Dear Templeton Families,
In light of the tragic events that occurred in Florida, we wanted to share how we handled this sensitive situation and provide details from our current safety plan. Our staff was asked to discuss safety in their classrooms at the level of understanding they felt appropriate. We did not have discussions about the incident in Florida but focused more upon our own safety and how we will work to keep safe in different situations.
As we continue to understand how this could happen, I wanted to share that Indiana is currently one of the only states in our nation that has a School Safety Academy. Our district employs a School Resource Officer (SRO) as well as 10+ school safety specialists. We have a school safety plan (All Hazards Approach) that includes implementation procedures for most types of threats and emergencies. With the help of our SRO, we complete an annual walk through gathering ideas, input, and strategies that support overall school safety. During the day, all doors are locked and you can enter only when given access by the office staff. We have discussed with students our Essential Agreements including reporting to staff a) anyone found not wearing a visitor’s pass, and b) anyone looking for entry into the building. We provide safety scenarios for staff to consider and discuss with students. We complete bus safety drills as well as training for playground safety and procedures. We have an elementary school crisis team of CPR/AED certified members who serve as initial responders during a school safety drill or incident. In addition, our health office personnel are trained in trauma response through the American College of Surgeons. All staff is equipped with a classroom safety bag that travels with them during drills or in the event of an emergency. Lastly, we have a threat assessment protocol that our social worker will utilize for situations involving students.
Some of the upcoming safety changes include; new construction to our main entrance, securing our building at 8:55 a.m., video cameras and swipe key card entry for employees, and internal controls to make for a safer environment during our school day. These safety protocols will require changes to our current practice. As we are constantly assessing and reviewing our protocols, your support and understanding will help us in making Templeton the safest it can possibly be.
Please do not hesitate to contact our office with questions. We will continue to update you on the upcoming safety projects at Templeton Elementary School.