School Board Messages

  • October 2023 School Board I Beacon Article

    Making our schools safer

    In the wake of the recent local and worldwide violence, ensuring the safety and well-being of our students and staff within school districts has become even more essential. As the School Board President, I am dedicated to strengthening the safety measures in our schools. The school board shares that commitment as does school and district staff.

    The modern-day threats to school safety are complex. They include not just physical dangers but social media threats, bullying, and emotional trauma. Addressing these requires a holistic, collaborative approach. The district’s approach is grounded in prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery. Thanks to voter-approved funding for the 2020 Capital Bond and 2022 Replacement Levy, the district has invested in technology to enhance security measures, from video security systems to updated school emergency communication systems. We are also doubling efforts to foster a culture of awareness and responsiveness among our students, staff and community.

    The mental health of students is a critical component of school safety. Our school staffs work tirelessly to provide counseling services and mental health programs, ensuring students have access to the support they need to thrive both academically and personally. However, students are in schools’ care for part of their day. Staff prepare and encourage students to make wise and healthy decisions outside of school and partner with families and community organizations to bolster their efforts. Students and families can access many resources and connect with community providers on the “Need Help” tab on every page of the district website.

    Our district has proactively developed partnerships with local law enforcement agencies, ensuring a coordinated response in the face of any threat. As a result of one of several local law enforcement partnerships, the district is hosting a Family Safety Forum about gang violence on Nov. 13, 6 to 7 p.m. via Zoom. Sergeant Fletcher with Everett Police Department will share his expertise and experience with gangs and share tips on signs to look for in young adults that may indicate gang involvement. District safety and security leaders will share information specific to the school district. Families will have the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the presentation. Find details on the district home page as we get closer to the event date. In addition, the district’s Safety and Security Department website provides a lot of information about district practices for families and community members.

    Community involvement is also a cornerstone of our approach, and we continue to encourage open dialogue and cooperation among families, educators, and community leaders. Feedback from families, students, and staff, coupled with ongoing assessments of our safety protocols, informs district strategies. This ongoing process is critical in navigating the evolving landscape of school safety.

    We are committed to keeping schools safe and consider student safety in each decision. Together, as a community, we create a culture in which our schools are safe places to learn, gather, and work so that every student reaches their full potential.