Student and Staff Safety: Our Top Concern

The only aspect of our mission that’s more important to us than seeing our students achieve at their highest potential is ensuring their safety and well-being.

All Ohio school districts are required to file annual safety plans with the State of Ohio, and they are to have regularly-scheduled safety drills. Superintendent Garilee Ogden felt that while these actions are necessary, the District needed to be more proactive to ensure the safety of our students, staff, and our facilities.

We have had a School Resource Officer (SRO) at the high school for several years. This has been possible through a partnership with Groveport Police. Last year, the District contracted with Madison Township Police to add a second SRO at the high school. This officer also works with our five Madison Township schools, providing training, on-site assistance, and support during emergencies.

Last year, the District also received a $30,000 school safety grant. Part of this money is being used to contract with a highly-regarded safety and risk management consultant to help us develop best-practices around safety planning and staff training. Safety teams have already been set up in all of our schools, and we have met with Madison Township and Groveport Police to standardize our procedures and practices across the school district. The grant also allowed us to replace some of our security cameras and to buy safety-related supplies for our schools.

By redistributing responsibilities among existing administrative staff in the District Service Center, the superintendent created a new position to specifically focus on school safety, security, and customer relations. Mr. Paul Smathers will begin in early October. He will work with local law enforcement officials, our school safety teams, and other stakeholders to ensure we have the necessary plans and training in place to keep our students and staff safe.

We will keep you updated on our progress and future opportunities to learn more about our efforts to keep our schools, students, and staff safe.
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