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Safety Message from St. Bernard-Elmwood Place City Schools

February 23, 2018

Dear SBEP Parents and Guardians,

The tragedy last week in Parkland, Florida, has raised concerns about the safety of our children and the security of our schools. Every day we look for ways to make sure our school (students and staff) is kept safe and that such horrible acts never happen here. We would like to say there are simple and easy answers to this problem, but unfortunately, there are not. However, what we can assure you is that the safety and security of our students and staff is our number one priority at St. Bernard Elmwood Place City Schools.

As a district, we secure all our outside doors at the beginning of the school day. We tell our students not to let anyone in the building at any time. We are a closed campus and do not allow students to leave to go to lunch. Most importantly, visitors are not permitted to enter the building until our office staff has used security cameras in the front of the building and lobby or face-to-face contact to identify them and check them.

We have a close working relationship with the St. Bernard and Elmwood Place Police Departments. We work collaboratively with them regarding school safety and make use of their expertise to assess any potential threats. In the coming months, we will work in partnership with both departments to update our building safety plan and our staff's ALICE training. ALICE stands for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate: this program teaches our staff what to do in the unlikely event we have an intruder in the school.

More than any program or procedure, the best way to keep our school and students safe is to communicate. We encourage students if they see a post on social media that might be considered a threat, to show the post to their parents, teachers, or school administrators immediately.

While we work to keep our schools safe, we need your support. We encourage you to stay engaged in your children's lives. Talk to them, know who their friends are, check their social media accounts, and follow their friends' accounts as well. Many times there are warning signs. As a parent, if you see something that bothers you, say something and encourage your children to do the same.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.

Sincerely,

Dr. Mimi R. Webb, Superintendent

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