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Focus on the Safety of Students and Staff in the EWSD

September 20, 2021

 

Dear Families and Staff,

 

The Essex Westford School District wants to acknowledge the recent event in the South Burlington School District and remind parents of what our District does to prepare for situations like this that may occur. 

 

Safety is a top priority in the EWSD and we want both our students and employees to feel physically and psychologically safe and cared for in our schools. Along with standing by our values, it is critical that we continue to create an environment that is safe for everyone.

 

As a District, we encourage everyone to participate in “See Something, Say Something.” This means observing our environment and developing awareness of our surroundings. The EWSD highly respects the privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties of our community by emphasizing behavior, rather than appearance, in identifying suspicious activity. 

 

When we see suspicious activity, something that seems out of place, or hear someone make threats to harm another person, we say something. Even if we are not certain, we trust our instincts and report it. 

 

The EWSD focuses daily on the many aspects of safety, which include: 

  • A very close relationship and strong lines of communication with our local law enforcement and emergency first responders
  • Employing a full-time, professional, and highly trained Director of Facilities and District Safety
  • Having safety officers that work throughout the District
  • Having a District Liaison Police Officer assigned to the District 
  • Each school has an emergency response plan and takes part in crisis response training 
  • Restricted entry into our schools, using access control and secure entryways  
  • Utilizing an automated emergency notification system at the District level to connect with parents through phone calls and emails
  • Consistently upgrading emergency communications at each school
  • Staff members wear photo identification badges
  • All visitors coming to a school must check in through the main office
  • The EWSD has adopted the US Department of Homeland Security’s recommended protocol: Run – Hide – Fight/Resist

 

More importantly, we have you, our community, assisting us with keeping our schools as safe as possible. It requires all of us to keep our community safe.

 

As a school district, we promise to do everything reasonably possible to protect your children against any threat that may arise while they are in our care.

 

Please feel free to reach out with any safety questions or concerns that you may have.

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Garry Scott
EWSD Director of Facilities and District Safety
gscott@ewsd.org