Welcome officially to the fall! I hope you each had a productive week across the district. I wanted to share a few thoughts about school safety, having just participated in the WMS security training yesterday in collaboration with the WPD.
I know when I made the decision to become a classroom teacher 30 years ago, I never imagined how much school safety would become a primary concern for communities across the country. Columbine, Newtown, Parkland, and Uvalde have fundamentally changed perceptions of schools as safe havens for students and staff. WPS has been proactive in making significant investments across our district over the past decade to update our buildings with improved access control, video cameras, improved communication tools, and annual training for staff and students. Of course, we continue to believe that our most important safety efforts can be found in the many ways we strive to know our students well and to create a climate of care where we feel responsible for each other, as reflected in our core values.
As is the case each year, our staff training yesterday included walking through the steps we would take to evacuate the building, lock down our work areas, and use our phones to share specific details on an unfolding situation. The final element was for the WPD to walk through the halls firing blanks, so that we could be accustomed to the sound of gunfire indoors, which allowed us to assess, based on our location, what steps we would take to protect our students and each other. Even though I have participated in this same training many times over the years, the sounds of gunfire in a school—even as part of a training exercise—is incredibly jarring. While I found myself thinking about what I would do in that moment, I also couldn’t help but think about the school staff and students in places like Parkland and Uvalde who heard those same sounds, knowing it was real.
I hate that we have to engage in this type of training each year, but I also understand why it is necessary. More importantly, I am reminded of much we ask of our staff and how these expectations now include elements of school safety that many of us never could have imagined when we became educators. For all of these reasons, please know how grateful I am for the many responsibilities you assume each day to provide a safe learning environment for our students. I know our community feels the same way.
Have a great weekend and Shana Tova to our Jewish colleagues celebrating Rosh Hashanah on Monday!
9/26/22 – Rosh Hashanah – No School
9/27/22 – School Committee (Zoom) Meeting 6:30 p.m.
10/05/22 – Yom Kippur – No School
10/10/22 – Indigenous Peoples Day – No School
Please contact Jacqueline “Jackie” Meyer in the Human Resources Office for all your lane changes, questions and concerns. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org and phone number is 781-446-6210 x 5622.
Human Relations Services
The Human Relation Services (HRS) can help. Wellesley Public Schools has contracted with HRS to provide up to ten free counseling visits for you and/or your family members. This program is designed to help you deal with stresses of life and work –including personal and family issues, drug or alcohol problems, and job related tension. It offers prevention and intervention to reduce these stresses and improve coping skills.
HRS is located at 11 Chapel Place in Wellesley and can be reached at 781-235-4950. This is a confidential service. Wellesley Public Schools is not aware of the names of employees or their family members who utilize this service.
Do you have a question for the WPS Human Resources Department?
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WPS Internal Job Postings on District Website
For all Internal Job Postings, please go to “Internal Job Postings” under the Faculty tab of the District’s website.