Student & Staff Safety #1 Priority

Warmest greetings to all of you. Current events remind us that the safety of students and staff needs to continue to be our number 1 priority.  We remain perplexed as to why horrific occurrences such as school shootings continue to happen at what seems to be an ever-increasing rate. For this reason and others, school safety is always at the forefront of our thinking. Even so, when senseless acts of violence take place, new levels of apprehension and fear are still triggered. As a result, we struggle even more with thoughts of whether we are doing enough to protect our students. Truth be told, we can never do enough. While we have taken numerous steps to ensure our school remains a safe place to learn and grow, we will never be satisfied and will forever strive to improve. Despite these efforts, we understand the safety of our students cannot be 100% guaranteed. This fact weighs heavy on all of us. 

I am so appreciative of the work of our staff and safety committee who do all they can to ensure the safety of students and staff. Comprised of first responders, board members, safety forces, and other stakeholders, the Safety Committee has been meeting regularly for years to review safety protocols, help plan training, schedule events, and relentlessly look for opportunities to get better. Below are just a few of the measures we have put in place over the years.

·         Identification badges are worn by all adults in the building

·         Increased the number of full-time resource officers on campus

·         Purchase of Captain, our narcotic/service dog, and training for the handler

·         Expanded regular drills to include a weeklong training in September to prepare for a variety of different evacuation and lockdown levels

·         Inside and outside surveillance present throughout the district (will be updated in 2023)

·         Blue lights installed on the outside of all buildings that flash during lockdowns to inform the public

·         Supplemental door locking devices installed in classrooms for shelter in place

·         A Mobil Crisis Manager app implemented, downloaded on cell phones for quick access

·         Installation of access control system at all main entrances with cameras and buzz-in system

·         Staff participation in multiple ALICE (Alert Lockdown Inform Counter Evacuate) trainings

·         Implementation of Safe School Online Anonymous Tip Alert system

·         Go Guardian internet filter, monitoring, and notification system used on school-issued devices

This past school year, simulations were added to our ALICE staff training. While going through scenarios was difficult at times, this additional step did much to improve our preparedness. Safety forces trainers did a fantastic job providing us with useful tools in the event an active shooter emerges on campus; tools we pray we never have to utilize. As a result of feedback from this training, more than 70 of our classrooms will have a designated evacuation window. On September 12th Officer Patti, who led our ALICE training this past year, will return and begin our safety week by presenting to the PHS and PMS students and staff.

The most important action any of us can take to keep us safe is to alert a person in charge if you ever see or hear something that is unsettling or doesn’t seem quite right. We are now registered with The Ohio School Safety Center (OSSC) to utilize the Safer Ohio School Tip Line, a free resource available to Ohio schools. This system allows students and adults to anonymously share information via phone and text with school officials and law enforcement about threats to student safety. The system is available 24/7/365 by text and phone at 844-SaferOH (844-723-3764) and is answered by analysts within Ohio Homeland Security who immediately forward the information to school officials, law enforcement agencies, and the OSSC. The OSSC partners with the Ohio Department of Education to ensure the incident is investigated, action is taken, and resources/supports are provided when necessary.

As our work to become better every day continues, I wish you a relaxing and fun rest of the summer.  #PerryInspired.