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B-W Schools' Response to Newtown Tragedy

Read the district superintendent's letter here.

Baldwin-Whitehall School District Superintendent Dr. Randal A. Lutz issued a letter to district parents and guardians on Monday.

The letter (also available is in this article's media gallery) is as follows.

Dear Parents and Guardians:

The recent , provides cause for us to reflect on our own measures of security within the Baldwin-Whitehall School District.

The safety and security of all children and staff is of utmost importance to the Baldwin-Whitehall School District. Policies and procedures have been put into place to limit access to buildings for parents and visitors alike. While these measures seem restrictive in nature, it is times like these that cause us to realize their necessity.

As a school district, it is important that we communicate what we are doing to keep our students safe. Emergency management plans have been created for each school. We continuously review and revise our security plan as necessary. Principals are required to review our plans with staff to ensure everyone understands what to do and when it needs to be done. The Maintenance Department conducts routine inspections of the buildings to confirm systems are working as they should. District representatives meet with local law enforcement and emergency planning personnel and have lockdown and safety procedures in place for all of our buildings.

The School Board has continually supported financial commitments in the area of security. The Capital Improvement Plan addressed the purchase of cameras and entrance systems at our buildings. The annual budget provides funding for our security services, both within the school day and beyond. The local police departments (1, 2) also provide a high level of support to the School District and staff.

The Baldwin-Whitehall School District takes the security and safety of our students and staff seriously. Even though we have many measures in place to accomplish that goal, we can always do better. The recent events make us realize clearer than ever that we should never rest on what we have done, but always try to examine how we can make the District better. That is our commitment to you.

Information has been placed on our website (and is in this article's media gallery) about how to talk with your children when tragic events such as this occur. Also, if your children need additional support, our guidance counselors and social workers are available in our schools.

If you have any questions or are in need of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Dr. Randal A. Lutz
Superintendent of Schools
412-884-6300, Ext. 7240

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Billee December 31, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Our Baldwin Whitehall School Board has been very supportive. When we asked they approved a ongoing calendar change from what I can tell of an academic day so our children would be safe at home on election days during a sign of changing times... one of them being unhealthy highly escalated political ones. This way our community members still had the opportunity to exercise their right to vote in our schools while our children were safe at home and not at potential risk.
Billee December 31, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Our School Board was also supportive when we asked to keep a Nurse and a Social Worker... they voted yes to do so if I'm not mistaken. Nurses and Social Workers partake in a vital role in school security and safe environment. They continually monitor in house potentials for crisis situations dealing with mental health. The Nurses and Social Workers can diffuse some mental health situations by taking the proper steps for services and potentially head them off at the pass before a tragedy could occur.
Billee December 31, 2012 at 03:35 PM
I will say moving forward policy 907 needs much scrutiny of its content in language and improvement of the detail and needs to be rewritten in it wasn't already dissolved with new approaches put into place. Review of such said policy and or approaches needs to be done yearly with safety committee review and not just a one time fix. These changes and or new approaches need to be carried out with all the why and why not questions being answered and carried out with the up most TLC for all involved... including parents.
cc January 01, 2013 at 01:43 AM
Billie you do know we are short one nurse in the district. One retired and the position was not filled. The Social Worker is Part Time not full time.

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