At EWSD, the safety of our students is our top priority. Together we can make our schools stronger and safer. Students teachers, parents, school administrators, local law enforcement, and community members have a role to play in creating a safe and secure environment for everyone.
Here are some of the ways that the District has engaged in safety and security preparedness efforts.
- We collaborate with local emergency planners and with our first response community on our school emergency preparedness efforts.
- The School and Public Safety Group also meets monthly with local emergency responders to review and evaluate our emergency procedures and stay up to date on emergency protocols from the State of Vermont.
- The EWSD has a strong relationship with our local law enforcement and we often work with these members to discuss potential crisis situations.
- Our schools also routinely practice safety drills, and our committed staff practices these with ongoing diligence.
Our Approach to School Safety
Active Threat Response
This is the belief behind the Essex Westford School District’s (EWSD) partnership with the Essex Police Department and our community’s First Responders, as we begin training on a more flexible approach to responding to a possible active threat at one of our schools.
Over time, starting with staff at our high school and technical center campus, EWSD will be rolling out the US Department of Homeland Security’s recommended protocol - Run, Hide, Fight.
See Something, Say Something
The District is committed to keeping schools safe places for learning through prevention efforts as well. Through the use of anonymous tip reporting, vital information about threats or intents to harm oneself or others can be anonymously through our digital website platform (Blackboard) or by calling the anonymous tip line (call 802-857-7977). Concerns can also be shared with a trusted adult in the school or by contacting law enforcement directly at 802-878-8331. We encourage anyone who observes or hears of suspicious activity to say something - it could save a life!
School Resource Officer
The District has partnered with local law enforcement to provide a School Resource Officer (SRO) at the high school/technical center campus. This initiative will be expanded in the coming months to include our middle schools. The SRO develops positive relationships with students and staff within the school and engages in prevention and awareness activities. In the event of an active threat, having a trained law enforcement officer within the building allows for immediate emergency response.
Another way that the District is strengthening school safety and security is through Social Emotional Learning (SEL) within the classroom. This effort reinforces the power of empathy, relationships, and seeks to develop environments where all learners feel safe and supported. Learn more here.