May 25, 2018

Dear Parents and Community Members,

In light of the recent school tragedies, we want to assure you that the safety of our students continues to be our top priority for the Bethel Local Schools District. A safe school opens doors for all students by building a foundation of high expectations, rigorous content, and persistent support. We are committed, through regular and ongoing safety training, that our school will be a place where students can learn and grow, free from concerns about safety.

We employ a variety of security measures in our daily efforts to provide safe and secure learning environments. These measures reflect our high expectations for students’ safety and include the following:

  • Our district actively practices lockdown drills and lockout drills in case of an intruder or outside threat.
  • Our staff has had in-service training with a security consultant company regarding ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate) drills and First Responder medical training in case of traumatic events.
  • School entrances are locked during the school day and equipped with an access control device so that visitors must show identification before being “buzzed in.”
  • The district works closely with the Miami County Sheriff’s Office, who are often found visiting school grounds, to ensure the safety of our students.
  • The district encourages students and employees to practice “see something, say something” and notify proper authorities if they feel an individual may pose a threat. If anyone should ever have concerns about a potential threat, please immediately report those concerns to administrators or local law enforcement.
  • Fingerprinting and background checks are completed for all prospective employees.
  • Building administrators are able to view video surveillance and are directly connected through technology to the district’s security camera system.
  • To communicate with parents during an emergency, the district uses the communication capabilities of our ONE CALL SYSTEM as well as other technology-related resources.
  • Fire drills are conducted on a monthly basis as well as semi-annual severe weather drills.
  • We schedule yearly meetings/trainings for the district’s management team with the Miami County Emergency Management Department.

More safety measures are on the horizon:

  • A part-time SRO from the Miami County Sheriff’s Office will be stationed in our district at the beginning of 2018-2019 school year.
  • More outside and inside security cameras will be added to our district over the summer break.
  • A Security and Safety Page will be added to the website over the summer break.

We are also proud to announce that we recently purchased the RAPTOR Visitor Management System and will being using it in all of our school offices. This is just another way to strengthen Bethel’s program of campus safety for our students and faculty. The RAPTOR system will better allow us to screen visitors, contractors and volunteers.  Here’s how it works:

Upon entering a district building, visitors will be asked to present an ID such as a Driver’s License, which can either be scanned or manually entered into the system. If a parent or guardian for any reason does not have a US government-issued ID, the school personnel can use any form of identification and manually enter the visitor’s name into the RAPTOR system. The RAPTOR system will check to ensure that no inappropriate or dangerous individuals are entering the school building without our knowledge. Once the entry is approved, the RAPTOR will issue a badge that identifies the visitor, the date and the pur- pose of the visit.  A visitor’s badge will not be necessary for those who visit our school to simply drop off an item in the office or pick up paperwork. We do want to thank you for your support and understanding as we implement this process.

While it is devastating to think of a violent act being attempted in one of our schools, it is important to remember that our students, parents, and staff are our best line of defense. We rely on our entire school community to inform a school official if they are aware of any threat so we can thoroughly investigate, as we take all reports very seriously.

We also review and revise our safety procedures and policies on a consistent basis to better prepare for what we hope and pray never happens on our Bethel campus. Be assured that Bethel Local Schools operates daily with safety as a top priority for every student, faculty and staff member for whom we are responsible.

Thank you for your trust and support in our district!

 

Sincerely,

Virginia D. Potter

Superintendent, Bethel Local Schools

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