We openly welcome parents, mentors and volunteers into our buildings because of the wide array of perspectives and possibilities they bring to students. But at the same time, we must protect our students from those who would enter a school with malicious intentions. Students should feel safe at school so that they can focus on education instead of their own safety, which is why bully prevention programs and education have been and continue to be implemented throughout the District. Tornados, floods, and unforeseen tragedies can occur without much notice, and as those who are entrusted with our community’s children each day, we have a responsibility to create and maintain plans, policies and procedures to keep them safe.
And we are.
The 2010-11 School Safety Survey results presented at the Board meeting Monday night show that
- 93% of elementary students, 94% of middle school students, and 92% of high school students reported feeling safe at school.
- 99% of elementary school staff, 100% of middle school staff, and 99% of high school staff reported feeling safe.
- 98% of parents said that their child is safe at school.
- Alcohol and drug use by students in middle and high school has decreased.
- Cigarette smoking by middle and high school students has decreased.
Other results indicate that students and staff members are treating each other with respect, both in the eyes of staff and students.
We’ve also learned that our students continue to struggle with depression and thoughts of suicide, meaning outreach programs and education about them must continue to develop. We know that students who feel threatened do not always report incidents, so further education regarding finding and talking to caring adults and friends about such incidents is imperative.
The School Safety Survey, administered every 2 years, gives us a feel for how students, parents and staff perceive their own safety, and the safety of their children, in the District. It also gives us ideas of how to proceed in various ways to continue to strive to have 100% of students and staff feeling safe at school.
It is a goal we will never stop trying to reach.