School Safety

February 27, 2018

Dear Washougal Families,

The tragedy in Parkland, Florida has again brought national attention to the topic of school safety. I want to reassure you that in the Washougal School District we take the safety of our students and staff very seriously. We take a proactive approach to keeping our students safe and have clear plans and procedures in place. Monthly emergency preparedness drills take place in every school, covering emergency procedures for fire, earthquake, and lockdown. In addition, our administrators join educators in our region to participate in the annual Safety Summit, which addresses various topics for safety and security in schools with law enforcement and safety personnel sharing best practices.

In partnership with the Washougal Police Department, we have a School Resource Officer (SRO) at Washougal High School who is on call to support all schools in the district. We also work closely with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and Skamania County Sheriff’s Office to ensure that we have law enforcement support services provided to each of our schools in the event of an emergency. Thanks to voters who approved the recent capital facilities bond, entrances at every school are safer with secure double entry electronic vestibules requiring visitors to check in with office staff before gaining entry. Additionally, we have centralized lockdown controls in place at each school.

School safety is a topic we address every day, not just in response to incidents like the one in Florida. Examples include fire inspections, facility repairs and maintenance, counseling and nursing services, and safety training for staff.

What you can do:

We encourage you to help us keep our schools safe and prepare for emergency situations:

  • Report any potential threats. If your child sees something that may be a threat at school or online, including on social media, please report it to your school principal or law enforcement.
  • Parents and staff can help children feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security, and talking with them about their fears. The National Association of School Psychologists {NASP) recommends the following strategies:
    • Reassure children that they are safe.
    • Make time to talk.
    • Keep your explanations developmentally appropriate.
    • Review safety procedures.
    • Observe children’s emotional state.
    • Limit television viewing of these events.
    • Maintain a normal routine.

In Washougal, we are fortunate to have a strong sense of community where the well-being of others is a vital part of a healthy and supportive environment. Providing a safe and supportive school environment is an important part of this.  We work hard to maintain a respectful and nurturing learning environment that is free from bullying and harassment.

Our school staff is available to respond to children’s concerns and needs as necessary and appropriate. Please do not hesitate to contact your principal if you have any questions or concerns about the safety of Washougal students.

Sincerely,

Mike Stromme, Ed .D.

Superintendent

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