PASS School Safety and Security Guidelines

The PASS school safety and security guidelines are the most comprehensive information available on best practices specifically for securing K-12 school facilities—for elementary schools, middle schools and high schools. The PASS school security checklist allows you to track your school or district’s security efforts in comparison to the best practices identified in the Guidelines.

The guidelines are free to download thanks to volunteer efforts by contributors. The current version of the PASS Guidelines is version 4, released December 2018.

Access the PASS Guidelines

Upon completing the form below, you will receive an email from PASS allowing you to download the Guidelines document and the Checklist document. You will also receive future updates on the PASS Guidelines.
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What the Guidelines Cover

The primary focuses of the PASS Guidelines are physical security and life safety, and recommendations are limited to related policies, procedures, equipment and technology.  Modern and effective security infrastructure is an essential element of any comprehensive school safety strategy, but not the only element.  When other prevention efforts fail, facility security measures are critical to protection, mitigation and response. The Guidelines do not address every risk and every situation and, importantly, do not include product-specific recommendations.

Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) security layers of protection

Why Use the PASS Guidelines

  • Support School Risk Assessments
  • Develop School Security Plans
  • Avoid Common School Security Pitfalls
  • Inform Standards Development
  • Strengthen School Grant Proposals & Bond Measures

Who the Guidelines Are For

While the PASS School Safety and Security Guidelines provide best practices designed primarily for the team responsible for the security of individual schools and entire school districts, the Guidelines are also useful for interested community members, legislators, researchers and others with a focus or interest in improving K-12 school security.

PASS School Safety and Security Best Practices

Essential Concepts in the PASS School Safety and Security Guidelines

The PASS Guidelines use fundamental concepts throughout the document to help schools evaluate and prioritize their approach to security:

  • Layers – one of 5 physical layers
  • Components – protective element within each layer
  • Best Practices – recommended safety/security measures within each component
  • Tier – each best practice is ranked on a tier continuum, from 1 to 4, with higher tiers indicating increased protection

What Is New in the Fourth Edition?

In the fourth edition (released December 2018), the PASS guidelines are completely revised under a simplified structure by layer, component and tier, which we believe will be more usable and easier to understand. The range of topics covered is also greatly expanded to address the growing range of complex security challenges facing today’s K-12 schools.

Unlike the previous version, the Guidelines now cover best practices on a district-wide level, include expanded information on policies and procedures that relate to safety and security, include additional areas such as school transportation systems, cybersecurity and network infrastructure and architectural features, and the Guidelines cover emergency communications systems and other security components in greater detail.

Each successive layer provides specific components to deter, detect or delay adversarial behaviors in the event that other layers are bypassed or breached.

Each layer includes basic protective elements, or components, of security. The PASS Guidelines focus on the following safety and security components:

  • Policies and Procedures
  • People (roles and training)
  • Communication
  • Architectural
  • Access Control
  • Video Surveillance
  • Detection and Alarms
  • Transportation
  • Cybersecurity
  • Network Infrastructure
  • Visitor Management
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Our Safety and Security Guidelines for K-12 Schools

The most comprehensive information available on best practices specifically for securing school facilities.

Upon completing the form below, you will receive an email from PASS alowing you to download the Guidelines document and the Checklist document. You will also receive future updates on the PASS Guidelines.

* indicates required

DISCLAIMER: The Safety and Security Guidelines for K-12 Schools (the “Guidelines”) are provided for informational purposes only. The individual contributors to the Guidelines, their employers, the organizations participating in the Partner Alliance for Safer Schools (PASS) and PASS itself make no warranties or guarantees regarding the information contained in the Guidelines, and expressly disclaim all liability for damages of any kind arising out of the use, reference to or reliance on the information contained in the Guidelines. The Guidelines are not a substitute for expert professional advice that may be required to address the specific facts and circumstances related to the implementation of a particular school safety security measure or program.