A safe and happy new year

December 3, 2012: I hope you are having an enjoyable and restful holiday and a chance to spend time with loved ones.

As we return to school Jan. 2, I know that the Clackamas Town Center Mall and Sandy Hook Elementary tragedies are weighing on us. The incomprehensible nature of these acts and their impact turn our attention to preparing the very best we can.

Staying prepared to handle emergencies
During the past two years, PPS has developed an in-depth emergency preparedness program. School leaders and staff have been trained to respond to a wide range of crisis situations, and every school and classroom has been given emergency management tools and supplies.

This work is detailed in PPS Pulse and on our Emergency Management webpage.

Strengthening the safety of our schools and classrooms
We are increasing vigilance in our schools. Here are important reminders:

  1. All visitors and volunteers must sign in at the office and wear a badge. If you see someone in the school without a badge, please greet them and direct them to check in at the office.
  2. Please help support our policy that all but the front doors to our schools remain locked.
  3. Make sure your school has up-to-date contact information for your family.

Please review safety protocols, including reunfication procedures in the event of an emergency, on the Parent/Staff Resources page of our Emergency Management website.

Supporting students as we return to school
I know that some students may have mixed feelings about returning to school in light of recent events.

In case it is helpful, we have posted resources for parents for dealing with traumatic events, including talking with their children. We have also shared resources with principals and staff. Please let your student’s teachers, counselors or principal know if your student is experiencing any anxieties about returning to school.

The safety of your child, your teachers and everyone who enters our school buildings is a top priority. If you have questions or suggestions about ways we can bolster safety in your school please talk to your principal or e-mail us at pubinfo@pps.net.

Carole Smith