School system hosts parent information sessions, launches committee to address safety

  • Posted: Tuesday, January 8, 2013 2:04 p.m.

The Rowan-Salisbury School System will host the first of a two-part parent information series called “Keeping Our Children Safe” Thursday.

The event will, which will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Salisbury Civic Center, will focus on bullying.

District Court Judge Beth Dixon will provide the keynote address, which will be followed by a panel of community experts that include a local professional, a non-profit social worker and a law enforcement officer.

The second session will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Jan. 31 at Carson High School. It will focus on safety on school campuses.

Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten will provide information to parents about safety practiced in our schools from lockdown procedures to building security. Detailed plans for this event are still being finalized.

The series is part of the district’s “Parents Matter” program, designed in a continuing effort to stay connected with parents.

Child care will be provided during both sessions for pre-kindergarten through fifth-graders. Parents are strongly encouraged to attend.

The district has created a school safety committee to actively address concerns about safety.

Superintendent Dr. Judy Grissom convened a meeting of the committee, made up of principals, law enforcement officials and district administrators, last week to look at the current district policies and procedures in addition to security at school buildings.

“Our priority is to make sure that we are doing everything that we possibly can to make our schools a safe learning environment for all of our students and employees,” Grissom said. “I cannot give enough praise to what is already being accomplished by our law enforcement officers that continue to play a valuable and very visible role in keeping our children safe.”

The objective of the committee is to look at a broad range of concerns in the areas of protocol procedures for school lockdowns; school resource officers at the elementary and middle school levels; lighting around school buildings; public access to buildings; replacement windows; signage; camera systems; front office coverage; use of social media as a positive outreach; and visitor policies.

“We know that there are safety issues in our schools that need to be more consistent across the district,” Grissom said. “One of the goals of this committee is to identify those areas and make recommendations.”

The committee was divided into subcommittees in order to thoroughly research and make recommendations on the above concerns. A future meeting has been scheduled to receive and review these reports.

A full report from the school safety committee will be presented during the Jan. 28 Board of Education meeting.

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