- AHERA Notice
- Emergency Closing Information
- Integrated Pest Management
- Parking Lot Safety
- Safety & Security Measures
- School Resource Officers
- Water Testing Information
- We Tip Hotline
The Board of Education and Administration, in coordination with law enforcement, the Office of Emergency Management, and others are committed to ensuring that our facilities are secure and that our students and staff are safe. We have taken many steps to improve our safety practices, programs, and procedures. The safety and security of our students is our highest priority.
The Gloucester County Educational Campus consists of Rowan College of South Jersey, Gloucester County Institute of Technology, and the Special Services School District Bankbridge Schools. The coordination and efforts to address safety and security on this campus is constantly reviewed and addressed with school personnel. We are in constant contact with our stakeholders to ensure compliance with all New Jersey Department of Education procedures.
The District's safety committee coordinates safety and security procedures in partnership with the Gloucester County Sheriff’s Department, Office of Emergency Management, Deptford Township Police Department, Rowan College of South Jersey, and the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management. These parties work together to implement safety procedures and practices on the Educational Campus and within each individual school building.
The following measures are what we have in place to prevent security breaches and to deter incidents of violence in our schools:
Four full time School Resource Officers from the Gloucester County Sheriff’s Office are assigned to the Educational Campus. There are four officers on campus during the day. There is also one sheriff’s officer assigned to the campus in the evening and weekends through our partnership with Rowan College of South Jersey. All of the assigned officers work closely with the various school administrators and staff to ensure the safety of everyone on campus.
There are two security guards and an administrator present on campus each evening at GCIT.
Each year during School Violence Awareness Week, the District meets with law enforcement agencies, students, parents, administration, and faculty to review the Memorandum of Agreement and to reaffirm our commitment to safe schools. We have excellent relationships with our law enforcement partners. Local police have access to live streaming video surveillance of our schools and grounds.
GCIT's Comprehensive Safety and Security Plan is updated yearly and as needed by all stakeholders. In 2016, our plan was audited by the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management.
Security personnel are present in the school's parking lots to monitor visitors, check exterior doors, and to monitor anyone that is attempting to enter our schools during the school day.
The school district maintains twenty-four-hour video surveillance of the buildings and grounds. Recently the district reviewed all camera locations with law enforcement to enhance our video capabilities and address areas that were in need of surveillance.
We recently upgraded and confirmed our reunification plan and partnership with the Deptford Township Police Department should it be necessary to evacuate the Educational Campus.
GCIT has installed the Lobbyguard Visitor Management System that requires all visitors to provide identification prior to being allowed into the school.
The main vestibules at GCIT have been secured with electronic entry by the receptionist only.
The school district practices fire and security drills monthly. Security drills include lockdown, shelter in place, active shooter, and evacuation. Tabletop exercises are held at a minimum of twice per year to review these plans and practices.
All staff members and students at GCIT are required to wear IDs throughout the school day. Classroom teachers are also mandated to keep their doors closed and locked at all times.
Faculty members and security staff are assigned to strategic areas of the school during arrival and dismissal. In addition, staff members are assigned to specific areas within the school setting during the school day.
Administration and school security personnel attend yearly trainings and exercises, both locally and regionally
Please contact your child’s counselor, teacher, school administrator, or School Based Youth Services counselor should your child need support. In addition to our guidance counselors and child study team members, the District is fortunate to house the School Based Youth Services program at GCIT.
While the District has numerous programs and practices in place to ensure the safety of our students, and your children, the partnership between school, home and the community is essential to providing a safe and secure environment. We encourage everyone to be vigilant and report any inappropriate social media and online interactions to school personnel. Even the slightest issue that you may feel would affect the safety of schools, students, and faculty members could make a difference.
If you “See Something, Say Something”.
GCIT School Closing Number: 833
In the event that schools are closed due to inclement weather or other emergency event, a decision will be made to open or close schools. Our district staff recognizes that our decision to open or close school; as well as, operating under a delayed opening or early dismissal has a big impact on families. We also understand that our students are better served both academically and socially, by being in school. As always, our top priority is the safety of our students. The information below should answer most questions regarding emergency school closing, delayed opening, or early dismissal events. Should you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact Superintendent, Mr. Michael Dicken’s office at 856-468-1445 x2711.
How Do We Make Our Decision?
Please be reminded that the Gloucester County Vocational Technical School District is a Regional School and does not provide transportation for our students.
Each weather-related event is different and it is near impossible to anticipate the severity of the weather or the conditions of a very large geographic area. We may close school due to severe weather such as a heavy snowfall, dangerous ice conditions, high winds or because of our sending districts inability to transport students based on the conditions within their community. There are dozens of potential scenarios that may result in a school closing or delayed opening and the conditions in each of our sending districts communities, our campus, and local road status all influence this difficult decision.
The Superintendent typically consults with the District’s Director of Facilities and Grounds, emergency management agencies, local Police Chiefs, and area superintendents before making a final decision. Meteorology is not a perfect science; and therefore, we often rely on the weather forecast and when inclement weather appears imminent, a decision will be made. Again, it is important to remain cognizant of the fact that we do not transport our students and our students come from a wide geographical area. Given the nature of some events, conditions in one community can be remarkably different than those in another community because of the nature and track of the storm.
- Amount of snow and ice accumulated. Whether additional precipitation is expected.
- Building conditions: Electric, heat, and security systems operations/availability.
- Weather predictions. We prefer not to make our decisions based upon weather predictions, which are not always accurate. At times this is unavoidable.
- What other school districts are doing. The Superintendent communicates with all of the school districts in Gloucester County to review whether they are opening, closing, or altering the length of their school day.
Who Makes The Decision?
The Superintendent of Schools is responsible for making the decision to open, close, or alter the length of the school day. This decision is based upon the aforementioned factors, as well as recommendations from administration, faculty, local law enforcement, and the Gloucester County Office of Emergency Management.
How Is The Public Notified Of Emergency Closings, Delays, and Early Dismissals?
The Vocational Technical School District employs numerous modes of communication to notify the community of any emergency announcements. A prerecorded phone, text, email message via Power Annoucement is sent to our faculty, staff, and families either the night before (whenever possible) or early in the morning (5 o’clock hour). We recognize some of our students and employees travel a distance so every effort is made to get this call out as soon as possible. Please note: It is important to listen to the entire message! Our parents/guardians are reminded to always keep their contact information current.
Information regarding emergency closing, delayed opening, and early dismissal decisions are also posted on the school district’s website and social media pages.
The Gloucester County Educational Network will post the status of the Vocational Technical School District and the other school districts in Gloucester County (Verizon channel 34/Comcast channel 97). It is important to note that our districts and your local district may not have made the same decision to close or alter the schedule.
Information is announced on KYW News Radio (1060 AM), Channel 3 (CBS), Channel 6 (ABC), Channel 10 (NBC), and Channel 29 (Fox).
When is the Decision To Close School Made?
Typically the decision to close school or delay the opening of school is made by 5:00 a.m. or earlier, if possible.
What Is the Status of Co-Curricula and Community Activities When School is Closed?
In the event that we are closed, and unless stated all student activities, athletic events, fitness center, pool, and/or any community groups who have scheduled use of the buildings are all canceled.
When Are School Closing Days Made Up?
At times it has been necessary to adjust the school calendar prior to the end of the year based on the number of days the district is closed. If necessary, first three emergency closing days will be made up by deducting from the end of the spring break. Any days in excess of these three days will be added to the end of the school year.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) on school property is a long-term approach to maintaining healthy landscapes & facilities that minimizes risks to people and the environment. The Gloucester County Vocational-Technical School District will use: site assessment, monitoring, and pest prevention in combination with a variety of pest management tactics to keep pests within acceptable limits. Instead of routine chemical applications, cultural, mechanical, physical, and biological controls will be employed with selective use of pesticides when needed. Educational strategies are used to enhance pest prevention, and to build support for the IPM program.
In an effort to ensure the safety of our students, staff, parents, and other community members, we would like to remind everyone of the expectations while on our campus. When you are dealing with hundreds of students coming to school in the morning and leaving at dismissal, as well as approximately one hundred buses and numerous visitors to our campus, the school parking lot can be a very chaotic place.
Student safety is always a concern for school staff - keeping students safe in the parking lot requires the cooperation of everyone – from school staff to parents and the students themselves.
Here are a few safety tips that drivers should observe when dropping students off at school:
- Obey the speed limit and traffic rules.
- Obey the school’s drop off and pick up expectations. Students at GCIT should be dropped off at the rear of the building by the pool during arrival by 8:00 a.m. and at dismissal. Entering and exiting the campus off of Bankbridge Road and following the access road is the safest way to enter and exit the campus for student drop off and pick-up. Parents should not drop off or pick up students at any other location during this time.
- Be courteous to other drivers.
- Remind students to look both ways in the parking lot and cross the lot in the crosswalks. Remember, pedestrians always have the right of way.
- Parents and students should respect school staff who enforce traffic rules.
- Student dismissal is 2:27 p.m.
- There are three School Resource Officers on campus each day who will be monitoring and controlling traffic in coordination with other security personnel.
- Please be patient.
- All visitors will be required to sign-in through Lobby Guard, which will be located next to the security window in the 400 main entrance vestibule. Visitors will be required to produce the appropriate identification prior to entering the school building.
- GCIT will have two unarmed security personnel, in addition to our School Resource Officers, on campus during selected times each day, including the evening.
- GCIT seniors with assigned parking spaces should park in their designated and numbered spot. These spots are lined in white. Staff should park in spots lined in yellow.
Please be reminded that there are close to 2,100 students and over 500 employees on our educational campus each day. Your cooperation and attention are important to the safety of everyone.
All visitors to GCIT will be permitted to enter the building at the 400 and 600 entrances only.
Student safety is of the highest priority. The following is a summary of school safety and security measures which are currently in place and provide a safe and secure environment for our students. GCIT participates in the New Jersey Department of Education’s “Safer Schools for a Better Tomorrow” initiative. This initiative consists of direct technical assistance to schools, county-specific coordination with law enforcement, increased communication among and between chief school administrators, improved infrastructures to facilitate surveillance, as well as symposiums and trainings to advance a skilled work force. This information will keep parents informed at all times. These school safety measures reflect high expectations of security:
- Cameras are located in strategic places indoors and outside throughout the Educational Campus. They are monitored by administration, security, and school resource officers.
School Security Personnel
- Four Gloucester County Sheriff’s Officers serve as school resource officers for the campus. They circulate throughout the buildings and grounds. As school resource officers, they provide a wide range of supportive services including law enforcement, mentoring, and educational enhancement programs to our students.
- All school entrances are monitored by assigned personnel, and sign-in is required.
- District employees wear required identification badges.
- All perimeter doors of each building are locked and monitored regularly.
Emergency Response Plans
- With the guidance of local law enforcement agencies and local emergency management officials, the School District has a School Emergency Plan in place for each school building and the District as a whole.
- This plan addresses numerous emergency responses given the nature of the event.
- Drills are prepared and practiced throughout the school year.
- Procedures are reviewed monthly to ensure that best practices are being used.
Parent Notification Systems
- Please review your contact information and ensure that it is correct and up to date in PowerSchool. Power Messenger is a messaging system is managed through PowerSchool and is capable of providing real time voice notification of emergencies, weather events, school closings, updates as determined by school and emergency personnel, and student absence notification.
- Additional information is available on the District's website.
Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying
- The Board of Education of the Vocational School District of the County of Gloucester is committed to provide an environment that is free of harassment, intimidation, and bullying.
- The School District's policy addressing Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying can be found on the school website for your review along with resources for parents and students relating to this topic.
School Resource Officers reflects a national program that places law enforcement officers within local schools. The unit was designed to develop partnerships between law enforcement and the school community.
This program encourages a positive law enforcement presence on school campuses. This entity concentrates on safety and security and encourages positive relationships and trust between officers, teachers, students and school staff.
To function as:
- a visible, active law enforcement body on campus who serves as an immediate first responder, and deals with law-related issues
- a classroom resource for instruction in: law-related education, violence diffusion, safety programs, drug and alcohol prevention and more
- a member of school district faculty and administration to solve community issues
- a resource for students, teachers, & parents
In 2000, the Gloucester County Sheriff's established a partnership with the Gloucester County Vocational-Technical School and Gloucester County Special Services School Districts to assign one full-time police officer to the campuses. An additional officer was assigned in 2001, another in 2004 and then an additional in 2009.
The Gloucester County Sheriff's Office and the Board of Education has recognized that the presence of uniformed officers on campus is a deterrent to fighting drug use and sales as well as other forms of criminal behavior in our schools. The idea is to provide the safest educational environment for our youth, thereby giving them the best chance for educational success. The assignment of a school resource officer will enhance the working relationship of our police department with our young residents and help to build a stronger, safer community for now and the future. It provides us with positive interaction with our student teenage student population that helps us and them solve problems in a constructive way.
The Gloucester County Vocational–Technical School District is committed to protecting student, faculty, and our community’s health. As required by the Department of Education regulations, adopted in June 2016 and amended in August 2020, all potable water outlets must be sampled for lead in drinking water every three years beginning with the 2021-2022 school year. The lead testing in school drinking water cycle runs from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022.
On December 30, 2021 and January 7, 2022, the Gloucester County Vocational-Technical School District conducted the state mandated lead testing of water from all potable water outlets in our school. The testing was completed by South Jersey Water Test, LLC of Williamstown. Please view the results from the testing in the below documents.
If you have information on a crime, suspicious activities, or suspected child neglect, you can call the WeTip hotline 24 hours a day. You will remain anonymous. The toll-free phone number is 1-800-78-CRIME (1-800-782-7463). The web link to submit a tip is http://www.wetip.com/submit-a-crime-tip
Other Hotline Numbers: 800-47-DRUGS / 800-47-ARSON / 800-US-FRAUD
Do not give your name! All reports are submitted anonymously.
GCIT has a new community-based tool to fight crime with the launch of the WeTip School, from GCIT.
WeTip is an anonymous hotline for all citizens to report illegal activity or crimes. The WeTip hotline is a way for people to get involved in establishing a safer neighborhood and help keep our school safe.
Sometimes people are often afraid to report crime information because they fear retaliation from the person they are reporting on. WeTip gives students and their families an opportunity to give information without fear.
The telephone number, which is available 24 hours a day is 1-800-78-CRIME. When people call the hotline, the operator will say, “This is the WeTip crime line please do not give your name.” The operator will then ask a series of questions, designed by law enforcement, to obtain the maximum amount of information about the reported illegal activity.
After the information is taken, if the caller requests a reward, a code name and number are assigned to the caller.
WeTip information is immediately conveyed to the appropriate police, fire and sheriff’s agencies. Cash rewards of up to $1,000 are given for information helpful in the arrest and conviction. Rewards are given using the assigned code names and case numbers. No personal contact is ever made with the caller.
WeTip - SUBMIT A TIP