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.

The recording for the recent Big Five Emergency Preparedness Training - A Trauma Informed Approach can be found here: 

The recording for the Big Five Emergency Preparedness Training During COVID-19 can be found here:
The access password is w.@J=FM7

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 Protocols

Student Threat Assessment and Suicide Prevention

The San Mateo County Office of Education has revised the Student Threat Assessment Level 1 Protocol and the Suicide Prevention Protocol. This training reviews the changes for returning staff as well as provides an overview of each protocol for new staff. As students return to campus, revisiting both protocols is extremely important.

Student Threat Assessment

Each school site should form a Level One Student Threat Assessment Team, which is a multidisciplinary team consisting of an administrator, a school counselor, and a School Resource Officer to support students who may pose as a threat to themselves or others. The Level One Team will investigate the incident and fill out the assessment form linked below.

Suicide Prevention Protocol

The purpose of this protocol is to outline administrative procedures for intervening with suicidal and self-injurious students and offer guidelines to school site crisis teams in the recovery phase following a completed suicide.

Pages translated in Spanish:

Pages translated in Chinese (traditional):

Pages translated in Tagalog:

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) and Sexual Assault

Online Safety Guide for Parents of Children and Teens (English) (Spanish)

How to Talk to Your Children about Sex, Sexting, and Digital Safety (English) (Spanish)

Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC)

Sexual Assault

Mary McGrath

Executive Director, Safe and Supportive Schools


Phone: (650) 802-5425

Molly Henricks

Coordinator, School Safety and Risk Prevention


Phone: (650) 802-5434

Michelle Lee

Administrative Assistant II


Phone: (650) 802-5424