Dear Sprague Community,
This week, I write to you about school safety and our practices and procedures. Many of you are aware that staff are trained in what to do in a variety of emergency situations. We have well defined plans for medical emergencies, evacuations, and lockdowns. Staff are trained annually and participate in emergency drills facilitated by the Wellesley Police Dept. This has included training on the A.L.I.C.E. model (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) with our staff participating in an active shooter simulation facilitated by the Wellesley Police Department (WPD) just this month.
Last year, we had our first emergency evacuation drill with students. We continue to practice fire drills, bus evacuation drills, and will also have another emergency drill later this week. In preparation for this, we are presenting the attached powerpoint to all classes. Teachers focus on the routines we have to stay safe. They discuss all kinds of things we do to stay safe, like wearing a bike or ski helmet, wearing a seatbelt in the car, and practicing drills at school. They reinforce that we practice so we will know what to do. The main message is that it is the job of the adults at school to keep students safe and it is the job of the students to STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN for directions. We want to reinforce that we will do the worrying and they can rely on the adults at school to make decisions in their best interest and safety.
Our emergency drill will take place some time this week during the school day. The Wellesley Police will help facilitate the drill just as the Wellesley Fire Dept. facilitates our fire drills. There will be an announcement before the drill and we will practice at two separate times—the second floor classrooms and then the first floor classrooms.
While our facilities improvements and training represent important aspects of our district security strategy, what has not changed is our diligence in knowing our students well, encouraging students to look after each other, and ensuring that strong lines of communication remain open between school and home. We also continue to ask parents and visitors to be sure to stop in the office to sign in and get a visitor’s badge ANY TIME they are in the building during school hours. Please do not be offended if a staff member asks you if they can help you. They are doing their job to ask this question of anyone without a visitor badge or of anyone they do not know.
For those who are new to WPS, the following is a list of recent security enhancements in our schools.
- Enhanced communications:
- New P.A./intercom system
- Portable 2-way radios with direct communication to the WPD
- “Panic” (duress) button in the main office
- Fortified access controls:
- Access control system (including exterior doors) – staff have proximity cards to gain entrance
- Classroom (interior) security locks/doors now have a flip lever and do not require a key to lock
- “3M Scotchshield” safety and security film for main entrance glass
- Improved ability to monitor and/or assess:
- Surveillance system – with cameras mounted near all entryways and outside (but not in any teaching spaces, offices, bathrooms or locker rooms)
- Motion detector lighting
We love your children and care for them as we do our own. Our teachers truly spend time thinking about how they would react and protect our children in the very unlikely event of a dangerous encounter. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.
Emergency Drill PPT link: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1HrmZQSo8d0J03BSlKO8fY5mV2EuIj_DOFZeRZXPitEc/edit?usp=sharing
Dates to remember:
Oct. 17: Fall Festival from 5-7 PM (raindate is Oct. 24)
Oct. 22: School Council meeting at 3:15 PM
Oct. 31: Halloween Parade (approx. start time is 8:45 OUTDOORS) Map is attached for class locations.
Oct. 31: Parent Conferences from 1-3 PM
Nov. 6: Parent Conferences from 1-3 PM (Note—This is a TUESDAY early dismissal at 12:00)
Nov. 7: Parent Conferences from 1-3 PM
Nov. 12: No school-Veteran’s Day
From the school psychologist:
Dear Parent(s) and/ or Guardians,
Later this month, I will be starting a divorce counseling group for students. The group will incorporate activities that provide support and a better understanding of divorce and how it may impact their lives. Activities will include drawing, conversations and play. Please send me an email if you would like your child to be part of this group or if you have any questions.
Scott Marder, MA, EdS, NCSP
781-263-1965 ext. 2575