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School Districts Sharing Safety Protocols In Light Of Connecticut Shooting

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – After the tragic Connecticut school shooting that left 20 elementary school children dead, school districts across North Texas are sharing their safety protocols with parents.

Several districts have emailed parents to review the steps that are taken on a daily basis to keep students safe.

CEDAR HILL ISD

Cedar Hill Longhorn Family,

In light of today’s school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, we are keenly aware of our need to support each other. Given the intensity of the Connecticut situation, we expect mass media coverage of this event, which can bring about many questions from our children. We have posted information at the link below, published by the National Association of School Psychologists, to help you in talking to our children about violence. Please limit your children’s exposure to the media coverage surrounding these events. High profile acts of violence, particularly in schools, can confuse and frighten children who may feel in danger or worry that they or their friends or loved ones are at risk. They will look to adults for information and guidance. Parents and school personnel can help children feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security and talking with them about their fears.

More information is posted on our website and will be sent to our parents via Skyward email.

Longhorns, we are truly saddened by this news and our hearts and prayers go out to the affected families. Please be aware of your children’s needs for reassurance during this time. Our CHISD Counselors and the Department of Student Support are also available to help answer questions.

Chanda McGhee, Ph.D.
Director, Student Support and Community Services

DALLAS ISD

Statement on Connecticut Shooting from Superintendent Mike Miles

All of us are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic shootings in Connecticut today. Elementary schools should be places filled with hope and opportunity, not with pain and sadness. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families, staff and entire community of Newtown, Connecticut.

Our first job is to ensure the safety of our students. Our schools are safe, but we will monitor today’s events to determine what additional safety measures can be put in place, especially in our elementary schools.

FORT WORTH ISD

Dear Parents and Fort Worth ISD Colleagues,

By now most of you have heard the horrible news from Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and six adults were killed today at the hands of a gunman who entered their elementary school.

We grieve with the families and the community involved and we all are keeping them in our prayers.

We also want to reach out to you, our Fort Worth ISD family, and assure you that we are thinking of you, as well.  It’s a horrible task to try to explain to a child what has happened, especially since it’s not understandable to us as adults.  You will be needed by your children now as never before.

I can assure you that we at the District are doing everything we can to make sure that everyone – students, educators, and parents – are kept safe in our school environments.  We have a close working relationship with the Fort Worth Police Department and we consistently review our practices and safety protocols.  That is the essence of our Know the Plan initiative   and I encourage you to review and talk with your family about it.  Most importantly, I ask you to remain vigilant at all times and, if something doesn’t seem right, don’t hesitate to say something.

Please know you are in my prayers right now.  Parents everywhere this weekend will spend a lot of time hugging their children, no matter their age.  I know I will.

Sincerely,

Walter D. Dansby

FRISCO ISD

Frisco ISD joins the rest of the nation in mourning the terrible tragedy of December 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Following a proclamation from the White House, Texas Governor Rick Perry has ordered that all flags be lowered to half-staff as a mark of respect for the victims. Flags are to remain at half-staff while they are being displayed until sundown on Tuesday, December 18.

As our thoughts and prayers remain with those affected by this senseless act, Frisco ISD is again reminded of the importance of being vigilant.

The District takes our responsibility for students very seriously and their safety and security is our top priority. The continued support of parents and the community is critical in this effort. FISD continually reviews our safety and security procedures and makes adjustments when necessary.

We understand students may have questions about what has occurred. These conversations can be extremely difficult and troubling.

Below are links to resources that may be helpful. Although we cannot make sense of such a violent act against children, we must do our very best to provide care and reassurance.

Talking with Kids about News
Helping your Children Manage Distress in the Aftermath of a Shooting

GRAND PRAIRIE ISD

The GPISD family is deeply saddened to learn of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Our hearts are heavy with the developing news, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends affected.
We know that parents are concerned about the safety of their own children at school. GPISD understands that parents may have questions regarding our own crisis processes and procedures. GPISD takes the responsibility of student safety very seriously. We train our staff in safety protocols and rely on parents to help us enforce procedures. We conduct safety drills, including those for a building lockdown, and we have procedures in place for all types of potential incidents.
We are currently reviewing our procedures and safety protocols at all schools. Our counselors will be available to talk with students, staff or parents who have a need regarding this situation. As we learn more details in the hours and days ahead, we will continue to monitor and adjust our safety plans accordingly.
School safety is of the utmost importance to students, parents, staff, and community members in Grand Prairie. Working together we have the opportunity to ensure safe schools for every student.


GRAPEVINE ISD

Dear GCISD parents,

We are deeply troubled to hear this morning about a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. Our hearts are heavy with the developing news, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends affected.

This is a solemn reminder of the importance of our safety procedures and our check-in and screening processes for all visitors to our schools. We understand you may have questions or concerns regarding our own crisis procedures and I want to assure you that we take the responsibility of student safety very seriously. We train our staff in safety protocols and rely on parents to help us enforce procedures. We conduct safety drills, including those for a building lockdown, and we have procedures in place for all types of potential incidents. Nonetheless, as we learn more about today’s tragedy, we will continue to review our procedures and safety protocols at all schools. Additionally, we ask your continued help in maintaining the safety of our schools by reporting any concerns you notice.

Our counselors will be available to talk with students, staff or parents who have a need regarding this situation. Please keep the families of those involved in this terrible tragedy in your prayers. We will learn more details in the hours and days ahead, and will continue to discuss and debrief accordingly.

Sincerely,

Robin Ryan, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

IRVING ISD

In light of the tragedy in Connecticut, our employees have been reminded to be diligent in implementing our security protocols with visitors coming to school.

· Every campus personnel is expected to actively engage all visitors.
· No one should enter any school (including staff) before checking in and scanning their ID in the front office (or providing a valid staff ID).
· All of the classroom doors are to be locked and are only to be opened by the teacher after determining who the visitor is and why they are there.
· Police and district security officers monitor every campus in Irving ISD during the school day.
· All employees are encouraged to alert authorities if they see anything suspicious on their campus.

KELLER ISD (Timberview Middle School)

Good Afternoon, Timberview Family.

By now you have most likely received word via the news media of the events in a Connecticut elementary school and the tragic loss of life. While this occurred more than a thousand miles away, as parents it hits us right in the heart. As a mom, I find it difficult to process the whole thing, other than to resist my own urge to respond emotionally to the abundance of media images and to try to help us all find a way to get through the day logically and as normally as possible.

I’m sending you this note to reassure you that Keller ISD does everything we can every day to insure things like this don’t happen here. Our kiddos are safe, in school, and having a productive Friday here in Keller ISD. While we all want to hug our children tightly right now, I’m letting my daughter’s school take care of her right now, and I’d like to encourage you to keep your children here with us. We are continuing teaching and learning, and we want to keep things routine and productive for our kiddos as they finish out their week.

We will send out official communication from Keller ISD as it is made available to us. For now, please keep the families and community of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in your thoughts.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Carrie B. Jackson | Principal, Timberview Middle School

NORTHWEST ISD

Northwest ISD is aware of the horrific school shooting that has occurred in Connecticut today. Our thoughts are with the victims, their families, the school officials, law enforcement personnel and all those affected by the tragedy.

We have a number of programs and plans in place throughout Northwest ISD that are designed for the safety and security of our students and staff. To review our procedures and a number of resources, please visit the NISD Safety and Security website.

As we adhere to the safety procedures of our district, we ask for your help. As you visit our schools, please remember to check in at the front office and follow all safety procedures that are in place to protect NISD children and staff.  Thank you for your support and cooperation as we work to keep our schools a safe place for students to learn. We join the nation in grieving the loss of loved ones.

PLANO ISD

In kinship as educators and as a school community, Plano ISD extends heartfelt condolences to the families of Newtown, Connecticut on behalf of all school children. During any tragedy, we never lose sight of the trauma experienced by others while also taking stock of our own precautionary measures that we observe daily. This is also time to revisit Plano ISD’s standard protocol and share details with the community that may reassure that we are watchful.

Plano ISD has visitor access control procedures that require parents and visitors to provide identification and wear a visitor ID badge upon entering the secure areas of a campus. We have more than 4,000 security cameras district-wide and all school offices have emergency call buttons linked to 911.

Campuses practice lockdown drills and shelter-in-place drills once each semester, and practice fire/evacuation drills once per month. Each of our high schools and senior high schools has a school liaison police officer at the campus full-time and each of these officers has had additional training in the event of a hostile situation involving a live weapon. These officers could be deployed quickly to other campuses in the event of extreme emergencies, supplementing the response by regular on-duty officers. Additionally, campus personnel have completed training on specific issues regarding weapons and intruders. We maintain a close-working relationship with area law enforcement agencies and are kept abreast of developing situations. We have every confidence that all available resources would be deployed by law enforcement should the need arise to assist the school district with a critical incident.

Protecting our students and staff in the daily instructional environment is our most closely held priority. Security measures are under constant review and Plano ISD is very progressive in its approach to safety. We want our campuses to be welcoming to our school community, but we will be ever vigilant of safety first.

WEATHERFORD ISD

MISSION: The mission of the Weatherford ISD is to teach, challenge, and inspire each student in a safe, nurturing environment to succeed in the global community.

VISION: WISD will be the world-class district of choice.

VALUES:
* We value and respect all students, employees, parents, partners, and our community.
* We demonstrate visionary leadership.
* We engage in and promote personal and organizational learning.
* We make data-driven decisions.
* We practice ethical behavior and personal integrity.

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