Lessons Learned from Threat Incident
Two days ago, an incident occurred that gave school officials at North Marion a chance to pause and examine our practices. We were informed that a note had been scribbled on a bathroom stall wall in the Middle School that said “I shoot Shcol 2/9/16”. The hardly legible, misspelled comment was seen by a student who immediately reported it to the office. Three Middle School officials investigated, interviewed students and found no evidence that the threat had merit.
Given the unlikely nature of the threat, school officials then had a decision to make. Do we share the information with everyone adding fear and concern to students, staff and parents and perhaps even encouraging other students to make copycat notes; or do we focus on beefing up security and make sure staff are informed and things are safe as the next day starts.
The decision was made to not give publicity and attention to the note and its author and instead schedule more security and supervision around the school and share information with staff in the morning. However, this lack of communication caused people to seek out information from other venues, including social media and Facebook. We now recognize the anxiety created online due to an absence of good information from us, was well beyond anything that would have been generated had the school simply acknowledged the note and shared how we were going to respond.
We at school learned a valuable lesson – be information rich with your public. Share early and often and make sure students, staff and the public know what is going on and what we intend to do to address the issue. Give parents the opportunity to talk with their kids about the issues we face and allow them to make decisions regarding their safety. Have confidence our students won’t be copycats, but will see the danger of a careless threat and will take seriously their role in keeping our schools safe.
I want to apologize to those who felt letdown by our delayed communication. I want to assure you that in the future our communications will be earlier and more detailed. I want to thank the parents who took the time to share their concerns with me. I would also like to extend a big thank you to the students who shared information with us during the investigation; their cooperation helps keep us safe every day.
Should any of you have concerns you would like to share, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Shining A Light In Our Buildings
The North Marion School District is pleased to announce that we have started a long range facility planning process and will be engaging our students, staff, and communities throughout our work on this critical capital campaign.
We started this effort this last summer by engaging DLR Group to assess our very old and tired buildings and systems. DLR Group was engaged for our 1998 long range planning effort that resulted in our new Primary School, the addition to our High School, and critical capital needs at all of our facilities. With that bond debt set to expire in 2018, the District is evaluating where we are against our District Mission and what must be done to prepare us for the future.
The assessments also included a workshop and surveys of our staff to identify needs in respect to the educational adequacy of our classrooms. With no surprise, the age of our buildings is reflected in the classrooms. Click here to READ FULL ARTICLE. Shining A Light in our Buildings
The Teaching and Learning Team has decided to cancel all future meetings due to lack of participation in our monthly "Empowering our Community Forums". However, if you are interested, we will instead post monthly web-casts. These monthly recordings will be available for families to access at home, and will provide information on current topics in education.
We are sorry to see the forums go, but we are excited for this new opportunity to communicate with our families. If you would like to access our Community Forum web-casts visit our Teaching and Learning page and click on Community Forum. If you have any additional questions, please contact Desiree Kiesel at 503-678-7126. We appreciate your support with this decision.
a. Division 22 Standards Assurances: Superintendent Keyser said by January 15 of each year, school district superintendents are required to report to their communities the district’s standing with respect to all Standards for Public Elementary and Secondary Schools as set forth in Oregon Administrative Rules. ODE Guidance for Division 22 standards He reported that North Marion School District is meeting all the requirements by the state in the following standards: 1) District Improvement Plan, 2) Policies on Reporting Child Abuse, 3) Diploma Requirements, 4) District Curriculum, and 5) Required Instructional Time. View report to community here. Division 22 Standards for Public Elementary and Secondary Schools 2015-16 Assurances.