Dear Spartan Family,
I want to assure you that the safety and security of our students and staff remains a priority for Valley View Schools. Here are the precautions we currently have in place:
- Emergency Drills: Students and staff practice fire, tornado, and safety drills throughout the school year. School safety drills allow us to run through strategies that can be used in emergency situations.
- Doors and Windows: School doors are locked, and call boxes are used at front entrances for visitors to identify themselves and notify the office of the reason for their visit. We are reiterating to our office staff members the importance of asking all visitors for identification. Security film has been added to strategic locations throughout the district to help deter unwanted individuals from entering school buildings and to assist in protecting schools from break-ins or vandalism.
- Radio Communication: The Multi-Agency Communication System (MARCS) and a district-wide emergency radio channel are available in all our school buildings. These methods allow quick communication between all district administrators and area law enforcement.
- Security Cameras: More than 75 cameras have been upgraded and installed at the buildings in the district.
- Mental Health Resources: School counselors are available in every school building, and a partnership with South Community therapists also helps with mental health resources.
- In Progress: Safety related initiatives that are in the works include a visitor management system to cross-reference visitor identification against sex offender and custom databases; working with local police to create a quick reference card to help parents/guardians know what to do in the case of an emergency at their child’s school; enhancing communication and understanding about disciplinary action and consequences.
How can your family help with our safety efforts?
- Safety Helpline: People are our greatest resource! Encourage your child to speak up if they see a social media post or hear about students who have weapons at school or are threatening violence to themselves or others. Students can confide in a trusted adult or share information through a 24-hour Student Safety Reporting anonymous tip line by calling a toll-free number, 1.866.547.8362, or through the safety helpline on our website at www.valleyview.k12.oh.us Any information shared will be thoroughly investigated and may prevent students from hurting themselves or others.
- Behavior Expectations: Remind your child to treat others as they would like to be treated and that weapons and look-alike weapons are prohibited at school, on school property or at school-sponsored events. We do have a zero tolerance for inappropriate behavior, but this does not mean there are mandatory punishments. The age and maturity of the child are taken into consideration, and then appropriate disciplinary action is taken.
- Gun Locks: Many children who have committed acts of violence at schools were able to access weapons from their homes. As we continue to explore ways to keep our students safe, we ask that you please place a gun lock on every gun in your home.
Finally, we are providing some resources to our staff with conversations that may arise after such tragedies. This guidance was provided by the American School Counselor Association:
- Try to keep routines as normal as possible. Kids gain security from the predictability of routine, including attending school.
- Do not force a discussion about the tragedy.
- Reassure children they are safe and review safety procedures.
- Be honest with kids and share as much information as they are developmentally able to handle.
- Listen to kids’ fears and concerns.
- Reassure kids that the world is a good place to be, but there are people who do bad things.
- Rebuild and reaffirm attachments and relationships.