BEACHWOOD CITY SCHOOLS     216.464.2600

School Security Updates from the Superintendent

January 21, 2015

Dear Beachwood Families:

Prior to winter break, students and staff in each of our schools participated in lockdown drills and safety assemblies conducted by Beachwood police officers.

 

Following each of these assemblies, classroom teachers presented additional information to students for managing themselves in a crisis situation. Teachers notified their students of meet-up locations near the perimeters of each respective school property should a spontaneous evacuation of the school become necessary.

 

Please note that these meet-up locations are not pick-up locations for parents to find their children. Rather, they are merely locations in close proximity to the school grounds where teachers and students would safely re-assemble. Parents would be quickly notified of the pick-up location with instructions by text message and/or voice message. The pick-up location would likely be at another school depending on the nature of the threat. In fact, the presence of law enforcement and other emergency responders would make it difficult for parents to drive near the evacuated school. Thus, it is important to wait for these text and voice notifications before attempting to pick up your child at his or her school. (In addition to text and voice notifications, our district would also utilize Facebook, Twitter, our website, email, and local news media to disseminate information and instructions for parents.)

 

It is unfortunate that we must plan for and practice these scenarios. However, Beachwood Schools and our community are as prepared as possible for managing threats to public safety, our tactical response, and emergency communications.

 

While adults know that even the best security measures cannot guarantee absolute safety, police and teachers reassured our students during our most recent drills that our schools and our community are safe. Thank you again for entrusting your children to our care.


Sincerely,

Markwardt signature  

Richard A. Markwardt, Ph.D., Superintendent

Beachwood City School District 

(216) 464-2600




November 14, 2014

Dear Beachwood Families:

Beachwood Schools administrators and our crisis management team regularly review and practice our security and emergency procedures in keeping with law enforcement's best practices. The school district's security plan is on file with the Ohio Attorney General's office and is updated regularly, including as recently as last month.

We work closely with the City of Beachwood Police Department to provide safe and secure learning environments for our students and staff. While the safety of our students and staff demands that we not disclose many of the details that would compromise the integrity of our security provisions, I am able to share that recent or periodic activities include the following:
  • Students and staff in each of our schools practice annual *lockdown or **shelter-in-place drills under the guidance of the Beachwood Police. These drills will be conducted in each school by December 1, as required by Ohio law. (See descriptions below for "lockdown" and "shelter-in-place.")
  • By the end of November, we will conduct age-appropriate safety assemblies for students in each school with Beachwood police officers.
  • Our teachers and staff have attended several ALICE training sessions during the past 18 months (and as recently as last week) on techniques that empower them to take more aggressive steps to protect and shield our students in a crisis situation.
  • Beachwood police officers periodically conduct exercises in our schools during off hours to familiarize themselves with our buildings.
  • Beachwood Police frequently maintain a low profile at each of our schools, particularly during times of heightened concern.
In the event of an actual emergency or school closing, our district may utilize the following media to communicate with parents and the community: reverse-911, text messages, FacebookTwitter, our web site, email, and local news media.

While even the best security measures can not guarantee absolute safety, please know that our schools and community are as prepared as possible for managing threats to public safety. Thank you for entrusting your children to our care.

Sincerely,

Markwardt signature  

Richard A. Markwardt, Ph.D., Superintendent
Beachwood City School District 
(216) 464-2600


*LOCKDOWN secures all exterior entrances to the school building. It may be used to prevent anyone from entering or leaving the building when there may be threat nearby - but not necessarily inside - the school. When used only as a precaution, the school day may continue as normal while the school is locked down, but nobody may enter or leave the building.


**SHELTER-IN-PLACE effectively secures students in the rooms they currently occupy. In addition to when there is a potential threat inside the school, this procedure may also be utilized during a medical emergency to transport an individual safely and with dignity. Thus, it may also be used in situations during which there is no threat to student safety.

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