created their respective school safety plans, and they are provided to the Portsmouth Police Department for their review. Administrators are also routinely met with police staff for training and updates.

If you have a safety and security concern you would like investigated, please email that to [email protected]


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