Chartiers Valley School District officials first thing Monday morning met with the police chiefs in Collier and Scott to review school security and how it can be improved.
Superintendent Brian White Jr. spent the morning with Collier police Chief Tom Devin and Scott police Chief Jim Secreet and they discussed the possibility of adding a police officer to the district’s three school campuses.
In a letter to parents Monday, White said they made the formal request to both police departments to have a “school resource officers” at the middle/high school, primary school and intermediate school.
“The school district is making preparations to substantially fund this effort from our existing budget,” White wrote in the letter.
The middle/high school and primary school campuses are in Collier Township and the intermediate school is in Scott Township.
“The school district has had a very strong working relationship with our public safety officials, which has manifested itself in both cooperative planning and joint drills,” White wrote. “We are in the process of planning joint drills, without students, at both of our elementary schools.”
The meeting and security review was prompted by
White’s letter can be read in its entirety below…
Today we saw a wide range of emotions in our schools from both students and staff. I would like to thank our student services staff, teachers and principals for their efforts to reassure and comfort our students. I encourage parents to continue to be open to listening to their children.
In addition to attempting to meet the emotional needs of our students, we reviewed our school safety measures and plans – both at the school and district level. I met with Chief Devine, Collier Township (Jurisdiction of the Primary School, Middle School and High School) and Chief Secreet, Scott Township (Jurisdiction of the Intermediate School) to review our school safety protocols and plans.
I would like to thank all of our public safety officials who clearly make the safety of our students and schools a top priority. The school district has had a very strong working relationship with our public safety officials, which has manifested itself in both cooperative planning and joint drills. We are in the process of planning joint drills, without students, at both of our elementary schools.
In the fall of 2010 the school district completed a strategic plan. That strategic plan has a number of action plans related to school safety. Some of the initiatives are very visible, such as the Olweus Anti-Bullying program, while other efforts have been much more discreet.
One of our more discreet efforts has been to place a School Resource Officer at our Middle School/High School. The National Association of School Resource Officers defines a School Resource Officer as Officers [who] promote a better understanding of our laws, why they were enacted and their benefits. They provide a visible and positive image for law enforcement. They serve as a confidential source of counseling to students concerning problems they face. They bring expertise into schools that will help young people make more positive choices in their lives. They also work to protect the school environment and to maintain an atmosphere where teachers feel safe to teach and students feel safe enough to learn. Since our Middle School/High School is in Collier Township, this position would be filled by a Collier Township Police Officer.
Today we sent a formal request to Collier Township to establish a School Resource Officer program. We have expanded our request to include a second officer be placed at our Primary School. In addition, we have initiated a request with Scott Township to establish a School Resource Officer program at the Intermediate School.
The school district is making preparations to substantially fund this effort from our existing budget. We have explored grants and other resources to no avail. Both Chief Devine and Chief Secreet are very supportive of this initiative.
We appreciate your support as we work to keep our students and our staff safe at school.
Superintendent, Chartiers Valley School District