Our School

Safety Information at Steward

List of 1 items.

  • The safety and security

    of our students, faculty, and staff is our top priority
Our daily operations are designed with the safety and security of our community in mind. Parents, faculty, staff, students — and even our friends and neighbors — can feel reassured about our commitment to providing the safest possible environment in which to learn and grow.

Our goal is to be prepared for any type of emergency that may occur while also maintaining our close community feel. We review and update our crisis plan annually under the guidance of Margolis Healy, a firm specializing in safety, security, and emergency preparedness. We also have an active partnership with local law enforcement, legal counsel, and emergency communications consultants. We utilize systems such as CampusAlert and AlertNow for community communications.

In the fall of 2022, Margolis Healy completed a thorough study of campus security, which included:
  • a detailed review of our crisis plan and written information about security measures;
  • a two-day on-site review, which included meetings with key stakeholders, a facility analysis, and observations about campus at different times of day; and
  • a workshop with the School's Executive Council, during which the group planned responses to hypothetical (but realistic) crisis scenarios using an "if this, then that" approach.

The review praised Steward’s existing plans, suggested we evaluate the need for security personnel on campus, and also recommended enhancements that are being implemented during the 2022-23 and 2023-24 school years, which include:
  • improved on-campus communication tools
  • more secure entrance and egress mechanisms
  • increased lighting
  • more cameras around campus
School leadership takes safety seriously. Steward is a vibrant community of friends and families, and it is our goal to maintain the ease of personal connections while also protecting each individual’s safety.

List of 5 items.

  • Blackboard Connect

    Blackboard Connect enables the school to quickly and efficiently communicate emergencies, weather-related early closures, and other situations to all parents, faculty, and staff simultaneously and directly through a phone call, text message, email, and social media post.
  • CampusAlert

    The CampusAlert System will help protect and warn more than 600 students, faculty, and staff of various safety concerns, including weather-related emergencies, environmental hazards, and security breaches, by offering both tonal and voice alerts across our 37-acre campus. Steward was the first independent or public secondary school in Virginia to have a system of this type in place.

    The Campus Alert System is composed of four Directional Array Speakers (DAS), which have the capability of producing tone alerts and voice announcements that are strategically placed to help ensure coverage of the whole campus.

    When an alert is sounded, campus-wide tonal and verbal messages will correspond to the type of emergency that exists. For instance, in the case of an approaching tornado, the accompanying verbal message will be, “Tornado Alert. Report to your designated area.”
  • Crisis Management Team

    The Steward School’s Crisis Management Team includes select administration, faculty, and staff members familiar with and trained in safety and security issues that face schools today. The team meets regularly to review and update procedures and information; additionally, it educates the rest of the school community to make sure its members are informed and prepared at all times. If you have questions about the Crisis Management Team’s role at Steward, please contact Associate Head of School for Finance and Operations, Lisa Dwelle at lisa.dwelle@stewardschool.org.
  • Raptor Visitor Management System

    The Raptor Visitor Management System requires all visitors, including parents/guardians, to present an ID such as a Driver's License, which can either be scanned or manually entered into the system. If the visitor does not have a US government-issued ID, Steward can use any form of identification and manually enter the visitor's name into the Raptor system. The system checks the visitor's name and date of birth for comparison with a national database of registered sex offenders. This database is the only official database checked by the Raptor system, and no other data from the ID is gathered or recorded. The information is not shared with any outside agency.

    Check-in locations for each building are listed below:

    • Lower School — Office of Lower School Division Assistant Jay Parrish
    • Middle School — Office of Middle School Division Assistant Karen Ashworth
    • Upper School, Cramer Center, and Athletic Center — Office of Upper School Division Assistant Lee Healey

    Once entry is approved, the system will issue a badge that identifies the visitor, the date, and the purpose of their visit. A visitor's badge will not be necessary for large school events, such as Back-to-School night, plays, or athletic games. It will also not be necessary for those who visit Steward's campus simply to drop off an item in the office or to pick up paperwork. Before leaving Steward's campus, please return your visitor's badge to any of the above-mentioned check-in locations.

    Watch a video demonstration of the quick and efficient check-in process.
    If you have questions about the Raptor Visitor Management System, please contact Associate Head of School for Finance and Operations, Lisa Dwelle at lisa.dwelle@stewardschool.org or Controller Dena Dickson at dena.dickson@stewardschool.org.
  • SchoolPass App

    Every person on campus will need to complete a wellness screening on the SchoolPass app before arrival each morning. SchoolPass also includes student arrival, attendance, and dismissal information. 

Check-In With Raptor Visitor Management System


List of 2 members.

  • Photo of Lisa Dwelle

    Lisa Dwelle 

    Associate Head of School, Finance and Operations
    (804) 565-2307
  • Photo of Dena Dickson

    Dena Dickson 

    (804) 565-2336
Copyright 2024 The Steward School