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UPDATE: THE DEADLINE TO SUBMIT QUESTIONS HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO FRIDAY, JAN. 18!
The safety of our children while they are in school is a concern that never really goes away. Following the horrific tragedy in Connecticut in December, many parents may be asking how safe is their child’s school?
To help parents and the community understand safety measures in place within NCSD schools, district leadership and the Casper Police Department are taking your questions. Wondering what happens in your child’s school during a lockdown? Or why lockdowns are called? You can submit questions pertaining to safety within our schools, via NCSD’s Facebook page, the Casper Police Department’s Facebook page, or email email@example.com between Jan. 8 and Jan. 15, 2013. We will compile the questions and answer as many as we can via a video podcast. The video will be posted by the first week in February at NatronaSchools.org, NCSD’s Facebook page, the Casper Police Department’s Facebook page, and here on NCSD’s blog.
The 1999 shooting rampage at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO, was the defining event in how we view the safety of our schools. Since that tragedy, like many schools across the country, the Natrona County School District has examined its processes and structures and has made changes to try to prevent anything like that from happening in our hallways and classrooms.
The district works closely with the Casper Police Department to maintain the safety of this community’s children and district staff. Two CPD officers are assigned to the district’s schools as School Resource Officers (SROs). These officers serve as a liaison between the school district and the police department, as well as help maintain safety on our campuses. In addition to the SROs, CPD alerts schools when situations around their neighborhood may warrant a lockdown, police utilize available district facilities for training exercises, CPD is consulted for safety reviews of existing facilities, among many other things.
The district has a crisis management team that serves as the main resource for each school’s individual crisis management teams. It maintains the district’s emergency processes and procedures, including lockdowns. With the safe schools administrator and the risk manager as the leads, during an emergency, all communication will originate from this team. The team must communicate with many different audiences during an emergency, including staff, district leadership, students, parents, and media. To help communicate that message as quickly and effectively as possible, the district uses a variety of methods including Facebook, Twitter, our website, automated phone call, our blog, email, text message, internal email to staff, and the local media. The district provides a variety of channels hoping that the intended audience receives at least one message. Parents are encouraged to stay connected through these options and update their contact information with the district as needed.