Lake Elsinore Unified School District

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Superintendent's Message

School Safety: Three Arenas of Action

Superintendent's Road Show, V8N3 Spring 2020

This spring edition of the Superintendent’s Road Show spotlights three arenas of school safety in action district wide: facilities safety improvements under Measure V, mental health and student supports, and recommendations from a new School Safety Ad Hoc Committee.

 

View or download Superintendent's Road Show slideshow

PowerPoint files accompanying the Superintendent's Quarterly Road Show newsletter for the 2019-20 school year may be viewed or downloaded below. The electronic version of the newsletter is distributed via ParentSquare and can be viewed using the ParentSquare app or at this login: https://www.parentsquare.com/feeds/2589725

1. Assessing school safety needs...

Student well-being and school safety remains our first priority. In partnership with the Lake Elsinore Teachers Association and the Superintendent’s Office, a new School Safety Ad Hoc Committee and work group (SSAHC) was recently established.

 

The SSAHC work group will examine school safety needs for preventing, mitigating, and recovering from acts of violence. Members of the work group include principals, teachers and district administrators.

 

The work group held its first meeting in February. Their current focus is on facilities safety, behavioral and mental health supports, communications protocol, and effective training outcomes. The recommendations of the Federal Commission on School Safety Final Report, published in December 2018, are also being examined.

 

Using surveys and other data, felt needs regarding school safety among students, parents/guardians, LEUSD employees and community members will be assessed and incorporated into SSAHC findings and recommendations.

 

The SSAHC work group will develop independent recommendations in a draft white paper to be published in May 2020. The draft white paper will be interactively discussed through public outreach presentations to LETA members, parents, students, and community stakeholders. The white paper will be finalized in June, and presented to LEUSD’s Board of Trustees for consideration.

 

Board President Heidi Matthies Dodd stated, “Through a collaborative effort, the goal is to guide and inform the district’s safety policies, safety practices, and safety investment to protect those we serve.”

2. Social Emotional Supports...'Breaking Down the Walls'

Social emotional supports for high school students include Breaking Down the Walls, an engaging program offered at LEUSD’s three comprehensive high schools. Breaking Down the Walls, or BDW seminars, were developed in 1993 in response to a Maryville, CA school shooting.

 

According to author and founder Phil Boyte, of Learning for Living, the BDW program is designed to unify, empower, and engage every student to create a positive and supportive campus culture.

BDW seminars guide students through a series of activities to better connect with their school peers and community. LEUSD high school students will experience this unique program on the dates shown:

  1. Temescal HS—March 9 - 11
  2. Elsinore HS—March 24 - 26
  3. Lakeside HS—Mar 31 – Apr 2

The goal is to create a greater sense of community, to raise school involvement, to build lasting relationships between staff and students, and to supplant bullying and discipline issues with a friendlier campus climate.

 

View a video of how it works at https://youtu.be/OAPuyl8Zykl.

3. Facilities Safety Strategies...

The Measure V school bond passed by voters in 2016 has helped fund and improve student safety and campus security systems, security fencing, surveillance cameras, emergency communications systems, smoke detectors, fire alarms and sprinklers.

 

School safety audits form the basis of prioritizing Measure V safety improvements; elementary school safety audits have already been completed, which included input from site administrators, teachers, and staff. Safety audits at middle schools and high schools are continuing in phases. For example, LEUSD relied on security audit findings to replaced older surveillance cameras and equipment with brand new advanced systems at all three comprehensive High School campuses. State-of-the-art school access control, video surveillance, and intrusion detection systems will soon come online at Alberhill Elementary School, LEUSD’s newest campus, opening in August of 2020.

 

School safety projects are budgeted annually to ensure steady progress using Measure V and other funding sources. Recent examples include additional security fencing to close off open areas at Tuscany Hills Elementary and Luiseño School, and administrative building access control at Terra Cotta MS. All LEUSD classrooms district wide have received new locking hardware. Security lighting in parking lots and other lighting efficiency upgrades are also on our safety projects list.

 

The goal is to continue to use Measure V and other facilities funds to help keep LEUSD campuses safe.