CPS collaborates with Chicago police, fire and emergency management ahead of new school year

Recent mass shootings, like the one in Uvalde, prompted CPS leaders to update their safety plan

ByMichelle Gallardo and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team via WLS logo
Thursday, August 18, 2022
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CPD has partnered with public safety agencies for an active shooter exercise and to go over school safety plans ahead of the new school year.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Public Schools is working to keep kids safe at school.

CPD has partnered with Chicago police, fire and emergency management for a school safety exercise and to go over school safety plans ahead of the new school year.

Recent mass shootings, like the one in Uvalde, prompted CPS leaders to update their safety plan.

The district conducted what they are calling a "cross-agency drill" Thursday at Julian High School as part of the district's ongoing public safety preparedness efforts, CPS said.

This is the first time a drill like this has taken place since 2018 and it is essentially running through the city's plans to respond to an active shooter situation inside the school.

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The district said that each CPS school has a custom safety plan to deal with their own specific needs. And while no one wants to think about an active shooter inside their school, this is something they have to plan for.

Every year, CPS schools are required to conduct six drills, with each running through different emergency situations.

WATCH: CPS unveils new school safety plan

The one Thursday did not include students, however, staff and teachers did volunteer to take part.

"The intention is to be realistic as one can have, and so we're going to have this take place in the classrooms and through the school. We're going to use the PA system and the goal is to pressure test what we believe is already a strong plan to make it even stronger," said Jadine Chou, CPS chief of safety and security.

SEE MORE: School Safety

Active shooter situations are, of course, just one component of CPS's safety plan. The district said they are investing $22 million this year in the Safe Passage Plan, as well as launching a new initiative designed to help identify conflicts that might be bubbling up on social media so that an intervention can be conducted before that conflict turns into a more serious incident.

CPS said they've created a whole series of new videos addressing safety specifically designed for parents. Those are available to view on the CPS website starting Thursday.