Administrative News, Student Life News

Safety and Security Update From Nicole Foran

As we begin another exciting school year at St. Mary’s Academy, we would like to update you on our work to continue to make St. Mary’s a safe and secure environment. The health and safety of your daughters is our highest priority, and we will continue to update you as our procedures evolve. Please contact me, Nicole Foran, Assistant Principal of Student Life, if you have any questions or concerns.


We told you last spring that we had begun a trial period with Universal Protection Service, the organization that provides security services at the 1515 building, and at many of our school events. During the final weeks of last school year and continuing throughout the summer, we have had a security professional on campus from early morning until late evening. The trial has gone very well and Universal will continue as a presence here at SMA. We want to reiterate that there is no immediate concern or threat to our school community; we have made this change as a proactive effort and to communicate our commitment to the safety of our students, families, and faculty, and staff.


We regularly prepare for emergencies at St. Mary’s. As you might know, we conduct monthly fire, earthquake, and lockout drills. Our students have practiced emergency procedures and our staff is trained to handle any number of situations. We also maintain emergency kit backpacks that hang at the ready in each classroom and throughout the school building.

Please note that whenever possible, we will stay in the building in the event of an earthquake or other emergency that does not dictate an evacuation. Our building is extremely structurally sound and has been upgraded to strict seismic standards. In addition, we have emergency water supplies in each room and area of the school.

If we do need to evacuate the building, here are the options for where we will take our students, in order of our current preference:

  1. The parking lot across 5th Avenue from our building
  2. The South Park Blocks (SW Park Avenue), somewhere between PSU (SW Montgomery Street) and the Portland Art Museum (SW Madison Street)
  3. Duniway Park (SW Sheridan St)

Finally, we urge all SMA students and families to sign up for FlashAlerts. It take just a few minutes to register, and the free app means you will receive push notifications regarding emergencies, weather-related closures, etc.