Safety & Security Overview

  • Lake Forest Community High School District 115 (LFHS) believes that safe schools are the result of a coordinated, collaborative effort between all District stakeholders. This includes school staff, local law enforcement, emergency first responders, community members, parents, and most importantly, students. We proactively engage these stakeholders to create a safe and productive learning environment throughout our District.

    The safety and security programs in both Districts are concentrated in five key areas:

    1. Facilities and Infrastructure
    2. Policies and Procedures
    3. Culture and Climate
    4. Training and Education
    5. Community Partnerships

    Every day school is in session, the LFHS Safety and Security Department secures the perimeter, patrols the grounds, directs traffic and monitors indoor and outdoor activities on campus. They identify and report irregularities, security breaches, safety hazards, and emergency situations.

    Video Monitoring

    LFHS also has a comprehensive network of internal and external security cameras that provide for supervision of the campus 24 hours a day.

    Secured Access to Buildings

    All exterior doors in every school building are locked during the school day. Access to school buildings after the regular school day schedule is restricted to athletics and extracurricular activities and events. Areas of the building not open to the public will be secured and entry is prohibited.

    Visitor Management

    All school building visitors are screened in a secure vestibule through the LobbyGuard Visitor Management System that requires visitors to scan a valid driver's license prior to obtaining a badge to enter the school. The software immediately alerts personnel should a visitor be identified as a risk. The LobbyGuard System also allows school officials to enter information on Orders of Protection, Trespass Notices, or other community alerts. Once approved, they must sign in and out of the front office.

    Visitors are expected to comply with all Board of Education policies and school conduct procedures. Visitors to and Conduct on School Property (Board Policy 8:30)

    Community Partnerships

    District 115 maintains active partnership and cooperation with local organizations through the LFHS Safety Committee—a group of District leaders, staff members, local law enforcement and safety personnel—who meet quarterly and have been instrumental in building community partnerships that ensure a safe school.

    Lake Forest Police Department (LFPD) and School Resource Officers (SROs)

    District 115 employs one full-time SRO to increase security and serve as a law enforcement liaison for the schools. The SROs undergo specialized training related to juvenile justice and are certified to work with youth. The SROs operate under the SRO Triad Model endorsed by the National School Resource Officers Association (NASRO). By serving as a mentor/informal counselor, educator, and law enforcement officer, the SRO is uniquely positioned to meet the needs of the school communities by maintaining order on the school campuses, reducing the fear of crime within the schools, enforcing the law, aiding in the creation and implementation of effective emergency plans, bridging the gap between youth and law enforcement, and creating positive impressions that transcend the school environment. These officers also help troubled youth change behaviors that might otherwise lead to involvement with the criminal justice system.

    District 115 SRO

    Det. Mark Long
    LFHS East Campus, LFHS West Campus
    mlong@lfschools.net

    Lake Forest Fire Department

    The Lake Forest Fire Department regularly reviews and participates in our fire and severe weather drills.

    Illinois School Safety Drill Act

    LFHS complies with the 105 ILCS 128 Illinois School Safety Drill Act, which lays out minimum requirements and standards for schools to follow when conducting school safety drills and reviewing school emergency and crisis response plans and to encourage schools and first responders to work together for the safety of children.

    The Illinois School Safety Drill Act:

    • Establishes a minimum number and type of school safety drills schools must conduct.
      • Evacuation Drills - 3 per year (with 1 requiring the participation of local fire dept.).
      • Bus Evacuation Drills - 1 per year
      • Law Enforcement Drills (including Lockdowns) - 1 per year
      • Severe Weather/Shelter-in-Place - 1 per year requiring law enforcement participation
    • Requires school emergency and crisis plans to be reviewed annually by schools and first responders.
    • Requires reporting to ensure compliance.
    • Requires all Districts to establish Behavior Threat Assessment Teams and adopt formal policies and procedures that are filed with the Regional Office of Education.


    After a safety drill or other emotionally challenging incident, children may have questions about the event and this is very typical. Listed below are several resources for parents and families to assist in conversations:

    Emergency Situation Notification/Alert Information

    Since the nature and scope of emergencies affecting the school can vary, classes are not automatically canceled for every emergency situation. To improve communication and understanding, parents and guardians are encouraged to:  

    • During an emergency situation, please remain accessible and monitor your phone.
    • Update the contact numbers provided to the school.
    • Don't call the school during an emergency. Phone lines need to remain open for emergency communication.
    • Depending on the situation, access to the school campus may be restricted for an extended period of time.
    • Do not permit your child to leave campus without being signed out through the Attendance Office.

    BrightArrow Notification System

    The BrightArrow system is the primary means of notification by the Districts and will be utilized in the event of an emergency or weather-related closing. An alert will be sent to the primary phone number you provided when you first registered with the Districts. Maintaining the accuracy of your profile by contacting your school office if your information changes will increase the ability of the school to keep you informed.

    Emergency Release/Dismissal

    In most cases, parents will be allowed to pick up their children at the school building, unless public safety officials have restricted access to the campus. In the event of restricted access, you will be directed to the designated reunification site. Upon arrival, a parent, or other person listed as an emergency contact, will be asked to complete a Student Release Form before the student(s) is released to their parent/guardian/emergency contact.

    Supporting Social and Emotional Wellbeing of Students

    To create a safe learning environment, schools must care for the “whole child.” LFHS is committed to the social and emotional well-being of our students. This is accomplished by providing timely and compassionate interventions for students who struggle socially or emotionally. By establishing a responsive school culture, with varied resources and strong support systems, LFHS ensures the healthy growth and development of our students. This translates to improved academic outcomes and increased safety and security.

    If an emergency incident occurs, a Crisis Response Team will be activated at the school to help students and staff cope with its emotional impact.

    Suspicious Activity Reporting and the Confidential Reporting Tool

    Safety is a top priority at LFHS. The Confidential  Reporting Tool (CRT) is an internal notification system designed to alert school officials about potential threats at LFHS. Students can access this resource on their Chromebooks, or in the Student Portal of the LFHS Homepage. The Confidential Reporting Tool empowers LFHS students to become active stakeholders in the safety, security and well-being of Lake Forest High School.

    The CRT can be used to report any of the following situations:

    • School violence or threats
    • Weapons
    • Bullying and harassment
    • Drug activity
    • Other issues affecting students

    When a report is received, a School Administrator will evaluate the concern and take action to address the issue. Students are not required to provide their names in order to make a report. Submissions are only monitored during normal school hours.

    Confidential Reporting Tool Link

    In the event of an emergency after hours, or away from campus, students should contact local authorities.

    To discuss a situation directly with a school administrator, please call (847) 234-3600.

    As stakeholders, our parents, guardians, and families play a significant role in school safety and security. Please have regular conversations with your children about the importance of notifying school officials when they see or hear any suspicious activity involving LFHS. It is equally important to discuss the consequences of making/implying threats, in person, or on social media.This dialogue can help our students understand the negative impact that this type of behavior can have on our schools, as well as on their friends and their future.

    Additionally, parents, guardians, and families are encouraged to contact your principal, school counselor, or Educational Services if they believe their child can benefit from counseling or any other support. For more information, please call (847) 582-7317.

    Please note: The Confidential Reporting Tool is not a replacement for Text-A-Tip.” The CRT is an in-house program monitored and managed by LFHS Administrators. Students interested in contacting a Licensed Clinical Social Worker should continue to use the “Text-A-Tip” App.

    • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – Hours: Available 24 hours. Languages: English, Spanish. 800-273-8255 | Website
    • Crisis Text Line – Text HOME to 741741 to reach a volunteer Crisis Counselor.
    • Text-a-Tip – 24/7 anonymous support for students who need help for themselves or a friend. 1-844-823-5323 to connect with a trained counselor.

    For more information, community members can contact Lane Linder, Director, School Safety and Security at 847-582-7414 or llinder@lfschools.net.

    Additional Resources

    https://www.stopbullying.gov/
    https://www.samhsa.gov/
    https://www.lakecountyil.gov/2228/Emergency-Management-Agency
    https://www2.illinois.gov/ready/SiteCollectionDocuments/K-12SchoolSecurityPracticesGuide.pdf
    https://www.dhs.gov/cisa/school-safety-and-security
    https://www.mhanational.org/talking-kids-about-school-safety

Safety & Security Team