In the wake of the tragedy in Florida, there is a trend of threats toward schools across America and recently, schools in Detroit. I want to take this opportunity to share what we are doing at SWDCS to support the safety and emotional well-being of our children, families, and staff.
Our main goal at SWDCS is keeping our students safe – both physically and emotionally. During daily Morning Meetings, we build and strengthen positive relationships with our students — we consider this an essential step towards maintaining a safe school environment. Close, trusting relationships allow students to feel comfortable and know what is right, like reporting suspicious activity or reporting unsafe behaviors to staff, parents or other trusted adults.
Throughout the year we have scheduled fire, tornado, and lockdown drills to familiarize students and staff with the process of what to do during various safety situations. We have age-appropriate conversations about safety scenarios and provide students with age-appropriate instructions to keep students physically and emotionally safe. Along with this, please remind your children that all drills must be taken very seriously as it is the best way to ensure we are prepared in the event of an emergency.
The following protocols are in place to support a safe environment and we appreciate your support in maintaining them:
- All exteriors doors are always locked throughout the school day
- All parents/visitors must report to the main office using only the front main door.
- If a parent/guardian needs to talk with a teacher, please call the school to set up an appointment or report to the main office using only the front main door. If a teacher is unavailable, our office staff will take a message for you.
- All staff and volunteers have complete background checks on file.
- Parents/visitors should never let other people in the building when entering or exiting, even if you are attempting to be courteous, please let the door close behind you and let that visitor buzz the doorbell.
- Parents/visitors should never go to a classroom without checking-in with the office first.
- In the event of a threat or safety emergency, we immediately contact the Detroit Police Department and act upon their expert recommendations.
You can access more information about talking to your children about school violence through the National Association of School Psychologists: https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources/school-safety-and-crisis/talking-to-children-about-violence-tips-for-parents-and-teachers If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.