Message on School Safety

School Safety

It is with good reason that student safety has been on the minds of many. The sad and tragic events that took place last week at a Florida school, prompts all of us, parents and educators, to reflect on the safety of our children. The Bloom-Carroll Local School District has been taking steps, both before and after last week’s events, to improve the safety and security of our students while at school.

During the course of a school year, each school building conducts emergency management tests, including lockdown drills, simulating a school intruder. Administrators and staff discuss the drills, before and after they are conducted. Staff discuss and practice procedures with students. Law enforcement officials are notified when drills take place and will often participate, if available. Our buildings are in compliance with state requirements for conducting school safety drills. More drills will be conducted to further prepare our students for emergency situations.

We have recently added additional security features to main entrances such as access door controls, additional security cameras, and a door barricade system. The door barricade systems have recently been installed in all middle and high school classrooms and we are currently in the process of installing the devices in our elementary schools. To learn more about the door barricade systems, please view the following link:

At this time, we are discussing and researching additional security measures, the costs, and the allocation of resources to further improve the safety of our schools. Discussion with the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office is taking place to learn more about the services and benefits of implementing the use of a Resource Officer. In addition, we are pursuing updated estimates to secure additional entrance and exit points in our buildings. 

It is important to know that the upcoming May ballot issue involves a request asking voters to approve a Bond Issue to build a new elementary school and a Permanent Improvement (PI) Levy. Tax dollars raised through a PI Levy may only be used for capital improvement projects and ongoing building maintenance to a new facility and our existing facilities. Using PI funds to pay for security improvements to our facilities is permissible. We have never passed a PI levy. Because of this, we must use General fund money to pay for facilities improvements such as additional security measures. Allocating General fund dollars for capital improvements impact the instructional programs and services we are able to provide to our students. It is a fact that a new school would provide a safer environment than what we are currently able to maximize with the outdated buildings and 16 trailers housing our students during the school day. The passage of the May Ballot issue would provide additional dollars to maintain our buildings and invest in improvements such as security features.

Our staff cares deeply about the safety of all of our students. Many of our staff members live in our district and have children attending our school district buildings. We value the safety of our children just as much as you value the safety of your children.  The BCLSD will do as much as we can, within our available resources, to provide the safest environment possible. Discussion and decisions about school safety will continue.

 

Thank you,

Shawn Haughn

Superintendent

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