Message to Our Community from Dr. Todd Stoltz, Superintendent
Good afternoon West Shore Students, Staff, Parents, and Community,
February 15, 2018 - First and foremost, our hearts, prayers, and condolences are with the grieving families in Parkland, Florida today.
Yesterday's incident is another unfortunate reminder of our need to be vigilant in our awareness of our surroundings and our preparation in response to critical incidents, including attacks that threaten our safety. Today, I want to assure you that the safety of our school community is our top priority and that our schools have comprehensive crisis plans in place to guide us through a variety of emergency situations should the need arise.
In spring 2016, the District held an active shooter drill at Red Land High School. This drill included a significant amount of training and preparation by students and staff in conjunction with law enforcement and other emergency responders.
Since the drill at Red Land, the District has continued its efforts to cultivate a survival mindset in our school community should a situation arise. In addition, we continue to review safety procedures and protocols, assess building access points, and prepare for a response using Run, Hide, Fight, a nationally recognized model for responding to intruders in a school setting.
As part of our ongoing efforts, plans have been underway to conduct another round of training next month with staff and students, including the viewing of a video that highlights the elements of Run, Hide, Fight. In the meantime, we must operate with heightened awareness of our surroundings, and in the event that something seems out of place or concerning, we are encouraging members of our school community to practice See Something, Say Something. Together we can ensure that the learning environment in our schools remains safe and supportive. To that end, I want to draw your attention to the ways in which everyone can help:
1. In the event of immediate danger, call 911.
2. For other potentially dangerous situations, call local law enforcement.
3. Contact a school official or employee.
4. Contact the West Shore School District via our S.O.S. Hotline at (717) 932-1840 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When a tragedy like this occurs, it falls to each of us to reassure our students that they are safe. As always, we have school staff, counselors, administrators, and community partners ready to assist students. In addition, parents may find the resources posted on our District website helpful in dealing with issues related to grief, fear, and confusion in children following a tragedy.
Please continue to keep the community of Parkland, and the students, teachers, staff and parents of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you.
Todd B. Stoltz, Ed.D.