Happy Sunday, Irvington Nation!
We are pleased to announce that regular operational services for our community of schools will resume on tomorrow, Monday, September 12, 2022! Speaking on behalf of our school system, I wish to thank EVERYONE for your cooperation, support, and understanding displayed during the week of September 6-9!
Please allow me to have a few moments of your time to read the following:
1) What happened last week? As indicated in the alerts sent through a variety of communication means, we received two internet/text based “threats” against the safety of students and staff in our schools-one on Tuesday, 9/6 at 3:14 pm and the other on Thursday, 9/8 at 7:44 a.m. As a result of these messages, instructional and operational plans were seriously disrupted. Although we were able to serve the needs of our students through E-Learning, our preference would have been to work as a team with our students and staff present in the schools. Although the “threats” against our schools on those days were assessed as non-existent to minimal, we chose to err on the side of safety, and moved our learning/working process to E-Learning. Thank you again for your understanding and support of those decisions.
2) Who did this? The IMPD and ICS are working in tandem to investigate this matter. Information was given to the law enforcement community, and the investigation is ongoing.
3) What’s NEXT for us? We will return to school tomorrow, and will continue with our commitment to student and staff safety through our secure entry procedure and a commitment to carefully monitoring the climate and movements around our campuses. We also hope to secure the additional presence of our associates from IMPD during the student arrival/drop-off and departure processes.
4) What about “Copy Cat” or additional “threats?” GREAT question! Should we receive additional text/e-mail/air drop/social media “threats,” we will do the following:
1. Examine the statement and convene an immediate meeting of the school’s and/or district crisis team(s).
2. Conduct a threat assessment by gathering as much information as we can on the matter by speaking with students who reported the threat or may have further knowledge of the threat, review all available facts and information, and determine if the threat is nil, moderate, or severe. In either determination, a communication tree is deployed, and IMPD and parents are notified.
3. It is important to note that in both situations, cell phones were used to convey these alleged threats. Discussions are underway to develop strategies to limit, if not prohibit, student possession and use of cell phones in the buildings. As is the case in many academic and professional environments, cell phone use at inappropriate/inopportune times has been identified as an issue in some schools, costing us opportunities to impart quality instruction to a fully-captive audience.
5) What are next steps? As indicated in the statements last week, we are interested in engaging in conversation with YOU and others in our community about volunteer opportunities we’d like to extend for parents/guardians/community members to work with our schools to provide supervisory, instructional support, and social development support to our schools. Examples of this are volunteers to support staff during arrival/dismissal duty, serving as breakfast/lunch buddies to students, reading/volunteering in our classrooms as an instructional support assistants, and, serving as safety monitors to support our principals, teachers, and staff as we all monitor our environments to earnestly provide an environment that is safe, clean, orderly, and conducive to effective service and learning. More information on those opportunities will come your way!
THANK YOU again for reading this lengthy post, and thank you again for your support! I/We are looking forward to engaging and working with you in our schools!