When seconds counts, safety first

8/6/2014, 6:15 p.m.
Valley View School District 365U has put in place strong security measures to make sure our students are given every ...

Valley View School District 365U has put in place strong security measures to make sure our students are given every chance to succeed in a positive, engaged learning environment. A solidly prepared and rehearsed emergency plan requires the participation of all stakeholders in the district: police and security officers, information technology, maintenance, human resources, administrators, faculty, media, parents and students.

When seconds count, the main ingredients of a strong emergency plan (prevention, preparedness, response and recovery) are extremely critical. That's why this school year Valley View is continuing the process of upgrading security in all of its schools by installing buzzer entry systems, lockdown alarms, Keltron wireless transceivers, intruder lock hardware, cameras and external flashing lights.

In addition, we have made it our goal to communicate to our parents and to the community as quickly as possible any time a hard lock down occurs in one of our schools. The initial communication will go out to parents at an affected school via ParentLink. If you receive this message, we would appreciate your confidence in the fact that our highly trained administrators, faculty and staff are doing their very best to keep children safe. Please don't call or drive to the school. Instead, follow the progress of the lockdown via ParentLink, Twitter, Facebook or the district's website at www.vvsd.org.

Our goal is prevention, but we must also be prepared. We must be ready with emergency response plans that are thorough, practiced and efficient. And rest assured Valley View realizes it is not enough for us to establish internal policies without collaboration with local law enforcement. Such collaboration is ongoing.

Our highly-trained security staff realizes that our security measures should be constructed as a comprehensive emergency response and management tool that promotes cooperation and coordination among multiple departments, organizations and jurisdictions.

All of us, VVSD administrators and staff, parents, and community members understand that safety and preparedness is one of the most pressing issues for the nation's educational institutions. The dynamics of education have changed considerably, especially in light of the tragedies and incidents of the past decade.

In order for Valley View to keep students, staff and facilities as safe and secure as possible, we must take an all-encompassing approach to safety and preparedness not only when seconds count, but every single day of the year.

--Leroy Brown, VVSD School Safety Coordinator