Decatur Schools to Review to Safety Plans

The CIty Schools of Decatur sent around this letter from Dr. Phyllis Edwards yesterday evening…

Dear CSD Parents, Staff and Community,

The City Schools of Decatur is deeply saddened by the horrific events that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary on Friday. It is difficult to comprehend what happened and the long road ahead as this community heals. Schools are the heart of every community, particularly small communities. This tragedy has resonated deeply with parents and educators, and City Schools of Decatur mourns for the families and community of Newtown, Connecticut.

We want to assure our families and community that there are safety and security procedures in place to protect CSD students and staff. All of our schools have safety preparedness plans that cover any potential emergency that might happen, including an intrusion. We work closely with Chief Booker and the Decatur Police Department to review our safety plans. Central Office members and principals met Monday to go over the plans to see if there are any areas we need to strengthen.

In light of the tragedy in Connecticut, we are implementing a mid-term review of our safety plans. I have provided each principal with a Safety Assessment Instrument from the Georgia Department of Education that is a self-assessment of procedures and facilities. When we return from the holiday break, we will examine the assessments and make any recommended modifications to our plans and facilities to promote an even more secure school environment.

Principals will be communicating with families regarding safety items specific to their schools. There will also be some school safety meetings happening at various schools/locations across the district. Please look out for additional information.

Students have gone about their regular routines this week and each school has had counselors ready to help students who may need support. All buildings will continue to be on heightened alert and staff members will maintain in close supervision of students in all locations.

As we review our safety plans and procedures, we’ve determined ways that parents and visitors can help insure that our schools are safe and that parents are receiving the most up-to-date information:

  • Please be patient with school staff who may question your identity and why you are in the building.
  • Please enter through the front door of all school buildings and sign in with the office.
  • Make sure your contact information in the Infinite Campus Parent Portal is correct so that we may contact you in case of an emergency.
  • Subscribe to school and district eblasts at http://www.csdecatur.net/subscribe/ and “like” CSD on Facebook to receive timely news.

As our nation wraps its arms around our fellow citizens in Newtown, our school community must remain vigilant and focused on our first priority- keeping our children safe. Our school system will continue to work diligently to make sure that we are prepared to deal with matters of campus safety, security and student needs. Also, if you see anything suspicious in the neighborhoods surrounding our schools, please immediately notify school officials and/or law enforcement. Working together, we can better insure the safety of our students and employees.

I wish you a safe holiday, filled with peace and special time with your family and loved ones. Now, more than ever, it is especially appropriate to tell those around you how much you appreciate them. To our Decatur community: City Schools of Decatur appreciates your support and wishes you the best in 2013.

Sincerely,

Dr. Phyllis A. Edwards,

Superintendent