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A SCHOOL SAFETY LETTER FROM SUPERINTENDENT CLARKE:

February, 2018
The past couple of weeks have been difficult for us all as we struggle with the violence experienced by the school community of Parkland, Florida.  Our thoughts are with the students, staff and families impacted by this tragic event.  We understand that this is an upsetting topic for your children; therefore, on this site, under "Parent Resources,"…

The past couple of weeks have been difficult for us all as we struggle with the violence experienced by the school community of Parkland, Florida.  Our thoughts are with the students, staff and families impacted by this tragic event.  We understand that this is an upsetting topic for your children; therefore, on this site, under "Parent Resources," and then "Important Safety Information," you will find tips from the National Association of School Psychologists which offers guidance on talking to children about school violence.


I want to assure you that the Monson Public Schools remains committed to maintaining a safe and secure environment for all students and staff.  As part of this commitment, we regularly review our protocols for safety and emergencies in conjunction with our district-level crisis team.  Staff at all three schools receive active shooter training, and we conduct active shooter drills at the middle school and high school.  Response techniques are flexible; we now lock down, evacuate or counter based on the best information available.  Additionally, key school personnel will soon receive training in Force911, a powerful safety tool that allows for real-time communication between school personnel and safety officials when a school is faced with an armed intruder.  We have also increased the number of security cameras -- both interior and exterior --at all three schools.  We have a strong partnership with the Monson Police Department, and officers are available to us as needed.


In addition to the steps outlined above, we recognize that the best way to prevent violence and promote school safety is to create positive learning environments where everyone feels valued and supported.  We work closely with our Counseling Department to address the social/emotional needs of our students, and those who may be struggling with mental health issues.  Advisory programs at Granite Valley and Monson High ensure that students form a connection with at least one trusted adult in the building. Communication among those in our school community is critical, and we are proud of our students and families who have shared information with us that allows us to help students get the support they need, and in turn, make our schools safer.


Please know that we will continue to work assiduously to enhance the safety and security of the Monson Public Schools and appreciate your partnership and support in this process.  Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me or your building principal.


Sincerely,
Cheryl A. Clarke
Superintendent


Quarry Hill Community School
43 Margaret Street
Monson, MA  01057

We are so proud of our students!

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