Home>Our District>Headlines>Uncategorized>OAKRIDGE PUBLIC SCHOOLS PREPARES FOR NEW SCHOOL YEAR WITH SAFETY AND WELLNESS INITIATIVES
Monday, August 6, 2018
Oakridge Public Schools will be starting the 2018/19 school year with a clear and present dedication to the safety and wellness of its students. The district is highlighting several new and existing initiatives for the upcoming school year:
Safer Schools. Safer Students. A balanced approach to school safety.
The Oakridge Wellness Network is an initiative that has evolved over the past six years and has become a staple in the district’s approach to offering a safe and healthy environment for all students. The district takes a balanced approach to school safety by focusing first and foremost on the whole child, including every child’s emotional and physical needs. The Oakridge Wellness Network is one tier to this approach. The Teen Health Center, Emergency Responders, and countywide agencies are all partners in this balanced approach. The adoption of NaviGate Prepared (handheld safety app for Emergency Operation Plans), SafeSchools (online safety training), ALICE Training (active shooter training), and scenario-based emergency drills have allowed Oakridge staff to transition to a better state of preparedness for emergency response. A Regional Enhancement Millage passed in 2014 gave Oakridge Public Schools additional resources to create a safe and secure facility to all students.
District Safety Task Force Seeks Grant Money for Safety Infrastructure
Superintendent Tom Livezey has established an ad hoc District Safety Task Force to address a top priority target goal established by the Board of Education. This task force will be a small group of stakeholders that will inform our application to a recently announced $25 million competitive grant from the Michigan Legislature to create safe and secure learning environments. That grant application is due mid-September. This task force will include administrators, teachers, support staff, and emergency first responders. They will prioritize the need to keep schools friendly and inviting to the community while balancing the need to increase security measures.
Student Support Services and Intervention Specialists
Oakridge has created new student support specialist positions that will be utilized at Oakridge Lower and Upper Elementary. These employees will have the knowledge and skills necessary to support individuals, groups, and systems through the application of schoolwide positive behavior student support, restorative justice practices, and multi-tiered systems of support through the lens of our Whole Child Model. These employees also provide leadership to support classroom and school-wide behavior management strategies.
Free Universal Breakfast & Lunch to ALL Students
Oakridge Public Schools is pleased to announce that ALL Oakridge students will be receiving FREE BREAKFAST AND LUNCH during the 2018/19 school year! Special thanks go to Kristie Long, Director of Food Service, who applied for Oakridge to participate in the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) of the USDA’s National School Lunch and Breakfast Program for the 2018-2019 School Year. Our application qualified so that ALL students will be receiving FREE BREAKFAST AND LUNCH during the 2018/19 school year! Oakridge will continue to offer its elementary students a FREE “fun lunch” on half day early dismissals to ensure our elementary students have at least two healthy meals every school day.
New Bus Camera Technology
The Oakridge Transportation Department is excited to be upgrading the camera technology on its entire fleet of buses (a total of 20 buses). Oakridge is purchasing this technology from Safety Vision, and the cameras are set to be installed this coming fall. The cameras will provide a significant step ahead in technology offering both interior and exterior cameras. Interior cameras provide clear, wide-angle images of students that will allow the district to deter bullying and vandalism, ensure student ridership, document a chain of events among other things. Exterior cameras promote the safety of our students as they cross streets and during loading and unloading of our bus. Also, the new exterior cameras will allow the district to capture license plate information of drivers violating the buses red lights to send to law enforcement officials. Additionally, the cameras are wireless, which allows the Transportation Department to access passive GPS navigation of bus locations and makes the footage viewing process faster and more reliable.
“These exciting announcements and updates are exciting to share as we eagerly await the return of our staff and students for the upcoming school year,” says Tom Livezey, Superintendent. “Keeping students safe and healthy is our top priority. We appreciate the thoughtful input from our staff, students, and our community that guided the decision making to make these things happen. We have more to do, but this is a great start!”
Students will report back to school at Oakridge Public Schools on Tuesday, September 4th after the Labor Day holiday.