Super Carole goes all post-9/11 after boy disappears
Skyline School second-grader Kyron Horman has been missing from his Portland school for more than two days now, and the school district's superintendent is calling for better security measures there and at all the city's public schools. Today she writes:
Here is what we will put in place at Skyline elementary tomorrow:Were all the grownups at the school signed in and wearing name tags on Friday morning? I'd be surprised if they were. But getting hard-core about that requirement now is going to be like the security theater that we go through at American airports. It's inconvenient, it's reassuring, and in the end, it's never going to be 100% effective against a determined kidnapper. (And that is not to say that there definitely was a kidnapper in the Horman case.)
* Our Crisis Response Team will be available to provide counseling support to Skyline students, staff and families all day on Monday and Tuesday. The school psychologist assigned to Skyline and Roosevelt High School will also be on site all day. Up to five professional counseling staff will be available in room 203 at Skyline.
* Two school resource officers will be in place to provide enhanced security at Skyline School.
Here are additional steps we are taking at Skyline and at all schools across the district:
* As of Monday, June 7, 2010, we are mandating the use of our automated attendance call system at every K-8 and K-5 school, so that families will be notified of any unexcused absence during the day the absence is recorded. (Because this policy is not currently in place at all schools, it may take a day or two to fully implement the automated system. Until the system is implemented, we are requiring schools that do not use the automated attendance system to call families directly when there is an unexcused absence.)
* We are re-emphasizing our existing policy requiring all school staff, contractors and volunteers to display their I.D. badges and for visitors to sign-in and wear name tags at every school, during school hours. Any visitors who refuse to sign-in and wear a name tag will be asked to leave.
* We have put in place a counseling hotline that is available to anyone who needs advice or support, in particular how to help children address the safety and emotional issues raised by this situation. That number will be staffed starting at 8:30 a.m. Monday morning. The phone number is: 503-916-3931.
* We are convening a team of school district leaders, including deputy superintendents, principals and school security services, as well as leaders of the Portland Association of Teachers, to review arrival and dismissal practices and identify ways we can ensure a smooth, well-coordinated transition of student supervision between families and teachers at the beginning and end of the school day.
As part of this effort, we will review our visitor sign-in practices for school events that invite large numbers of family members and community members into our schools.