Schools are vulnerable to any number of crisis situations, hazards, and disasters which leave staff members responsible for the protection of people and property. Leavenworth USD 453 continuously seeks ways to improve its preparedness efforts to ensure its commitment to the safety and security of all students, staff, parents, and visitors.
Each month, various drills and activities are held in order to be prepared for a variety of situations. Leavenworth USD 453 is a member of the Safe and Prepared Schools organization, through which information and resources are shared and utilized. The district constantly pushes itself to advance preparation, procedures, and practice for the safest response possible.
In an effort to emphasize the importance of safety in our schools, Leavenworth USD 453 will host the 3rd Annual "Safety Week" – Sept. 23 – 27. The district will focus on a particular area during each day of the week:
Monday – Intro to Safety Week: An autodialer will be sent to school families providing an overview of district practices, communication methods, and overall expectations for a variety of emergency situations.
Tuesday – Bullying Prevention and Awareness: The district is hosting Rachel's Challenge, a bullying prevention and awareness program, including a Community Meeting next Tuesday, Sept. 24 from 6– 7 p.m. at the Leavenworth High School Performing Arts Center. While her life was tragically cut short during the Columbine High School shooting on April 20, 1999, Rachel Joy Scott's shining example of kindness and compassion was not defeated that day. The presentation is a powerful reminder of the little things we can do every day to make our world a better place, and an opportunity for parents to hear the same information presented to students in grades 5 thru 12. Student assemblies will be held at West Intermediate School, Warren Middle School, and Leavenworth High School next week.
Wednesday - Safe Routes to School: Walking and bicycling to school can be an important part of a healthy lifestyle, as well as an effective means of transportation to and from school. Before a student walks or rides to school, parents should assist them in identifying a safe route to school. Parents and students should identify and practice a safe route to school prior to the child heading out on their own so that they are confident in all aspects of the route (sidewalks, cross streets, crosswalks, securing bicycle in a bike rack, etc.). Walkers should stay with a group, if possible, never talk to or get in a car or go anywhere with a stranger, walk on a sidewalk (if there is no sidewalk students walk toward the traffic enabling them to see cars coming), cross only at corners and crosswalks (if there is a crosswalk button, press the button and wait for the walk sign to indicate that it is safe to cross), make sure to look left and right to make sure no cars are coming, and walk, don't run. Bicycle riders should always wear a helmet, wear bright colors, walk their bike across busy streets, and obey traffic laws.
Page 2 of 2 - Thursday - Planning for Safety in the Home: The district realizes that safety is not isolated to schools, information and resources collected through years of professional development and partnerships with community response leaders will be shared with school families. Information will be sent home with students in backpacks, through email, and posted on the district's website (www.usd453.org).
Friday – Emergency Broadcast Test: The district will launch an autodialer, text message, and email as a way to reinforce the methods of communication that will be utilized in a true emergency situation. Parents who do not receive various test messaging can update their contact information with the building secretary of their child's school.
Leavenworth schools have taken many steps in recent years to bolster the security in our buildings. Several of these improvements were embedded in the construction/renovation process several years ago, but others have been implemented in response to the need to expand precautions in our schools. A summary of the main projects follows:
- Lights and cameras inside and outside all schools.
- Installed controlled access (video intercom buzzer system) at all main entry doors to greet and identify guests.
- Maintain a locked perimeter at all locations.
Student drills related to safety and security.
The Leavenworth School District continues to provide professional development for staff, students, and the community as it enhances the safety and security of its infrastructure. Families are encouraged to have meaningful discussions with their children about safety and security and remind them that everyone must all take responsibility to maintain a safe school community.