A Continuing Mission to Keep Students Secure: Safe and Healthy Schools Commission Reviews Safety Audit

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Victoria Campbell
A Continuing Mission to Keep Students Secure:
Safe and Healthy Schools Commission Reviews Safety Audit
Reno, NV (February 13, 2017) – The Safe and Healthy Schools Commission, which is charged with assisting the Washoe County School District (WCSD) Board of Trustees on issues relating to the safety and security of schools—including prevention/intervention, mitigation, preparedness, emergency response, and recovery— will review a report from the School Safety Advocacy Council at its meeting on Monday, February 13. The report was compiled as part of the District’s Emergency Operations Plan (EOP), which must be updated annually.
“I am grateful for the unwavering commitment of the commission members in leading this critical effort on behalf of the Board of Trustees and Superintendent Davis,” said Lisa Ruggerio, chairperson of the Safe and Healthy Schools Commission. “Our commission members have spent the past 18 months learning and studying every aspect of school safety in preparation for this important audit, and I deeply appreciate their hard work and dedication.”
The report consists of an in-depth examination and evaluation of the District’s emergency plans and makes recommendations for how the District could refine and improve. And while the report did not find areas of high need, it did conclude that some areas of growth could benefit the school community. Specifically, the auditors inspected school safety measures, evacuation practices, and parent reunification programs. The auditor also made recommendations for cross-training in emergency and crisis response situations.
Auditors conducted four focus groups among District staff members to determine whether they feel safe and to gather their suggestions and input for improvement. Auditors also participated in four parent and community public meetings on school safety to learn more about parent concerns and to gather input.
The auditors concluded “the leadership of the Washoe County School District cares deeply about the safety of district students and staff. We are confident that District leadership and the Safe and Healthy Schools Commission will continue to focus time, funding, and resources in improving school safety.”
“Now, more than ever, we need to work in partnership with families and our community to ensure we are doing everything possible to keep our schools safe,” said Ruggerio. “The safety and security of our students and staff have always been our highest priority. As part of that continuing commitment, we will be holding a safety forum where we look forward to working together with our families, seeking their input, and sharing information in order to build even stronger relationships around this most vital and important issue.”
The safety forum is scheduled for April 27, and details will be shared with the community soon.
Members of the Safe and Healthy Schools Commission will discuss the outcomes of this safety review and are expected to forward it to the WCSD Board of Trustees for discussion at its meeting on Tuesday, February 14.
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