Michael Duda, Superintendent
January 2013 New Year's Message
As we begin 2013, we realize that statistically over 40 percent of folks in our community have made New Year’s Resolutions. People like the idea of starting over, getting a fresh start by stopping a bad habit or starting something new that will improve their quality of life. Like individuals, school districts also make resolutions. We call them goals. Unlike individuals who thoughtfully resolve to improve themselves in January, we outline in detail our goals for continuous improvement in September, the beginning of our new school year.
This year, however, because of the tragedy in Newtown Connecticut, we found it necessary to re-set and re-evaluate the policies and procedures we have in place for school safety. We found it necessary to think about many of the activities that we have previously taken for granted and purposely dissect those activities to make certain our school buildings and classrooms are safe for our students.
Providing a safe and healthy environment for student learning has always been the number one priority for our district. However, because of recent current events, we understand that you cannot take safety for granted. We are privileged to live in Haslett, where the school community and the public safety department in our township have worked collaboratively for many years. We have a school police liaison in our school buildings during the day and you will always see our public safety colleagues in attendance at after school extra curricular events. This police presence is viewed positively by students and staff and is reassuring to school families and community members who attend our events.
I want to report to you that over the holiday break, I met with Chief Dave Hall of the Meridian Township Police Department to discuss additional safety measures that we could institute upon the return of our students and staff in January. Chief Hall and I inspected all of our buildings and grounds.
Our administrators also met to discuss the policies in place that ensure our students can learn without worry. Below are common safety procedures you can expect to be in place in our school buildings as we begin 2013.
*All exterior doors of our buildings will be locked during the school instructional day, except for the main entrance to the building.
*Teachers are expected to lock their classroom doors upon notification from the office.
*During the student instructional day, all school visitors, parents and guardians will be expected to sign in at the main school office before accessing building activities or their child’s classroom.
*Our students and staff will continue to practice crisis drills/lock downs throughout the school year.
*All school volunteers and regular visitors are required to have a background check completed prior to serving the district.
I wish all of you a Happy and Safe New Year and thank those of you who contacted me over the past few weeks to share your creative “safety” ideas. We appreciate input and consider it carefully as we prepare for safe educational experiences for your children.