Safety continues to be LAPS' top priority

-A A +A

It is important for the community to know that Los Alamos cares very deeply for the safety and security of our students and staff in our schools. To help ensure this safety, school administration works closely with students and staff to be in a state of readiness by practicing a variety of emergency lockdown drills. In addition, the district works closely with Los Alamos County police, fire department, and emergency medical to be in a constant state of readiness. Nevertheless, in view of recent events in Newtown, Conn., the district will conduct a review of our current safety practices this week in an ongoing effort to be prepared for an emergency.
 Some of those reviews have already begun. Members of the Los Alamos Police Department toured Chamisa Elementary to re-familiarize themselves with the school today. I contacted Captain Randy Foster, LA Police Department, to request these walk-throughs of all schools. Captain Foster went on to share that the police will have an increased presence at school sites this week. He states there is no credible threat but his officers were interested in stopping by during the school day and during bus loading times to meet and speak with students, staff, and families.
 This morning, I sent a letter to staff encouraging them to speak with students in an age-appropriate fashion should questions of school safety arise. In addition, school counselors are on alert should students or staff requires assistance. As a school system, we will work to make today as routine as possible and help students focus on their studies.
 I would ask for your help as well. As parents and community, we should model calm and control. The National Association of School Psychologists tells us that children take their emotional cues from the significant adults in their lives. It is important to reassure children that they are safe and so are the other important adults in their lives. And let children know that it is OK to feel upset. Explain that feelings are OK when tragedy like this occurs.
 In closing, safety is a one of three non-negotiable goals of the School Board.  As such, we strive to ensure that safety every day. We ask your help by offering suggestions that might be constructive in a review of our school safety protocols. It is my intent to meet with my administrative team on Thursday to review our protocols and your suggestions are welcomed.
 Dr. Eugene (Gene) Schmidt