Keeping Our Students and Staff Safe
President Barack Obama said on December 16th, 2012, “This job of keeping our children safe, and teaching them well, is something we can only do together, with the help of friends and neighbors, the help of a community, and the help of a nation.” We at Searcy Public Schools strive every day to ensure the safety of our students, and we are grateful for the cooperation of our parents and patrons who also see the safety of our children as a top priority.
Our district has implemented various safety measures regarding transportation and building access at all of our campuses, and we plan to continue working with our students to help make them more proactive as well.
Searcy School District recently purchased a portable camera that will record images of drivers who are passing stopped school buses and who are speeding in school zones. The district transports approximately 1200 students Monday through Friday, and we want to provide the safest transportation environment as possible. Searcy School District transportation director James Frank says “We plan to utilize this camera in our problem areas, and we hope this tool will serve as an additional safety device.” Speaking of transportation, we would also like to remind our community that under Arkansas Code 27-51-1609, motorists are not to use a handheld wireless telephone when passing a school building or school zone when children are present and outside the building.
In regards to safety in the school buildings, Searcy Public Schools have added several new safety features which include the Hall Pass Visitor Management System, new entrances, and fencing. “While we have added new safety precautions, we will continue to be mindful and watchful of those entering and exiting our buildings,” says McRae principal Jim Gurchiek. “We want to make sure our campus is safe for our students and staff.” Westside Elementary School recently added a new doorway upon the entrance of the building. Both Westside and McRae will be using a magnetic entrance and buzzer system. Additionally, McRae playground is currently under construction to build a new, more accessible sidewalk for students who may walk to and from school.
Finally, as mentioned earlier in the school year, all Searcy School District faculty and staff received ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) training during the summer months. ALICE is a “set of proactive strategies that will increase the chance of survival during an armed intruder event.” As the year progresses, students will be introduced to some of these strategies during armed intruder drills and older students may be engaged in more active response. For more information on ALICE, persons may access www.alicetraining.com