Last week’s tragic school shooting in Parkland, Florida, has pushed the safety and security of our children to the forefront of local, state, and national attention. We struggle to make sense of another senseless act of violence. This week Grandview Heights Schools’ administrators, teachers, students, and families have continued to engaged in discussion and action focused on the safety of our students.
We believe a “safe” child is a well child and that school safety is a multi-faceted approach. Secure buildings and strong plans with accompanying training are important, but we recognize that many events are triggered by mental health issues or by feelings of isolation. As a result, our district places a high priority on wellness as a critical component to school safety and have fully integrated social/emotional/mental health as part of our curriculum along with our safety procedures and protocols. Our students take an active role in fostering a supportive, inclusive, and safe, school community as well. Please take a moment to watch this video: https://www.ghcsd.org/apps/video/watch.jsp?v=176082
Our students took action in a thoughtful and powerful way to show our support of students everywhere.
Safety Procedures & Protocols
In Grandview Heights Schools, we have worked diligently to prepare our staff and students should we ever experience a senseless act of violence. In August 2017, our entire staff was trained in the ALICE (run-hide-fight) incident response system. (Learn more here: https://www.alicetraining.com/) and staff members have worked with students to respond in a similar fashion should it ever be necessary. We have established emergency lockdown and evacuation plans for each school building and we continuously partner with the Grandview Heights Police Department to ensure the safety and integrity of our protocols and drills.
Wellness: Supporting the Social, Emotional & Mental Health of Students
As previously shared, a critical component of school safety is to support the wellness of our students. We have a dedicated mental health specialist who works with our students as well as a partnership for therapeutic counseling services for student and family referrals with Syntero Counseling (Learn more here: https://www.syntero.org). Additionally, our district equips each building with a school counselor as well as two district school psychologists.
See Something, Say Something
You have probably heard a lot about “See Something, Say Something” recently, and to us it’s more than just a slogan. Our staff members are committed to providing a school environment where students can rely on a trusted adult in their school building who cares about and believes in them. When our students and staff are comfortable talking with one another, conversations are more likely to happen. After all, it’s students who will most likely be best positioned to alert our staff of potential safety concerns.
We believe our schools play an important role in helping prepare students to be respectful and responsible citizens. Grandview Heights Schools is fully committed to eradicating student bullying and school violence. We are committed to providing a positive learning environment for all students that enhances personal safety and promotes respect, dignity, and equality among students. As part of our commitment, the district has a reporting system that can be accessed on our district website for those who believe they have been harassed, bullied, victimized by fellow students, or have other concerns which may jeopardize the safety of students, employees, or school facilities.
Working Together as a Community
We’re attempting to be vigilant every day and we need every community member to partner with us. There are immediate actions each of us can do to be part of the overall effort.
Community Presentation & Conversation: Can You See Me Now?
Join us on April 19, 2018, at 6 p.m. in the Grandview Heights High School Auditorium for this insightful community presentation and conversation. On that evening we will explore a simulated teen bedroom to identify potential warning signs of risky behavior, alcohol, and drugs. Prevention is the key - know what to look for, ask questions, start the conversation because this affects everyone.
Grandview Heights Schools District Administration will be hosting conversations beginning at 6:00 p.m., followed by the presentation at 6:30 p.m. This event will be a great opportunity to engage in discussions between school, community, Start Talking Grandview, Grandview Heights Police Department, and Parent Teacher Organizations. This presentation is FOR ADULTS ONLY. No students will be admitted. An informational flyer is attached.
It is clear in these times that ensuring the safety of our schools is a responsibility that is up to all of us. We look forward to continuing to partner with our community members, families, students, staff and local law enforcement to do all what we can to keep our young people safe.
As always, we thank the Grandview Heights and Marble Cliff communities for their tireless support of our students and staff.
Andy Culp, Superintendent