We work every day to make our schools as safe as possible for every person who enters our doors. I recognize that, before everything else, it is the most important thing we do. Our commitment to safety includes the following:
- Safety Drills: Part of our commitment to safety is having emergency plans, procedures and drills to best prepare for any unexpected situation that may occur in our schools. For this reason, our students and staff participate in 15 safety drills throughout the school year, like fire/emergency evacuations, tornado drills and lockdown drills. We make sure that each student and staff member knows what to do and how to behave during these drills. We also communicate with the students in an age-appropriate manner why we are doing these drills.
- Safety Reporting System: The online reporting system and the 1-866-listen2me phone system are for students and parents to report concerns which may affect the peace of mind of students or jeopardize the safety of people or school facilities. Concerns may include, but are not limited to, bullying, abuse, discrimination, drugs, health concerns, student mental health concerns, suspicious behavior, vandalism, fighting and weapons. You can access the system via our district website or by clicking here.
- Emergency Training: All of our staff is required to complete ALICE training. ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) training prepares individuals to handle the threat of an intruder and lead others to safety.
- Crisis Communications Plan: The district has a robust system in place to inform key people in an emergency situation. Parents and other stakeholders can be informed within mere moments through the use of SchoolMessenger and other social media. The goal is to quickly and accurately communicate essential information to first responders, district staff, parents and community members so the safety of our district students is maintained throughout an event.
- Security Cameras: We have dozens of digital cameras in our schools to monitor activity inside and out.
- Controlled Access: All exterior building doors are remotely controlled and/or monitored. This allows for quicker response time in the event of an emergency in which doors need to be accessed or locked.
- Emergency Plans: We review, update (as necessary) and exercise our emergency plans several times per year. Programs like NaviGate, which provides a web-based system where critical information can be stored, updated and accessed by all essential school and safety personnel, make it even easier for us to have instant access to critical emergency information. We are one of the few school districts in the area to have launched this innovative and effective tool.
Additionally, throughout this school year, a Safety Task Force was tasked with reviewing district policies and practices on several safety topics. This task force, comprised of staff and parents, identified key findings, developed a variety of options and presented those key findings and options to the Mariemont Board of Education for consideration in future planning.
I consider the matter of school safety everyone’s business, and so I ask you to keep your eyes open and to report any unsafe condition or situation to your child’s principal. Together, we can maintain a school environment that is safe and conducive for growth, work and learning.