Superintendent message concerning school safety

on February 23, 2018





February 23, 2018


Dear Monroe-Woodbury families,

I am writing to bring you up-to-date on several important issues concerning the safety and well-being of our students that were discussed at Wednesday’s Board of Education meeting. First, I want to take a moment to thank the 6000+ members of our community who responded to the strategic plan survey, especially those who took extra time to provide in-depth comments.

Following the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida, several parents reached out to me with questions and concerns. At this week’s Board of Education meeting, Frank Squillante, the district’s director of safety and emergency preparedness, presented an overview of our existing school security protocols, as well as information related to new programs scheduled to launch in March. Some highlights from his presentation include:

Independent Security Audit: The district recently participated in a district-wide security audit conducted by an independent service. The results will be shared with district leaders next week, and then with families once we have thoughtfully considered our next steps.

Video Surveillance: The district utilizes cameras in key locations throughout the district. Local law enforcement has access to these cameras and continually monitors activities within district buildings. In addition, all district buses will have video surveillance capabilities by the end of March 2018.

Anonymous Alerts: This mobile app and web-based reporting system allows parents, staff and students to anonymously report urgent information to school officials through private messages. Message topics may include bullying, cyberbullying, family difficulties, drug and alcohol abuse, depression, etc. The anonymous reporting system will be piloted in the high school and middle school in March 2018.

RAPTOR Visitor Management System: The district will also be piloting this visitor monitoring system in March 2018. All building visitors will be required to show a government issued photo ID that is scanned and checked against the sex offender database in 50 states. This web-based program is trusted by 18,000 K-12 schools nationwide to protect their students, staff and faculty.

Updated Board of Education policies related to vaping/use of e-cigarettes: As part of the strategic plan survey, students shared their concerns regarding vaping and e-cigarettes in our school buildings. The M-W Board of Education took immediate action to amend and adopt policies prohibiting possession or use of e-cigarettes on school property and at school-sponsored events. This is a zero tolerance policy.

If you would like to view Policy #5640 Smoking and Other Tobacco Use on School Premises and Policy #7320 Alcohol, Tobacco, Drugs and Other Substances (Students) in full, please visit the plans and policies page on the district website.

I encourage you to have meaningful conversations with your children regarding these important topics. Please keep in mind that building administrators and school counseling teams are available to you and your students. As always, my door is open.

Warm regards,

Elsie Rodriguez
Superintendent of Schools