Spring is just around the corner and that means the fourth nine weeks is now underway. Hopefully, the winter weather is behind us as we begin our spring sports seasons. Although we had a rough winter in terms of calamity days, right now the last scheduled day for students remains May 18. Graduation for our seniors will be on May 13 at 2:00. It is hard to believe, but the end of the school year is quickly drawing near.
The third nine weeks was a busy one at Crooksville Exempted Village Schools. This newsletter will highlight many of the activities that took place during the third quarter of the school year. Please take the opportunity to read about the many great things that have happened and are happening in Crooksville Schools.
At this time, I would like to take a few minutes to address school safety. With the recent events nationally, school violence has been all over the media and social media. I want to reassure everyone that student safety remains our top priority. This is my fourth year as superintendent of the district and over that time we have made many improvements to enhance the safety for our students and staff. Just a few of them include the single entry buzz in entrances at both of our buildings, ID badges for all staff, the addition of two-way communication radios to contact law enforcement, security camera upgrades and the installation of monitors for these cameras in the offices at both buildings, and various staff exercises and trainings done in conjunction with local law enforcement on threats, including ALICE training and bomb scare training. This year we also trained all staff members on how to “Stop the Bleed,” a program which teaches how to administer basic first aid in case of an emergency situation. Additionally, we have worked together with the Department of Homeland Security and local law enforcement to craft a safety plan which was approved by these agencies as well as the Ohio Department of Education. While I cannot provide you all the details of our plan or our security measures because doing so may jeopardize the integrity of our safety plan, rest assured we are always looking for ways to improve school safety and routinely practice and train for emergencies.
However, the reality is that no matter the amount of training or physical safety improvements, the best deterrent to an attack on our schools is our positive relationships with students. I am proud to say at Crooksville Schools, the relationships formed between staff and students are second to none. Not only do we care about our kids, we have programming in place to help foster and grow these relationships. From club activities built into the schedule at the high school, to “Dudents of the Month” and high five hallways at the middle school and elementary school, to our iLearn before school and after school programming, to the many highly engaging activities inside and outside of our classrooms, it is evident our staff and students have great relationships. Additionally, this year we began offering more outside mental health counseling services to our students in need of these services though a new contract with Allwell Behavioral Services. Creating an environment where all students feel loved, supported, and valued is our best defense against acts of violence at school.
Furthermore, we must all work together as a community to help keep our students and staff safe. When we see early warning signs of children in crisis or trouble, we need to work together to get them the help they need. Additionally, we can all encourage our students if they hear about a potential school threat to report it to an adult. As an adult, if you see a threat, I encourage you to report it to a school administrator and law enforcement. Sharing or spreading information about potential threats on social media only serves to create and spread panic. Everyone wants our students and staff to be safe. In order for us to be as effective as possible in this objective, we must collectively work together towards this common goal.
Crooksville Exempted Village Schools continues to offer many excellent learning opportunities for our students. I encourage you to attend one of the many events we have going on at the schools before the end of the school year. I continue to believe that it takes students, staff, support staff, administrators, parents, and community members all working together to provide the best possible education for our students.
Your partner in education,
Matt Sheridan, Superintendent