I know that I join the entire Collinsville Community in expressing our sincere sympathy to the families of the children and staff who lost their lives in last week’s horrific tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.
As we grapple with questions in the aftermath of this tragedy, the Board of Education and I want to assure you that the safety of our students is of paramount importance at Collinsville Community Unit School District No. 10. School safety is a priority that includes a single entrance to buildings with all doors locked during the school day; a buzzer system with video surveillance requiring all visitors to announce the reason for gaining access to the building; computerized criminal background check for all visitors, sign-in procedures with nametags at the front office for all guests; a school-wide emergency communication system; security cameras; lockdown policies and protocols for implementation if an unidentified intruder is on campus; and periodic lockdown drills. We have caring teachers who are quick to communicate concerns about troubling student behavior. However, in light of last week’s tragic events, we will continue to evaluate our procedures to make sure that every precaution is being taken to ensure the safety of our students.
As a reminder to our parents and visitors who wish to enter school buildings during student attendance hours, all parents/visitors are required to 1) schedule an appointment in advance of visiting a school building or 2) state the specific reason for visiting a school building prior to being granted access.
While policies, protocols, and precautions are important, the safety of our students must be a shared responsibility of the Collinsville Community faculty, staff, students, and parents who reach out to one another when concerns regarding student safety and behavior surface. This is an area of school life in which we definitely need one another. Our guidance counselors are available to counsel any student who needs assistance coping with this tragedy.