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School Safety Update

Dear SPS Community,

 

The past few days has left many of us devastated over the tragic news of the school shooting in Florida. It is hard for both adults and children to comprehend such a senseless act leading to the loss of life. I encourage us to keep the Parkland community in our thoughts as they try to recover from this tragedy.

 

Although this incident happened thousands of miles away, the impact on our students, teachers and staff is very much at the center of our thoughts and day-to-day interactions. To that end, I would like to take a moment to reassure you that we take the safety and security of our schools very seriously.

 

The school department has worked very closely with the Sharon Police and Fire Departments to develop a comprehensive set of safety and crisis intervention procedures. As you know, the doors to all of our school buildings are locked at all times.  Each of our buildings are equipped with air phones so that the front office staff can see any visitor who is requesting access to the building and can determine whether a visitor is allowed access. All staff is trained in the ALICE protocol which is an active shooter civilian response training to prepare our staff and students in the unfortunate event if there were an active shooter on any of our school campuses. The staff review the procedures with the students each school year and at least one school per year participates in a live training that includes the procedure to relocate our students and staff to alternate sites in the town.   We have ongoing meetings with the Police and Fire Chiefs and their staff to discuss and review our safety procedures and to proactively plan around any local and national issues that may be occurring. We are fortunate to have very supportive and responsive safety and emergency departments who are always available to us to ensure that our students and staff are safe.

 

I can imagine that our students are asking questions and some may be concerned about the safety of their schools in light of recent events. I encourage you to continue to reassure them that they are safe and that we have ongoing procedures to ensure the safety of our school campuses. In order to assist you in having discussions with your children, I have provided a few resources that may be helpful. The first link are ways to talk with your child about the news and the different stories that are being reported. The other two links are resources and tips for talking to children about school violence.

 

http://www.pbs.org/parents/talkingwithkids/news/ 

https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources/school-safety-and-crisis/talking-to-children-about-violence-tips-for-parents-and-teachers

https://www.schoolcounselor.org/school-counselors/professional-development/learn-more/helping-kids-during-crisis 

 

Our greatest priority is to ensure that safety and security of our students and staff. I know that as a community, we will continue to support and reassure our children of their safety and work together to ensure that our school campuses are safe.

 

Thank you for your continued support.

 

Best Regards,

 

Dr. Victoria L. Greer,

Superintendent of Schools