A letter from Superintendent Grego regarding school safety
Dear Pinellas families,
As we prepare for the start of an exciting and productive 2019-2020 school year, I wanted to communicate to parents and families the numerous steps we are taking to ensure that Pinellas schools are safe environments for our scholars. Pinellas County Schools has met the requirements and fully complied with Florida’s new safety laws, outlined in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act. The school district has also established several additional, enhanced safety measures.
To keep you informed, below are some of the ongoing safety measures we began implementing in previous years, as well as new programs we are introducing that will further enhance the safety of our schools:
- A School Resource Officer or an armed School Security Officer in place at every school site.
- Ident-A-Kid, a new visitor management hardware/software system that will be used in all schools in 2019-2020 to streamline the check-in process.
- A full review of every campus security plan and full physical assessment of every campus by school staff and local law enforcement.
- The introduction of IntraLogic Solutions, an emergency lockdown system that empowers staff to initiate a lockdown during an emergency and immediately inform school and district administration and the police department.
- Continued partnership with Sandy Hook Promise to enhance resources and training for students and staff.
- Our district has been nationally recognized for our implementation of Sandy Hook Promise’s “Start with Hello” and “Say Something” programs.
- Two anonymous reporting systems, Say Something and FortifyFL, to allow students, staff or anyone from the community to report a concern.
- Safety clubs in place in elementary, middle and high schools.
- Monthly age-appropriate active threat safety drills, led by caring staff, under the supervision of law enforcement and developed to align with best practices of the National Association of School Psychologists and the National Association of School Resource Officers.
- Yearly training for all staff on safety protocols and prevention methods.
- Refined processes for investigating and monitoring threats of violence.
- Increased mental health services, with additional school psychologists, counselors and social workers.
As a reminder, in spring 2018, the Pinellas County School Board acted to allow only sworn law enforcement officers and highly trained school security officers to be armed on campus.
Please know that Pinellas County schools are first and foremost safe, nurturing places of learning. We consciously work to maintain environments that reflect our core mission, and we want students and families to feel welcomed, as well as secure, on campus. Thank you for your partnership in keeping Pinellas County Schools safe.
Michael A. Grego, Ed.D.