We want all our students to be learning in a safe, welcoming, and engaging environment
Nothing is more important to me than our students’ safety and wellbeing. The board shares this commitment.
Our district strategic plan includes a goal of “ensuring that all our students are learning in a safe, welcoming, and engaging environment.” This commitment to creating a safe and welcoming environment includes many aspects of our schools ranging from systems to keeping our students physically safe to ensuring students feel welcomed and supported in the school.
At the beginning of 2019, the district applied for and received two grants totaling $440,000 to help us continue improving the safety and security of our schools and our students. We are excited for you to know about and see these changes.
The SAFER (School Access for Emergency Response) grant funds will enable the district to continue their relationship with the fire and police departments in upgrading our connections with them during drills and crisis.
To accomplish this, existing equipment in each school will be upgraded and a focus on training and practice will be conducted for first responders and school staff.
The SSD (School Security Disbursement) grant funds will cover several projects that will all improve safety and security. Several schools will be receiving construction to entryways that will prevent immediate access from the doorways into the school areas where children are in classes. Specifically, new foyers will be created to allow for office staff to further greet visitors before they are allowed into the classroom and other school areas.
Visitors to schools include parents, guardians, outside supports, maintenance and other administrators. Everyone entering the building will be checking in and out.
This grant will also provide funds for replacing some of our older radios and classroom doors that are mostly glass. Those doors will be replaced with doors that have greater locking function and a smaller sidelight window.
Staff will also be able to provide support to managing emergencies with an application to their cell phones with an Emergency Management System also provided by the funds for this grant.
This system will provide a focus on staff roles in an emergency and managing the location and reunification of parents/guardians and students.
Staff and families will be kept updated and given supports to use the new systems.
We are very pleased to continue providing increased safety and security for our students and staff.
Lori Haukeness is superintendent of Montezuma-Cortez School District RE-1. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.