‘We are in this together’: Edmonds School District Superintendent issues letter on school safety

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Superintendent Kris McDuffy

Edmonds School District Superintendent Kris McDuffy on Monday issued the following letter to parents through the district’s email newsletter, and we are reprinting it here:

Dear families, staff, and community:

Tragedies, like the one our nation experienced with the school shooting in Texas late last week, remind us all of the importance of building a culture of safety, support, and clear communication throughout our schools and community.

I want Edmonds School District families to know that safety is our top priority every day, not just in the wake of incidents like those that occurred last week. School safety is a responsibility that requires ongoing attention, practice, and improvement. We make it a point to have procedures and practices in place to anticipate, prevent, and – if necessary – respond to an array of incidents so our students and staff are kept safe and can focus on our core work – Student Learning.

School safety is also a responsibility that extends beyond the doors of our schools. There are many instances of threats of school violence across the nation that have been prevented by the collaboration of students, staff, families, law enforcement, and community members.

If you or your student become aware of a threat to safety, we urge you to please do your part to help protect others. If you see something, say something. For immediate danger or a life-threatening emergency always call 911. For other situations students can and should communicate their concerns to the school. Students and community members can also use the Edmonds School District Safe Schools Alert tip reporting service. Safe Schools Alert is an anonymous, toll-free service that you can access 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year by email, text, or phone at 425-551-7393. Messages are documented and shared with school officials to investigate and take appropriate action.

It is important to remember that our schools have close working relationships with local police, fire, and emergency responders. Emergency vehicles may be seen at our schools throughout the day for inspections, drills and other interactive relationships. The Edmonds School District is regulated by state law to conduct a number of emergency drills. Drills occur at least once a month and include shelter in place, lockdown and evacuation. Schools also have personnel trained in first aid, AED, search and rescue, counseling and psychology.

In the event of a real emergency, the Edmonds School District will utilize its emergency communication system. Please ensure that your email and phone contact information is up to date in Skyward Family Access so you receive important, time-sensitive announcements. These text, phone, and email announcements will provide as much information as we can about the nature of the emergency, what you should do, and how the emergency does or does not impact your student. Please follow the instructions provided in these emergency notifications. Following an emergency, we will provide additional communication and support.

More information on the Edmonds School District’s emergency preparedness plans can be found on our website: https://www.edmonds.wednet.edu/families/emergency_preparedness__safety

I appreciate the concern and questions about safety at our schools. It requires our joint efforts as a community to prepare and respond as necessary. We need to be prepared and responsive to the best of our abilities. We are in this together. Please take care!

Respectfully,

Dr. Kristine McDuffy
Superintendent

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