Dear Spring-Ford Community:
This evening, news stations have reported numerous lives lost and thousands of people affected by the Uvalde, TX community shooting. Any threat to school safety, no matter where it occurs in the country, hits close to home, as our job as educators is to provide a safe and nurturing learning environment to all students. Before having our students and staff report to school tomorrow, I want to reach out this evening to review with our community Spring-Ford’s primary school safety initiatives in place and address what students might see over the next 12 days of school.
Spring-Ford Police Department: The Spring-Ford Area School District School Police Department is a law enforcement agency with an emphasis on protecting our students, staff, and visitors within the Spring-Ford Area School District (SFASD). Our Police Department strives to provide the highest level of service and works in partnership with our community to ensure public safety while focusing on the following core principles:
- Protection of our Students, Staff, and Community
- Vigilant, Ethical and Impartial Enforcement of Law
- Critical Incident Preparedness and Response
- Crime Prevention, Reduction and Deterrence
Throughout the evening, I’ve been in contact with Chief David Boyer, Spring-Ford’s Coordinator of Safety, Security, and Emergency Preparedness. Students, staff, and parents should expect to see Chief Boyer, the Spring-Ford Police Department, and local law enforcement partners throughout the buildings over the next three weeks as they provide comfort and support to those in need.
ALICE Training: The Pennsylvania Department of Education maintains guidelines regarding emergency response drills such as fire drills and severe weather drills. In addition to state-mandated emergency response drills, Spring-Ford Area School District remains proactive to respond to an unannounced intruder in each of our buildings with ALICE drills.
The ALICE program trains teachers and students to identify scenarios where lockdown may be the preferable option and dispels myths about passive, traditional "lockdown only" procedures. ALICE offers practical techniques for how to barricade a room better, what to do with mobile and electronic devices, how and when to communicate with police, and how to use time in lockdown to prepare for other strategies (i.e. Counter or Evacuate) that might come into play should the intruder gain entry.
Safe 2 Say Something (S2SS): The Safe2Say Something (S2SS) anonymous reporting system allows students, parents, and employees to recognize warning signs of individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others and report to a trusted adult OR use its anonymous reporting system. Specifically, the program educates participants to:
- Recognize the signs and signals of at-risk behaviors – especially within social media
- Take every sign and signal seriously; act quickly to get help by talking to a trusted adult
- Report it anonymously through the S2SS mobile app or website
Upon receiving a S2SS notification or direct report of an incident, the Spring-Ford School Police Department implements an action plan to initiate an investigation, frequently working alongside local law enforcement agencies. Depending on the report, action plans include student and family interviews and home visits when necessary.
As a parent or trusted adult, you may struggle with knowing how to talk with your child about what they see on the news or online. Please click here for resources about talking to your child about current topics and talking about grief. If you have concerns about how your child may be reacting to the news, please do not hesitate to reach out to a school counselor.
Mr. Robert Rizzo