As a school district, we express our sincere and heartfelt sympathy to the students, staff, families, and community of Broward County, Florida. This tragedy, as well as a recent horrific act of violence at Marshall County High School, has parents and communities concerned for the safety and well-being of students throughout the country. We understand and share these feelings.
The safety of students and staff is our number one priority every day in each school in Scott County. This is a topic that we take very seriously as we work with diligence throughout the year to prepare for the unthinkable and protect our students in any situation. Every school completes an annual safety and emergency plan that includes very specific procedures for a variety of scenarios. This plan is approved by Site Based Decision Making (SBDM) Councils at each school in closed session. It is vital to maintain the security of this important information. School staff and local law enforcement agencies receive yearly training on these important procedures so that our dedicated professionals can work to keep students safe in a crisis situation.
Schools inform students of these safety procedures and conduct drills, including lockdown drills, multiple times throughout each school year to put the procedures into practice under the direction of school leadership teams, the district safety committee, and local law enforcement agencies. The safety committee consists of district administrators and key representatives from each emergency service and first responder agency. The group discusses safety plans, walks through schools, conducts drills, and works closely with the Kentucky Center for School Safety to make sure we stay up-to-date on the best practices for maintaining the safety of our students and staff.
One such initiative is the Fast Path system that you may have noticed on all doors and windows in each of our schools. This is a navigation system that marks key locations throughout each building and is designed to ensure a timely and effective response from all emergency agencies. We lock and secure all outside doors and each building has an entry system where anyone entering a school must gain permission to enter.
We have two school resource officers that work in schools full time to maintain a consistent presence in our buildings. Other officers from Georgetown Police Department and deputies from Scott County Sheriff’s Department include school campuses on their patrols and make a point to park and enter schools on a regular basis.
While we encourage students to inform a trusted adult of any situation that may compromise the safety of a school, we also offer a free safe school helpline that anyone can use to report threats of violence, depression, and any illegal activity that could harm students in our schools. The call is private, confidential, and anonymous and each call is investigated. Call 800-4-1-VOICE ext. 359 or text TIPS to 66746. You can also submit information online at: www.safeschoolhelpline.com.
School counselors and psychologists are available at each school and work very closely with students. We also partner with many outside mental health agencies to meet the needs of our students. Scott County schools emphasis the importance of close communication and building trusting relationships with students and parents.
We encourage parents to have age-appropriate conversations with their children about these events.
- Talk to your child about his/her feelings; share your feelings.
- Limit your child’s access to media coverage of these tragedies.
- Reassure your child that s/he is safe. Remind your child that s/he is surrounded by people who care for them at home and at school.
School and district leaders are available at any time to work with students and parents and answer any questions you may have so that we can unite our efforts to protect our children.