School Beat: School Safety

By Dr. Michael Shibler, Superintendent, Rockford Public Schools

Dear Rockford Community and Staff:

For many years, the safety of Rockford Public Schools students, staff, community, and guests, has been a top priority.  As a district, we continue to work with our law enforcement partners and third party vendors looking for ways to enhance and improve our safety and security protocols and practices.  Our ongoing commitment to safety is more than words, and is demonstrated by our actions which include:

  • (1) RPS has added additional mental health liaisons and social workers to our staff.
  • (2) Beginning in 1998, RPS created a district-wide security department, led by a director who is a retired law enforcement professional, with 10 staff, many of whom are also retired law enforcement professionals. Currently, Scott Beckman, a former Lt. with the Wyoming police department, is our director.
  • (3) Revenue from the 2014 bond issue provides the means to build our security vestibules by the entrance of each of our schools, restricting access to our schools during the academic school day. These vestibules are surrounded by safety film, which restricts access to the offices and hallways.
  • (4) All first floor windows of each school will have this safety film.
  • (5) Many additional cameras are being added to our schools, inside and outside of our buildings to monitor traffic and access.
  • (6) During the academic day, all outside doors to each building are locked and secure.
  • (7) RPS staff and students participate in state mandated drills throughout the school year, including lockdown, shelter-in-place and district required medical emergency drills.
  • (8) RPS staff to periodically receive updated information regarding security practices and procedures.
  • (9) Every classroom and work place has a comprehensive “Emergency Response Procedures” manual that provides detailed information regarding multiple emergency scenarios.
  • (10)Do our security personnel carry firearms?  The answer to that question is known only to me and RPS’ director of security.

 

As you can discern, RPS not only believes, but also practices, student, staff, and community safety in our schools as a priority, and we will continue to do so. As always, please contact me with your questions or concerns. mshibler@rockfordschools.org, or 863-6557.