March 19, 2018
Dear Students and Parents,
This Wednesday, March 21st, we plan to hold two different Lockdown Drills. We routinely hold these types of drills on campus, but this time we want to be a bit more proactive in our lockdown drill experience for our students and staff. We feel that what we share with our students will be helpful not only for them in a school setting, but outside of school areas where large groups of people congregate.
The first drill will be held during period two where teachers will explain the various types of lockdown drills needed for a school. The first is a lockdown where students and staff hold in place - typically these are instances that would involve going inside a room or building because there is a gas or noxious odor in the area that necessitates students and staff taking cover. The second drill type is preparing students in the event a threat is present either in the surrounding neighborhood or on campus. In this second scenario, students and staff will be asked to immediately go into the nearest room available and lockdown.
Just last week our Board of Education adopted and approved of an Option-Based Approach to dealing with situations involving an active shooter. An Option-Based Approach means that students are to use the best possible option in the event of an active shooter. In an Option-Based approach, the school is to lockdown and students are to find a secure location. A second option would be to run away from any potential threat that may be in the way of them gaining shelter. The last option is fighting back and this would be instances where life and death are at stake.
During our period two drill, teachers will review the school policy as well as go over various scenarios that could involve using an option-based approach to keep safe.
Last week I met with one of our parents who works for an organization that is contracted to help keep companies safe from acts of terrorism. This conversation was enlightening and I will be taking steps to help add additional safety precautions based on our conversation.
Just to know, on Tuesday, March 20th, I will be meeting with staff to review our procedures for how to lockdown and the appropriate measures to take when one is declared. This information will in turn be shared with students during their second period class lockdown drill. Because I know school safety is a hot topic these days, I will be holding a meeting for parents, Tuesday night, March 20th, to allow interested parties to learn more about how the school handles a lockdown procedure for students. The meeting will be in the media center at 6pm.
For the second lockdown drill we have planned for Wednesday, it will be held during the passing period for period 3 into period 4. We are conducting a drill during a passing period as we know this will require students to have to somewhat think on the fly for what would be their best option for gaining a safe location to secure themselves. For this lockdown drill, we plan to have 4 school police officers who will be positioned around campus to take notes and observe how staff and students respond. After the drill, we plan to meet and gain feedback as to what was learned from our practice drill.
Again, we will have a meeting on Tuesday night, March 20th for parents who are interested in learning more about what steps the school is taking to make the campus more safe and secure.
Jeff Olivero, Principal