2018-19 Safety Update For Worthington Schools
We are excited to begin this new school year, and to engage in the relationships that help our students learn and grow throughout the year. Connecting with students and adults in our community helps us to further our mission to “Empower a community of learners who will change the world!”
One of our most important focus areas is creating a learning environment that is safe in which ALL students can thrive. In Worthington, we use a three-prong approach to school safety:
1. Physical safety, which includes secure entrances, locked doors, safety cameras positioned in specific locations, principals and other staff carrying walkie talkies equipped to communicate directly with our District Office and local law enforcement.
2. Staff and student training, which takes place annually. In the Fall, we conduct State-required safety drills that are age-appropriate, focused on weather and other emergencies. This year, our drills will include a full scale drill in conjunction with local first responders, which is required every 3 years. Our staff refreshes their training for a variety of emergencies annually.
3. Priority for student support, which this year includes the hiring of additional mental health professionals that will collaborate with principals and staff across the district at all three levels, and school resource officers at our high schools. At Middle School, we partner with Nationwide Childrens Hospital to provide education to all 7th grade students on identifying signs of suicide. And, we continue our ongoing referral and support relationship with North Community Counseling Services, which works with our counselors and leadership to connect students and families with mental health support.
This year, we are partnering with the Sandy Hook Promise organization to build additional messages of connection and empowerment into the learning of our students. At the elementary level, Character Ambassadors will implement the “Start With Hello” program to focus on reducing student isolation and increase student belonging. At the middle school, students will encounter “See Something, Say Something” which fosters dialogue between students and adults related to at-risk behaviors and potential threats. The Sandy Hook Promise organization was formed by concerned parents and leaders to provide programs and tools aimed at empowering students, educators, and communities in creating safer school environments.
Student safety is paramount to insuring a strong learning environment, and we work diligently with staff, students, and the community to provide the best learning opportunities. If you have questions about school safety and/or our plans, please contact your school administrator or the leadership at our District Office.
Enjoy and productive and enriching 2018-2019 school year!