Lakewood Local Schools Safety Strategy - Message #2 (Safety Planning)
March 12, 2023
Hello Lakewood Schools Families,
As we mentioned in our first communication, we are striving to share more about our safety strategy, practices, protocols, and procedures, so you feel more informed about our efforts to keep students and staff safe every day.
There are four pillars to our Safety Strategy: To re-read the message introducing these pillars, visit here.
I would like to dive a little deeper into each of these pillars, beginning with Safety Planning. As I said in my first message, our Safety Planning pillar comprises several things: safety committees, safety plans, and safety drills and training.
Emergency Operations Plan
We are required by law to have safety plans for every building in our district. Those plans are reviewed annually by the Department of Homeland Security to ensure we have an effective plan in place. Each school’s safety team (see below) meets with our school resource officers once per semester to review the plan, discuss any current issues, and make any necessary changes to the plan, drills, and/or protocols. Each building’s plan had its three-year update last year. These plans will be reviewed each semester in the meetings outlined below.
At the beginning of this school year, we worked to revise some of our protocols to ensure a safe, secure environment for our students and staff members. Some examples include:
Reinforcing clear door procedures with building secretaries.
Conducting and documenting a safety drill each quarter of the school year. Vary the type (exit to rally points, barricade drills, situational, etc.) to reinforce good decision-making in these potentially unfortunate events.
Encouraging all staff members to wear a staff ID or badge for easy identification.
School Safety Team
Within our District, we ensure that each school has a School Safety Team in place that represents both classified and certified staff members. These teams meet regularly and review the school safety plan. Additionally, they discuss emerging or current safety issues that may need to be addressed at the school level. Each school team also discusses safety improvements and takes the lead during the event of a safety emergency, and each operates under common expectations from the District.
Threat Assessment Team
In addition to the School Safety Teams, our District also has a separate Threat Assessment Team. The team is made up of administrators, counselors, teachers, and school resource officers, who meet as needed to identify, evaluate, and address threats or potential threats to the school system.
Last, I would like to share some exciting news…Lakewood Locals Schools recently was awarded safety grants from the State of Ohio totaling $400,000. Each building will receive $100,000 for safety enhancements, such as more secure doors and entrances, school surveillance, additional exterior lighting, and increased window safety
Thank you for your further attention to this important topic, and your continued partnership in keeping our District safe.
Dr. Mark Gleichauf