Emergency Preparation: How We Practice Keeping Safe
One of our highest priorities is keeping everyone in our school safe every day, and also in the event of emergencies. We take a variety of steps at Marvista:
- Our Emergency Preparedness Team meets monthly to review, revise and improve our safety procedures.
- Our PBIS program models safe behaviors for students, and provides monthly tips and training for support staff.
- Our counselor, Mr. Ritsema, teaches anti-bullying lessons to all classes, so students can recognize, report, and refuse bullying.
- We practice school-wide safety drills each month for fire, earthquake, lockdown, and shelter-in-place emergencies.
- We have cameras at entrances and procedures in the office for visitors to sign in and wear a visitor’s badge.
- Our school is partnering with Normandy Park Police to provide staff training this spring.
Even with these safety measures in place, many question what else can be done to prevent the unimaginable tragedies like we saw last week in Florida. There are some things we are doing at Marvista already, and things we can all do more of. One of the best ways is by continuing to prioritize our relationships with our students and teach them strategies for their social-emotional learning through RULER. Knowing all our kids by name, strength, and need, builds a strong community for us all – students, staff, families and community members. Students who feel accepted and valued in their classroom, in their school, and in their community, also feel connected to peers within these groups. By teaching strategies for recognizing, understanding, labeling, expressing, and regulating emotions, we equip our kids to address conflicts with peers safely and successfully. Lastly, when appropriate, we teach students ways to restore relationships when harm is done, through restorative circles. With all of this in place, our keen awareness if we see someone struggling gives us one more thing we can do: If you see something, say something to one of us.
We will continue to think carefully about the safety procedures and protocols we have in place and ways we can improve them. Your input on this important topic is always welcome. If you still have questions about our safety and security plan, please do not hesitate to contact me.