We have worked diligently to be proactive in the area of student safety. For example, we have limited the access to our schools, and we have worked to implement improved communication plans in the event of an emergency. As part of a multi-year plan, we recently revised our responses to evacuations and lock-downs. Over the next few months, teachers and staff will be thoroughly trained and will discuss these plans with our students in an age-appropriate manner. These plans are dynamic, and we meet regularly with local law enforcement and emergency management officials to review and revise our safety plans and protocols as necessary.
In addition to our security efforts, we have also worked to be proactive in the area of supporting the social and emotional development of our students and addressing and supporting their mental health. Over the last several years, we have increased our student support programs and expanded our relationships with local mental health practitioners to provide additional help. Last year we implemented a “Hope and Help” Tip Line monitored 24/7 for students, staff and parents to share any concerns that may impact the safety of our students: 609-737-4000 x 8477 (TIPS) / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
On October 9, at 7:00 pm in the PAC, we will provide families with an opportunity to learn about our changes and plans for the future. Local law enforcement will also be on hand to discuss their supports to the district. The event will also be live streamed on our district Facebook page.
You have my commitment that we will continue to work hard to ensure that we are doing all that we can to keep our schools and students as safe as possible. I hope to see you at the PAC on October 9.
Thomas A. Smith, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools