Keeping Our Students Safe
I understand these are unsettling times for schools nationwide, and unfortunately Northeast Bradford School District is not immune to any potential natural and manmade hazard. While we certainly don’t want to induce more fear than necessary, we believe it is best to prepare for the worst, and hope for the best when it comes to protecting our students and staff.
Whether the District faces unsafe weather conditions, a power outage or potential outside threat, we respond with immediacy and diligence to ensure student safety. To guide these efforts, Northeast Bradford School District maintains a Crisis Management Plan, which outlines protocols to respond to emergency events and potential threats, including school lock-downs, sheltering-in-place, and evacuations.
To ensure administrators, faculty and staff understand the emergency protocol, the District participates in exercises to practice our response. For example, in 2017 the District worked with the state police to exercise an active shooter scenario involving a school lock-down during a teacher in-service day. This exercise allowed staff and faculty an opportunity to physically practice a response to such a scenario without students present. Later this month, the District will participate in ALICE training with the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office and the Emergency Management Agency. (ALICE—Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate—is a highly rated national active shooter civilian response training provided to school districts, hospitals, churches, and businesses.)
In addition to training and exercises, the District has these safety measures in place:
- Locked doors during school hours. All exterior building doors are locked during school hours, and are to be opened only by staff.
- Visitor registry. All visitors must sign-in at the front office before having access to the building.
- Monthly fire drills. Fire drills are practiced on a regular basis to ensure students and staff are prepared for a quick and safe exit from the buildings during an emergency.
To assist students throughout the year and during difficult times, Northeast Bradford School District has several student support services in place: guidance counselors, psychologist, social worker, student assistance program (SAP), student crisis team, and at-risk teams.
While it is the District’s responsibility to create a safe and secure environment on school grounds, we encourage parents to help our efforts by engaging in a few simple actions at home.
- Initiate age-appropriate conversations with your children about various types of emergencies or events they may encounter at school.
- Discuss internet and social media safety with children.
- Monitor your children’s social media activity and contacts, and immediately report anything out of the ordinary to the authorities, including the school’s principal.
- Following any event, local or national, be aware of your child’s behavior. While most children are resilient, some may internalize feelings of fear or anxiety. Symptoms of anxiety include: a change in school performance or interest in school/activities, excessive worry, sleeplessness, nightmares, headaches, and stomach aches.
- Visit these NEB webpages for information and guidance: Emergency Communication, Parent Resources, and One Call.
I encourage parents and community members to attend the next Coffee with Conversation on March 7 at 7 pm in the Elementary School Library. This forum is designed to encourage open communication among school administrators, board members, parents and community members. We plan to address the District’s current safety measures and protocols, our recent precautionary lockdown, and ways we can all work together to keep our students safe.
I assure you that student safety is a top priority at Northeast Bradford School District, and one we take to heart. We sincerely value the trust you instill in us every day to educate and protect your most cherished.