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A Letter From Dr. Reedy About School Safety (October, 2006)

Dear FISD families,

Tragically school shootings are once again in the nation’s headlines. The incidents reported in Vermont, Wisconsin, Colorado, and Pennsylvania are terrible reminders that no community and no school, public or private, is immune from violent acts that can hurt or kill innocent victims.

Frisco Independent School District firmly believes that the most important element in creating a safe environment is the relationship between our staff, our students and our parents. We strive to create an environment at all of our campuses where teachers and students know each other and communicate well. We have been dedicated to building smaller learning environments and to staffing them with generous staff/student ratios. We support groups and organizations that help students and families become involved in school activities. 

But knowing our neighbors is not enough in today’s world. Kevin Haller, the district’s Director of Security, oversees the FISD district-wide emergency plan and each campus’s individual emergency plan. Drills are practiced and safety procedures reviewed several times throughout the school year. These drills cover everything from severe weather to terrorist threat.

FISD also works in partnership with the Frisco Police Department. School Resource Officers have offices in the secondary schools and are available to assist with elementary school issues when needed. FISD also works closely with Homeland Security and the Frisco Fire Department. Emergency communications equipment is provided at each campus. Surveillance cameras are also in place at all FISD buildings.

A few years ago the Frisco Board of Trustees voted to retrofit existing campuses and to build each new campus as “single point of access” buildings. Visitors must sign in at the office before being allowed through locked doors and the office staff has been instructed to check identification of unknown visitors and to be on the lookout for suspicious behavior. Campus lock-downs are practiced throughout the year and have been used in cases where a danger has been suspected.

Background checks are required for all employees and any volunteers, including parents, working with students. Even parents wanting to go on field trips with elementary students must have passed a background check.

We also try to educate our students to be alert to their surroundings and their peers. Our secondary schools participate in the Choose-to-Care anonymous tip line where students may share concerns about drugs, alcohol or unusual behavior. Stranger danger is still taught in our elementary schools as part of our character education programs.

We examine each new unfortunate incident that occurs and evaluate our plans and programs. You, as parents, can help us by talking to your children about school and personal safety. They need to know the importance of following school safety procedures in times of emergency and of being aware of their surroundings at all times.

Thank you for your continued support,

Rick Reedy