Wabash City Schools makes the safety of students, staff, and our community the highest priority. Teachers can’t teach and students can’t learn in an environment that doesn’t prioritize safety. WCS exceeds the expectations of every Indiana school safety guideline. We have become leaders in county-wide safety initiatives and protocols.
We are fortunate to have a highly trained and experienced school resource officer (SRO), officer Sam Hipskind. He is a board member of the Indiana School Resource Officer Association (INSROA) achieving the Master SRO credential. He is also a member of the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO). Officer Hipskind is a liaison between the Wabash Police Department and Wabash Fire and Rescue and leads training for our staff. He is an invaluable resource and leader in our district. As a police officer and father of five, he is laser focused on the safety of our school and community in general.
We run regular drills for fire, weather, and lockdown situations. Drills are an important part of school safety, and will be used as teachable moments for our staff and students. Indiana Code requires each school to conduct monthly fire drills, one severe weather drill per semester, and two man made disaster drills per semester. In addition, Wabash City Schools has established strong relationships with our local first responders and often have law enforcement presence as well as fire personnel at the schools during our drills.
School Safety Staff
School Safety Specialists
Each school corporation is required by Indiana Code to have a certified school safety specialist. Wabash City Schools goes above and beyond this minimum requirement and has over 9 certified school safety specialists. Each school safety specialist has completed certified training administered by the Indiana Department of Education focusing on the best and most up to date safety practices. Each safety specialist also completes two days of additional training each school year to keep up to date with the most basic as well as advanced fundamentals of school safety. Additional information on school safety can be located at the DOE website.
School Resource Officer
In partnership with the City of Wabash and the Wabash Police Department, Wabash City Schools has one school resource officer (SRO).
Our school resource officer is a full-time law enforcement officer with sworn law enforcement authority who is trained in school-based policing and crisis response. Our SRO is certified by the National Association of School Resource Officers and utilizes the triad concept of school-based policing of law enforcement officer, counselor and educator.
Officer R. Sam Hipskind has worked for the Wabash Police Department since 1996 and began working as a School Resource Officer in 2013. Officer Hipskind is trained in the following:
Crash Reconstructionist receiving that training from Northwestern University Center for Public Safety
Certified Instructor through the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy
Advanced school safety specialist with the Indiana Department of Education
Master Level SRO through the Indiana School Resource Officers Association(INSROA)
Practitioner through the National Association of School Resource Officers(NASRO)
Currently sits on the executive board of INSROA as Secretary
Wabash City Schools’ exterior doors are locked during the school day. WCS requires all visitors to check in using our system, Safe Visitor Solutions. When visitors enter a school building, they are required to produce their driver’s license or state identification card for scan. This will check their record and produce a badge for the visitor to wear while in the school building. As the visitors leave the building, they will check back in at the office.
Pickup and Drop Off
When looking into student safety, another area of concern is student drop off and pickup lines. Our goal is to separate school bus traffic from automobile traffic as it is not safe to allow buses and automobiles to drop off and pick up in the same location. Each building has unique pickup and drop off procedures.