Security and Emergency Procedures Overview

West St. Paul-Mendota Heights-Eagan Area Schools (District 197) takes school safety very seriously. We spend considerable time and energy each year working with local law enforcement to understand best practices for school safety and collaborate on emergency plans. We also train staff, practice safety drills with students, and look for ways increase security in our buildings. Our policies and procedures meet and, in some cases, exceed state requirements regarding crisis management and safety.

(Pre-K through grade 12)
With funding from a voter-approved bond, our schools’ main entryways were redesigned during the 2015-16 school year to help staff better manage and limit access to our buildings. The change also ensures visitors see a welcoming face as soon as they enter a building.

During the school day, all exterior doors to each building are locked and ALL visitors (parents, guardians, short-term substitute teachers, volunteers, contractors, vendors, etc.) MUST enter and exit through a school building's main office/entrance and complete the check-in or check-out process.

Additional security measures in school buildings include security cameras, lockdown buttons that close doors throughout the building and secure areas of a school, and door mechanisms that allow teachers to quickly lock their classroom doors in the event of an emergency.

School District 197, in collaboration with local law enforcement, has developed extensive emergency plans to respond to different natural and man-made crisis. All of the plans are stored in the Rapid Responder Emergency Preparedness and Crisis Management System and can be quickly accessed by district staff and administrators, as well as first responders, the fire department and the police.

Every year our students and staff take part in five lockdown drills (since 2000), five fire drills and two tornado drills.

To prepare for the possibility of a violent intruder, each year for the past several years, all district staff complete “Run. Hide. Fight.” training, which was developed by the United States Department of Homeland Security. This training teaches staff how to prepare for and respond during and after an active shooter incident. 

In the event of an emergency, families would be alerted through the parent notification system and information would be posted on the district and school websites. Students and parents should be sure to keep emergency contact information updated with their school office.

School District 197, through the Mendota Heights Police Department, employs a full-time school resource officer (SRO) at Henry Sibley High School. The liaison officer is a resource to students, parents and staff and can be contacted (non-emergency) at 651-403-7212 or If there is an emergency, please call 911.

Henry Sibley High School also maintains an anonymous and confidential school tip line to keep students and the school safe. Tips can be submitted by calling 651-403-7396 or by using the online tip form.