Emergency Preparedness and Safety
As an educational institution, Saint John’s Preparatory School takes our obligation to provide a secure and nurturing environment seriously. The safety and well-being of all members of our community is of the utmost importance. Therefore, a wide variety of programs to provide necessary systems and services to ensure a safe environment have been implemented.
Preparedness and Security Partners
The Prep School conducts a comprehensive series of emergency drills with all students and staff on a regular basis. These drills review procedures for natural disasters, fire emergencies, intruder scenarios, and other emergency situations. All drill procedures have been developed in accordance with the laws of the State of Minnesota and campus security policies. Our campus security and safety personnel, including Saint John’s University (SJU) Life Safety Services and the Saint John’s Fire Department, participate in our drills and provide guidance and support to our safety programs. Additionally, local law enforcement such as the Minnesota State Patrol, Stearns County Sheriff’s Department, and medical transport services participate in at least one shelter-in-place drill each year.
Our primary safety partners, SJU Life Safety Services and the Saint John’s Fire Department, provide other support to the Prep School’s overall security program. Our campus partners provide regular patrolling, monitoring of emergency systems like fire alarms and public address communication systems, security consultation, walk-throughs and inspection of facilities, CPR and first-aid training, and professional development for faculty and staff on issues related to school safety. The Prep School also participates in campus-wide disaster and business resumption planning.
Safe Environment Programs
The Prep School holds any form of harassment, abuse, or exploitation to be morally reprehensible. We follow strict guidelines and employ a variety of best practices to create a safe environment.
- In accordance with Minnesota law, all faculty and staff are mandated reporters. As such, all cases of suspected abuse or neglect are reported to Child Protective Services and local law enforcement.
- All employees of the Prep School complete criminal background checks required for any personnel working with children. These background checks are completed prior to hiring new employees. Additionally, the Prep School elects to seek updated background checks on all employees every two years.
- Faculty and staff participate in annual safe environment training. The Prep School uses the training program implemented in all schools and parishes in the Diocese of Saint Cloud. All employees are required to complete this training as a condition of employment.
- The Prep School is evaluated annually by Praesidium, Inc., a national consulting and accreditation firm that sets standards and policies to ensure student safety. We are certified under Praesidium’s Tri-Guard Safety SystemTM Safety Equation. Our accreditation is regularly reviewed and renewed.
- The Prep School is operated by Saint John’s Abbey. The Abbey has developed strict policies and procedures to respond to and investigate any allegations of abuse.
Policies and Procedures
The Prep School’s student and employee handbooks include many policies and procedures that address the overall safety and security of our community. In addition to emergency preparedness and drill procedures, these handbooks include information regarding guests, weapons, controlled substances, internet security, financial security, campus and grounds access, and three-person rules. These handbooks also include definitions of, and procedures for, reporting, harassment, abuse, bullying and other issues regarding a safe environment.
Guidance and Counseling Services
The Guidance and Counseling Department at the Prep School provides a wide range of services and resources for students and families. Many of these services support our overall safety and security programs. Our department provides general guidance services, learning accommodation coordination, emotional and behavioral support, college placement guidance, and support for international and multicultural students.
Some of the services that support our security programs include the following:
- Counselors are available to talk with students about a range of emotional concerns. Counseling staff are trained in crisis counseling, to make mental health referrals, and to conduct depression screenings.
- Students participate in formation sessions regarding identifying and preventing bullying. Community-building retreats and colloquia are hosted to build strong relationships between students and their peers.
- Staff members work with students regarding issues related to substance abuse including tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs. Students participate in formation sessions regarding substance abuse, and our counseling staff is trained to make referrals in cases where substance counseling may be required.
- Students participate in a comprehensive advising program designed to provide added support and to act as a vehicle for further training and formation. Advising program topics include organization, note-taking, study skills, service and volunteering, peer relationships, course selection and registration, progress reports, spirituality, and character development.