Sunday, 01 September 2013 00:00

September Superintendency Message

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lexpuffer

SCHOOL SAFETY PROCEDURES

As a result of the Sandy Hook shooting that occurred on December 14, 2012, many school districts across the nation have examined the safety procedures in their schools. In Weber School District, our first priority is to insure the safety and wellbeing of our students and employees. We have taken a deliberate, thoughtful approach on how best to accomplish this. We made a determination to research and use best practice as we make modifications to our current safety policies. Recognizing that law enforcement is in the best position to give input on current best safety protocol, we invited the Weber County Sheriff and Police Chiefs from each city in our district to meet in early January with district level administrators and begin dialog on how we can work with each other in a cohesive partnership for the safety of our schools.

As a group, we identified four areas of concern that we needed to address: 1) Building Security; 2) School Resource Officers; 3) Video Security System; and, 4) Offender Prevention. These committees have spent a vast amount of time researching best current practice that we can implement in our schools.

  1. Building Security: Each administrator has worked carefully with the members of each school’s safety committee to identify possible safety concerns in each individual school. Because of the work of these committees, safety measures have been put into place addressing the unique concerns of each school. Outside entrance to schools will be limited while a variety of other external and interior building security measures have also been taken to help insure the safety of our students and employees.
  2. School Resource Officers (SRO’s): We have an excellent relationship with our law enforcement community and SRO’s in our schools. The school district has strengthened the working relationship with the county and each municipality. This has permitted us to better identify the job description and expectation of SRO’s as they work closely with school administration to protect students and employees.
  3. Video Security: We now have in place a centralized video system that can be accessed not only by school administration but also by law enforcement in the event of a crisis situation. This live video access to the Real-Time Crime Center (RTCC) would permit law enforcement officers to respond aggressively in an emergency. Our law enforcement partners identified this component as highly critical to their ability to protect our schools. With generous support from the Weber School District Foundation and individual donations from community individuals, each school will be equipped with new or upgraded video security systems.
  4. Offender Prevention: We are putting in place better support systems for at-risk students and we will educate employees and students to identify and report warning signs of potential safety risks. Our goal will be to support all students to experience school as a positive in their lives. We are also shaping a more open partnership between school employees, SRO’s and local Social Services.

During the month of September, a district office administrator and a trained law enforcement officer will visit with the faculty and staff of all 44 schools and train them on a standard response protocol (SRP) that WSD has adopted called, “I Love You Guys.” This Standard Response Protocol has been widely recommended by law enforcement agencies across the nation as best practice and after careful research and study the Weber Board of Education has adopted this model as our response protocol. This SRP includes a uniform school/classroom response to various school incidents. This SRP is included within the school safety plan and includes four main steps: Lockout, Lockdown, Evacuate, and Shelter. For more information on the “I Love You Guys” program and why it was so named, go to:

http://iloveuguys.org/srp.html

Although the goal of Weber School District is to educate children and prepare them to become College & Career ready, we recognize that our highest priority is to ensure the safety of each of our 31,000+ students and all staff members.

Lex L. Puffer
Assistant Superintendent

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