Dear D30 Families,
This morning Maple School enjoyed listening to the talents of our orchestra, choir, and band students. They handled challenging pieces incredibly well! During the program, Mr. Vecchio reflected on a particularly positive number and shared, “Now is as good a time as any to send some beauty into the world.”
Indeed it is. I know that our hearts break for those affected by senseless violence like the recent shooting in Florida. I am incredibly touched by the caring response by our students and staff whose actions include writing letters to students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
I am also saddened by the fact that these threats consume our time and energies, but they must. The safety of our students and staff is always our primary concern and events like these highlight the importance of our security efforts. I believe that there are two ongoing actions that maximize our safety:
- See something, say something: Our trusting and open communication with our students, families, and community are our first line of defense. Whether concerns surface about an individual considering harming themselves or others, it is typical for warning signs and signals to be known by someone. We must all continue to maintain our strong connections and provide appropriate support services to those in need, while remaining in close contact with the Northbrook and Glenview Police Departments.
- Building our capacity: We know that unthinkable acts of violence can occur anywhere. To be prepared, we must continuously develop our ability to react as intelligently as possible.
Regarding the first point, we all need to reinforce, “See something, say something.” Increased sensitivity to warning signs and concerns is a positive thing. In a recent conversation with a Northbrook Police Officer, he emphasized that they follow up on any information regarding a potential threat and take all of them seriously. We do the same.
Concerning building our capacity across District 30, please know that District 30’s administrative team has been engaged in updating our Emergency Preparedness Plans as part of our strategic plan. Our goal is to implement one set of protocols and language across Northfield Township (schools, parks, police, and fire). Northbrook District 27 has taken the lead on this vital work. Specifically, we are learning and intentionally developing an options-based response plan that aligns with the EEEE (Educate, Evade, Escape, and Engage) framework from Tier One Tactical Solutions out of St. Louis. Several members of our team, including me, have updated our protocols and engaged in active shooter training this year. We are using this knowledge to continuously update our plans, and will fully implement what we are learning in District 30 over the next few years.
A focus on safety motivated the new entrance configurations at Wescott and Willowbrook. Also, we have had the Northbrook Police Department and Fire Departments directly involved in the security and layout of the new Maple School.
Thank you all for continuing to send some beauty into the world. Together, we maximize the safety of our most precious resource, our kids.