Center Grove Schools Issue Safety Statement
Following Friday’s horrific incident at a Connecticut school the Center Grove School system sent the following message to parents of Center Grove students. It addresses current safety plans and proposed changes to improve school safety.
Dear Parents and Staff,
Like you, we are all shocked and saddened by the shooting that occurred at a Connecticut elementary school. We want to ensure you the safety and security of our students and staff is a top priority, and we will continue to do everything in our power to keep everyone safe. Once we were made aware of the event in Connecticut, an email was sent to our administrative team, police department and maintenance department asking them to review their safety plans and procedures, and reminding them that Indiana state law requires schools to practice a lockdown drill at least once each semester. Our school police officers also visited each school to see if they could assist in any manner.
Each school has a uniquely developed safety plan to address a wide range of emergency scenarios and we review those with our teachers, as well as practice them with our entire buildings on a regular basis. The Indiana Department of Education sponsors a School Safety Specialist Academy and each school corporation is required to have one specialist. We are fortunate to have six School Safety Specialists throughout the corporation.
The Center Grove Community School Corporation has a number of procedures and plans in place to ensure the maximum day-to-day safety at each and every school building. These include:
- Safety plans designed in collaboration with the Center Grove Police Department are in place for each school
- Safety drills are held regularly at each building
- All school doors that are not continuously monitored are locked, and check-in procedures are in place for all visitors to each school
- Our own School Resource Officers (SRO) are present in our schools
School staff are trained about how to activate safety plans and procedures
The recent Facilities Assessment conducted by CSO Architects highlighted the need for increased safety and security at all of our buildings, to include a secure entrance at all of our buildings. The Strategic Planning Subcommittee – Student Learning Environment made Safety, Security and Accessibility the number one priority as part of their recommendation to the school board on October 3, 2012. At that meeting, the board accepted the recommendations and directed the administration to gather cost estimates for the top priorities.
At the board meeting on Monday, December 17, 2012, the board will be presented with estimated costs for these improvements and a plan to pay for them. If you are interested, we encourage you to attend the board meeting to hear that plan. It is our goal Monday night to present a positive and fiscally responsible plan that will address our highest priority needs.
Times like these reinforce the importance of our safe schools measures and the procedures we practice to keep our kids as safe as possible. We are fortunate to have a close relationship with Johnson County Sheriff’s Department and appreciate the presence of our own School Resource Officers dedicated to our schools. Please be assured that we will continue to work together and do all we can to keep our schools safe and secure for our students.
Our hearts go out to the school family and community in Connecticut; please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Please contact your building principal if questions or concerns arise.
Center Grove Community Schools