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Message from Dr. Lynette Zimmer - School Safety

posted Dec 19, 2012, 12:37 PM by Web Master   [ updated Aug 13, 2013, 4:42 PM ]
Dear Prairie Grove 46 Parents:

 

As details of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut continue to be released, people across the country and in District 46 remain shocked by this senseless act of violence. The thoughts of District 46 teachers, staff, and administrators go out to all of those affected by Friday’s events.


In the wake of the tragedy, schools around the country are re-evaluating safety plans and procedures to see what can be done to make certain this senseless tragedy is not repeated in our own communities. I trust the communications from our principal, Mr. Wight, have provided you with an understanding of new practices we are putting in place to keep our students safe.

 

We currently partner with local law enforcement agencies to craft and maintain crisis plans, to carry out drills and simulations, and to investigate rumors and threats.  I am very pleased with the cooperation from our Villages and Townships to make sure we have the best plan possible.

 

On February 15th, we will be having a security expert, Ron Ellis, come to our District and work first with Administrative Team as an Incident Command Unit. In the afternoon, he will be training our entire District staff.  We will also be having additional school-wide lockdown and emergency drills with our students.  In addition, the State of Illinois will soon roll out a School Safety Drill Video and Computer-Based Training tutorial by early January 2013. The videos detail specific actions for administrators, teachers and support staff for each drill, based on post-incident reports and de-briefings from real school events.


Our District has also taken several preventative steps. These include deterrents like our visitor check-in system, controlled points of entry, closing our lunchroom visitation, the use of keyless access, increasing our video surveillance, the wearing of visible staff IDs, and of course, our visible and vigilant staff. Further, I have met with area superintendents to coordinate our crisis plans.

 

Please remember that you and your student can play an important role in school safety. We ask that you comply with the sign-in and ID procedures when you visit our schools. We encourage you to speak with your child about how he/she can help keep the building safe by reporting visitors who do not have a badge, ensuring that exterior doors close behind them when they exit or enter the building, and informing teachers or administrators about safety concerns that they may have.

 

Lastly, please be aware that District 46 employs an automated calling system to alert parents should a crisis arise. This is the same system that we use for school closing due to weather.

 

Should you have any questions or concerns, please direct them to me or to any member of our administrative team.   Finally, I wish you and your family happy holidays. I hope you are able to use winter break to spend time with your children and other loved ones. We look forward to seeing your student when school reopens on January 7, 2013.  Please keep the Sandy Hook community in your thoughts and prayers.


Sincerely,

Lynette Zimmer
Dr. Lynette Zimmer

Superintendent



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