The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) has developed parent guidelines for helping young people process their thoughts and feelings in the aftermath of school shootings.
The Maplewood Richmond Heights School District has always pledged to maintain safe and inspirational spaces for learning. Nothing is more important. While discussions about dangerous intruders and violent weather can be unsettling for young and old alike, we are confident that the MRH family shares the district’s goal of being prepared for whatever threats may arise.
These are a few of the strides we’re making on the path to safety and security.
Non-weather Emergency Scenarios
While we try not to close school early due to weather-related concerns, there could be other emergency situations where parents/guardians are asked to pick up students early from school. Every family should have a plan for picking up children in such a situation. We also ask that you make sure you have provided your child’s school with information on all adults who are authorized to pick up your child at school. If necessary, due to safety concerns, students will be kept at school until they are picked up by an adult who has previously been identified on the emergency contact form that parents are asked to complete at the beginning of each school year.
Even though they might not apply in every emergency or inclement weather situation, here are a few other considerations that we encourage parents and guardians to keep in mind:
Please do not telephone your child’s school. We will share all necessary information and updates via the District’s parent “robocall” notification system, posted on the District’s website, Facebook pages, and Twitter accounts. Telephone lines may be needed for emergency communication.
Resist the urge to reach your child by cell phone. Depending on the situation, attempting to contact your child may put him/her at further risk. More importantly, cell towers have a fixed capacity and cell phone lines will be needed for emergency communication.
Consider that you may need to use an alternate route to get to school, or your child may need to use an alternate route to get home depending on the nature of the emergency. Increased traffic or road conditions or closures could obstruct your normal route to and from school.
Building Entry Protocol
Every effort is made to ensure that MRH visitors press a button affixed to all main entryways. Building staff use an intercom and a security camera to interact with the visitors. The district is currently reviewing the criteria it uses when making decisions on whom to admit and for what purposes. This protocol will apply to individuals across the board: students, staff, vendors, delivery personnel, alumni, unannounced visitors, etc.
Safety Training for Staff & Students
MRH employees are undergoing extensive day-long training sessions designed to help them react properly in the event of an intruder on district property. The sessions are presented by a team of veteran law enforcement officers skilled in teaching defensive and, when necessary, offensive measures to halt a threatening situation. At the same time, the district is initiating procedures in classrooms and hallways to enhance location accuracy for staff and other first responders. Policies are also being formed to ensure new and temporary employees are familiar with safety protocols.
As always, the district holds frequent fire and tornado drills throughout the school year.
For pedestrians and bicyclists, we offer these safety tips for an uneventful trip to or from school.
MRH is in the process of upgrading its network of two-way radios as a means of quick, effective communication during a crisis. The district is also streamlining its process of monitoring official National Weather Service broadcasts when conditions become severe.
Our goal is for MRH buildings to present a welcoming but secure atmosphere for students, staff and families.