Here in Snohomish, the safety of our students and staff is our highest priority. Every month throughout the school year we will share information with you through a brief Safety Corner article about ways we are working to improve safety in our schools and buildings. To learn more about the school district's safety initiatives and programs, visit www.sno.wednet.edu/safety.
January 2019 - See/Hear Something, Say Something
Did you know that when it comes to violence, suicide and threats, most are known by at least one other individual before the incident takes place? In fact, in four out of five school shootings, the attacker told people of his/her plans ahead of time. Additionally, seven out of 10 people who complete suicide told someone of their plans or gave some type of warning or indication. Imagine how much tragedy could be averted if these individuals said something?
It can be difficult to know how others are feeling. Today, many teens and adolescents turn to print, video and online channels to express themselves – their thoughts and hopes, but also their anxieties and personal feelings. Some even go as far as hinting at hurting them self or someone else. Their friends and peers - the eyes and ears of a school and community - may see these communications but may not always understand what they are seeing or know what to do with that information.
If you see or hear something - say something. Call 911 or tell a teacher, classmate, friend, parent and any trusted individual. Learn to recognize the signs and signals of individuals who may be at-risk of hurting themselves or others and intervene to get them help and say something before it is too late.
* Information provided from Sandy Hook Promise.
December 2018 – Earthquake Preparation
The 7.0 magnitude earthquake on November 30 in Alaska served as a reminder that in the Pacific Northwest we are at risk of similar disaster.
Take a minute to watch this news segment. It features a video a teacher at Jane Mears Middle School in Anchorage took during the 7.0 magnitude earthquake - https://www.ktva.com/story/39589688/70-earthquake-caught-on-camera-by-anchorage-teacher.
As a reminder, you will reduce your chance of injury if you:
- DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down and also allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby.
- COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand. If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter. If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows). Stay on your knees; bend over to protect vital organs.
- HOLD ON until shaking stops.
November 2018 - School and Building Visitors
We encourage parents and community members to visit our schools during regular school hours. Many volunteers that spend countless hours helping in classrooms and in other ways throughout our schools and facilities. If you visit a school or building, please be aware of the following:
- All visitors must sign in at the front office and wear a volunteer badge. Please sign out and return the badge when you leave. The purpose of signing in and out of the school is so that we can account for all visitors in the building should an emergency occur.
- Unfamiliar persons and/or persons not wearing a visitor badge will be directed to the main administrative office. Visitors, volunteers and chaperones may also be asked for identification.
- We want to protect the privacy of our students. Please refrain from taking pictures of students except of your own child. Never post pictures of other students to social media.
- Visitors should not try to open outside doors during school or after hours unless you are authorized to do so. Student and staff safety is a top priority.
- Staff has been trained to call the front office if inappropriate activity is taking place and 911 may also be notified.
October 2018 - Safety Drills
Schools are required to have at least one drill per month, including during summer sessions with students. All of our district schools hold these drills and practice three basic functional threat responses:
- Shelter-in-place - To limit the exposure of students and staff to hazardous materials, such as chemical, biological, or radiological contaminants, released into the environment by isolating the inside environment from the outside;
- Lockdown - To isolate students and staff from threats of violence, such as suspicious trespassers or armed intruders, that may occur in a school or in the vicinity of a school; and
- Evacuation - To move students and staff away from threats, such as fires, oil train spills, or tsunamis.
Drop, Cover and Hold earthquake drills are often incorporated into the monthly drills. Each year during October, and this year on Thursday, October 18, at 10:18 a.m. our schools will participate in the annual Great Washington ShakeOut. This statewide drill provides an excellent opportunity to prepare, survive and recover quickly from big earthquakes wherever you live, work or travel.
September 2018 - Meet the School Resource Officers (SROs)
Our district has close working relationships with local law enforcement. We provide all police and fire departments with details about our schools and buildings that would be useful should they need to respond to an emergency. We also have commitments with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department and Snohomish City Police Department who provide School Resource Officers (SRO) to our district. These SROs are based at Snohomish High School and Glacier Peak High School, but work closely with AIM High School and the feeder schools serving each.
Glacier Peak High School SRO - Officer Jay Schwartzmiller
- Has worked nearly 18 years in law enforcement
- Prior to working as Glacier Peak High School’s SRO, Officer Schwartzmiller worked patrol with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department
- Why do you like being an SRO in Snohomish? “Being an SRO in a Snohomish school allows me the opportunity to give back to the community I grew up in and learned so much from. This role allows me to work with all staff and students at GP, which I have found to be rewarding. I also believe it strengthens the relationship between law enforcement, the school district, the staff, the students, their families and the community. It’s been a great experience so far and I’m thankful for the opportunity to be here.” – Officer Schwartzmiller
- Fun fact: Officer Schwartzmiller’s favorite food is pizza (not doughnuts).
Snohomish High School SRO – Officer Andre Loranc
- Has worked more than six years in law enforcement (Okanogan County and Snohomish County)
- Prior to working as Snohomish High School’s SRO, Officer Loranc worked patrol for two years with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department. He is also a member of Region 1 SWAT.
- Why do you like being an SRO in Snohomish? “I am passionate about the safety of our children as well as providing them the opportunity to grow and make the best decisions they can. “– Officer Loranc
- Fun fact: Officer Loranc is a U.S. Navy veteran and currently still serves in the U.S. Naval Reserve.