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Dear Simi Valley Schools Community:

With school safety at the forefront of so many of our conversations with the community these days, I wanted to take a moment and review the measures we employ to best ensure our campuses’ safety.

Nothing is more important than the safety of our students and staff. To that end we have substantially increased our emergency supplies at every school site and have instituted new and ongoing training sessions for staff in all types of potential emergencies, including active shooter incidents.

Most importantly, we have an excellent working relationship with our local law enforcement, the Simi Valley Police Department, and partner with them to ensure that our best practices and safety plans for emergencies are up-to-date and specifically designed to support our unique school community. We have had many recent meetings with the SVPD and with the Ventura County Fire Department to review our campus logistics and to make sure our policies best serve our safety needs. The SVPD have also stepped up patrols around our schools.

The Measure X Bond, which was passed by Simi Valley Voters in November 2016, is partly earmarked to provide safety improvements at our campuses. These improvements include—but are not limited to—better fencing, security cameras and special radios that communicate directly with the SVPD during an emergency.

We have had many questions about completely enclosing all of our campuses in security fencing, and while it might seem like an obvious solution, the design of many of our campuses cannot support this kind of measure. Most of our schools were built in the 1960s and 1970s. At that time, school architects took advantage of wide open spaces and natural vistas when they designed our campuses.

We are also looking at what are called “soft safety measures.” These include student programs and staff training to identify potential mental health issues in our students and staff before any potentially destructive behavior escalates. We’re expanding our suicide awareness programs and seeking other avenues of intervention for our community.

There are many other measures that are in place or developing around school safety as we move forward, some that cannot be publicly shared because it could make our schools more vulnerable. Safety is an ongoing issue that is not going to be solved by a few changes. Safety is a process that is enhanced by need, but tempered by logistics, funding and laws.

We want to say that we cannot completely prevent violence at our schools, but we know we cannot make that promise. No school or district can. What we can say is that we strive to be as prepared as possible, and that with consistent training and solid tools, we will have the best chance possible of keeping our students and staff safe.

We also ask your patience as many of the physical improvements to our campuses take time to complete, partly because we must receive state approval for many of these projects.

For more information about how emergencies are handled in our schools, please visit


Dr. Jason Peplinski
Simi Valley Unified School District


Emergency Header


Emergencies will happen. Some might affect our schools and students. The following information will help guide families during a crisis that could involve our students. Please keep it handy for future reference.

When an emergency happens during school hours:

  • PLEASE REMAIN CALM! Every staff member at every campus regularly trains in emergency procedures in numerous scenarios. They will do everything possible to keep your child safe.
  • PLEASE DON’T CALL THE SCHOOL. The phone lines need to be kept open for emergency calls. The district’s website,, will post emergency information on the home page for all of the schools. The local media will also be updated with status changes. The city of Simi Valley maintains an emergency radio station, 530 AM, where damage reports and updates are broadcast. Local radio stations, KHAY 100.7 FM and KVEN 1450 AM, will regularly report on emergency situations. In the event of a brush fire, the Ventura County Fire Department maintains an excellent website resource,, where you can track the location and progress of fire fighting efforts. Lastly, the local office of the American Red Cross ( or (805) 339-2234) can provide information and resources in times of natural disaster.
  • PLEASE DON’T IMMEDIATELY DRIVE TO THE SCHOOL. Parents could impede the ability of emergency vehicles to get to the school. Please remain at home or at work until you are given instructions from the school.
  • REMEMBER THAT YOUR CHILD WILL ONLY BE RELEASED TO THE ADULTS YOU LISTED ON YOUR EMERGENCY CONTACT LIST! It’s important to update this information through Aeries each year. Whoever comes to the school to remove your child will be asked for identification and will have to sign your child out. Never take your child from the school without signing out with the staff member in charge!

What we do to prepare for emergencies:


  • Each school and office site has an emergency plan in place.
  • Regular emergency drills are held in each school throughout the school year.
  • District-wide disaster drills are held each year.
  • Plans and procedures are updated regularly to incorporate current emergency management issues and topics.


  • All district personnel receive annual training in emergency response and emergency management procedures.
  • Key personnel at the district and at each school site receive ongoing training in their emergency response plan.
  • Support staff is trained in crisis intervention to respond to the psychological needs.
  • Support staff maintains current First-Aid and CPR certifications.
  • School site personnel receive Search and Rescue training from the Ventura County Fire Department.
  • We collaborate with the Simi Valley Police Department and Ventura County Fire Department with all training and emergency exercises.


  • Each school site has Search and Rescue equipment.
  • Each school site has a storage container(s) where all emergency supplies are secured. These supplies are inventoried and re-supplied each year.
  • School/offices have emergency response plans, guidelines, and reference guides to assist staff in every type of emergency.

Emergency Communications:

  • The district has an emergency communications system designed to allow schools to report status during an emergency via computer, radio, phone and the district’s internal phone system.
  • Schools have hand-held radios for on-campus communications.
  • The district has access to the Auxiliary Communication Service (ACS) volunteers through the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services (OES) that can be used to help communications between the district, school sites, the city, and the county.
  • The district participates in and has communication capabilities with the city of Simi Valley's Emergency Operations Center (EOC) through satellite phone, data link, radio, and telephone.
  • School bus drivers and campus staff use a district-wide radio system to connect school sites to the district office and to Simi Valley Police Department (Student Safety & Transit only).
  • An automated telephone communication system exists at each district site to facilitate communications and disseminate information.

We can work together to keep your child safe: If there is an emergency, here are some scenarios that your child needs to be prepared for. Please review these with your child at the start of each school year.

  • Walking to school: Your child should continue walking to school.
  • Walking home: Your child should continue walking home.
  • In the neighborhood: Your child should return home or go to a pre-designated alternate home.
  • Waiting for a bus: Your child should return home or go to a pre-designated alternate home.
  • On a school bus on the way to school: The bus driver will continue to school when it is safe.
  • On a school bus on the way home: The bus driver will continue home when it is safe.
  • On a school bus on the way to a field trip: The driver will return to the school when it is safe.
  • During a field trip: The teacher will find safe shelter at that location until it is safe to return to the school.
  • On a school bus returning to school from a field trip: The driver will continue to school when it is safe.

Emergency cell phone policy: We know that most students are equipped with cell phones. During an emergency, parents/guardians and students will naturally try to contact each other by phone. Teachers and site administrators will require everyone to turn off their cell phones until all evacuations are completed and the situation has stabilized! At that time, students will be allowed to turn their phones back on and will be encouraged to text parents/guardians if their phones are capable. Texting uses less bandwidth than phone calls and may be easier to connect. Also, please be aware that during many types of at-large emergencies, officials often shut down phone systems to allow for the better flow of emergency communications.

Medication policy: If your child takes regular medication, make sure the medication, dosage, and child’s medical information is updated at the start of every school year, and as needed after, through Aeries. Also, provide regular supplies of your child’s medication to the school’s office to ensure your child’s medication continues to be dispensed during a disaster/emergency. If no medication is on file with the District, NO medication will be dispensed. This is according to BP 5141.21(a).


Here is a PowerPoint presentation about what to do during different emergencies effecting our campuses, such as lockdowns and brush fires. Click HERE.