School Safety Forum – Part 7

School Safety Forum – Part 7


Matthew and Dr. Noonan and your
principals on the communication piece. I think that is very very important. I will
never forget a couple years ago some daycare employees got into an
altercation this is before your time at TJ. No students were you know threatened
but they saw the altercation and so when the students got off the bus everyone’s
talking oh and by the time we got home Paul Swanson already had a letter out so
I think that getting out in front of these types of situations the
principals or you letting the community know I think this is terrific.
My question is in terms of the middle school level that’s when a lot of
mental health issues start begin to present. Kids are going through puberty
that sort of thing what kind of education goes on at the MEH
level in terms of helping students understand hey when your friend is
behaving like this it might be a warning sign get them some help so I just didn’t
know what we do at the MEH level to kind of help students see warning signs in
their friends. I’m gonna ask Rebecca to be on call in case she wants to chime
in as well but I will say the one one of the areas that I think you heard us touch on a number of times relationship building and making sure that we know each of our students but
also as part of that being accessible when there is an incident and letting
kids know and this is part of the training we do with students is if there
is something that you need to talk to us about you can ask for a flash pass for
example to go see school counselor or see a school psychologist. You can always
in a critical moment if you need some support get that extra support. We also
tell them to talk to a friend and then we empower those friends to come forward
also and share with us if there is something that’s going on talk directly
with a teacher. My take on it is sort of it’s the ritz-carlton model of
support for kids so if you say something to paraprofessional that may be the
first person you say something to but that person is going to refer the
student to someone else and then that paraprofessional is going to come back
around and say did you get the support you need so it’s the first and last person I don’t know if you want to add anything to that No I think the flash passes are
really critical. Another piece is that we don’t just think about the middle school
well I think one of the things that’s beautiful about the division here is
even as young as there are three and four-year-olds at Jesse Thackery they
have a program called Super Friends what does it mean to make me a Super friend
what are those characteristics so that I’m there as a good friend to help my
classmates and then when the kids move into Mount Daniel we have all the
classrooms are participating in second steps which is a social skills
instruction because you teach those skills when kids are young and then when
we move to TJ we have the tiger paws program that goes on there where kids
are being reinforced for you know supporting each other and being kind and
demonstrating those characteristics to MEH where you know the kids work in
you know on collaborative you know learning activities. If you walk down the
hallway you’ll see one of the the culture building activities of that’s
gone on here at the middle school and then when you move into the high school
you’ve got things like every Wednesday morning mindfulness is offered at the
high school in addition to the work that they’re doing with– that they’ve just
started with the desired state so across all five of these buildings you have
such caring adult and kids from the time that they walk into our buildings till
the time they walk across the stage and ring that bell. That’s the message that
they hear is you know we love each other we care about each other we’re here for
each other. Sorry that was long No I’m glad you said all of that because that frankly has been how so we you heard earlier we had four
critical incidences that you didn’t hear a lot about because students came
forward and a student said something to another student and those students felt strongly enough or comfortable enough to come to the adult so thanks for reinforcing that. One
other thing I do want to mention is that with respect to communication and it is
one of the areas that we’re continuing to stay focused on because I
appreciate the fact that you got information quickly but if there is a
crisis circumstance that school messenger is really important for us to
be able to get information out quickly through text through phone through email.
It is how we use it for school closures school delays or don’t use it
for school delays sorry about that whatever but so the important
thing is that all of the information that we have be as updated as
possible so if you can remind your friends and family to always continually
update their information that way we can get information out quickly. I will say
that this community does an outstanding job of talking with each other
when there is an incident or an issue that comes up and so often that
word of the mouth moves much more quickly than we do as a school but in a
crisis communication circumstance we want to make sure all that information
is up to speed so I want to be thoughtful about your time and about the
time of the panel so I’d like to thank the panel and thank them with me. I also
want to thank Martha and Bill again for pulling all of this together and the
League of Women Voters will be here for a little bit longer so if you had a
question for us individually that you wanted to ask certainly are open to that.
Chief Gavin thank you very much for being part of this and I’ll turn it back
over to Bill and Martha if there’s any closing remarks that you all want to
make. Just thank you all very much for coming in here for your attention but
also for your input the comments you made to the panel and
to our speakers and I think we’ve really gathered a lot about the
importance of communication to lay in this so I hope you’ll take it on and
share with your friends and your colleagues. Thanks very much for coming

Danny Hutson

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