Home>Our District>Headlines>Uncategorized>Eagle News Weekly: School Security
Friday, February 23, 2018
Dear Oakridge Family –
This week’s Eagle News Weekly is solely focused on school security, which is on all of our minds. In fact, with recent concerns growing in the community, we decided to send it to you a few days earlier than normal.
Columbine, Sandy Hook, and the most recent Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting in Florida have emotionally impacted us all. Lives were taken for reasons we will never understand. Keeping Oakridge students safe is our top priority, and we want you to know that we take this responsibility very seriously. Below is a list of preventative measures that are in place or in process at Oakridge.
OK2SAY is a program designed to empower Michigan students, parents, school personnel, community mental health service programs, and law enforcement to share and respond to student safety threats. The goal of OK2SAY is to stop harmful behavior before it occurs by encouraging anyone to report threatening behavior to caring adult authorities who can help. OK2SAY encourages Michigan residents to confidentially submit tips 24/7 using the OK2SAY mobile app, email, texting, or by calling trained program technicians. Upon receipt of a tip, specially trained OK2SAY technicians address the immediate need and forward the information to the appropriate responding law enforcement agency or organization. Tips go to schools, local law enforcement agencies, community mental health agencies and/or the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Find out more at www.MI.gov/ok2say.
All of our buildings have a secure point of entry through the main office. Every visitor must enter through this secure point of entry while classes are in session. The inconvenience of only being able to enter through secure entries is a safety protocol that is designed to save lives. We ask that staff, students, and visitors do NOT prop any doors open at any times for any reason.
We have security cameras throughout all of our buildings as well as all of our school buses, allowing us to investigate any concerns brought to our attention. Our bus security system will be replaced with a major upgrade this summer to improve reliability, video quality, and provide added cameras. We will also be adding more cameras throughout our buildings, as well.
ALICE Training is one of the top active shooter civilian response trainings that provide the tools and skills necessary to protect oneself and others in an active shooter event. All of the staff at Oakridge will be provided ALICE training over the next 2 months.
We are very fortunate to live in a community where our local authorities (police, fire and first responders) are proactively attending and offering their advice to us on how to better prepare for any potentially dangerous and catastrophic event. Our administrators have held table top exercises in partnership with our first responders to discuss district responses to a variety of emergency scenarios.
Throughout the school year, each building conducts 5 fire drills, 2 tornado drills , 3 lock-down drills, and 1 AED drill. Drill dates are scheduled at the beginning of each school year for each building. We will be enhancing these drills to include scenario-based drills, that will require staff and students to respond to a situation appropriately. Real life emergencies are unpredictable so we want to practice for the unanticipated.
Muskegon County First Responders rewrote the Emergency Operations Plans for every school district in Muskegon County. We are in the midst of distributing those plans to our staff, and updating our drill procedures.
www.NavigatePrepared.com is a technology that Oakridge has adopted offering real time distribution of Emergency Operations Plans. These plans include scenario-based drills, accounting for students during an emergency, and monitoring our compliance with state mandated emergency drills.
Our Wellness Network is very unique to our school system. Most school districts do not have the combination of relationship-based programs and specialty staff that we offer to our students. Programs like LINK Crew, 2nd Choice, Kids Hope, and Empowered Kids allow our students a safe environment to build trustworthy relationships with each other and members of our community. They can speak openly of concerns in these programs. Additionally, we offer students medical, mental, dental, and behavioral health services at the Teen Health Center, the Pathways to Potential office, and from our Community Health Worker.
We understand that there will always be elevated anxiety after a reported school shooting no matter how far away it happens. We feel that same concern that you feel, and that is why we have worked so hard to take every measure we can to protect your children when they are on school property. We will continue to offer the best people, the most capable technology, and the necessary training to everyone that takes part in the educational process at Oakridge Public Schools.
The community of Oakridge Public Schools exists to prepare every student, within a safe and healthy environment, with a globally competitive education focused on college preparation, workplace success, and lifelong learning.