The San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE) and its partners in the Coalition for Safe Schools and Communities have created resources to help school districts create safe and supportive schools where students can thrive.

The Big Five

San Mateo County’s Big Five protocol provides five immediate action responses in any given emergency. These include Shelter in Place; Drop, Cover, and Hold On; Secure Campus; Lockdown/Barricade; and Evacuation. The Big Five has become the cornerstone of emergency response for San Mateo County’s schools. Versions of the Big Five are available for administrators, school staff, and the community.

Emergency Management Resource Guide

Emergency management includes four key phases: mitigation/prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery. Becoming familiar with all of these phases can help a school be better prepared in case of an emergency. 

Four Phases of an Emergency

Additional Safety Resources

Student Threat Assessment Process

CSEC Protocol

Student Sexual Assault Protocol

Suicide Prevention Protocol

Background on Safe and Supportive Schools Work

San Mateo County’s collaborative work on school safety began in April 2013, when Congresswoman Speier, Supervisors Horsley and Tissier, Sheriff Munks, Superintendent Campbell, and retired Assemblymember Gene Mullin sponsored a summit, "Beyond Newtown: How to Ensure Safe Schools and Communities." The Coalition for Safe Schools and Community was created as a result of that summit.


The following resources include information presented at the Summit.

Molly Henricks

Coordinator, School Safety and Risk Prevention


Phone: (650) 598-2169