Lake Washington School District partnered with the district’s three cities (Kirkland, Redmond and Sammamish) to host three Community Safety Forums during March and April 2018. Approximately 80 community members attended the three events.
The Lake Washington School District Superintendent, as well as the City Manager/Mayors, School Board Directors and city council members hosted these forums. At the forums, a panel of district and city staff shared information about the following three topics:
- School Facility Safety
- Safety-Focused People and Programs
- Response to Threats and Communications Protocols
After the presentations, community members asked questions of the panelists. Here are some of the main topics of interest:
- Building Access
During the 2017-18 school year, the district upgraded building access controls to allow for access to locked exterior doors via key cards. Five buildings are still in the process of being upgraded and will be completed this summer. The 2018 Capital Projects Levy is funding expansion of the building access control system to allow scheduling of doors for student passing, all-door lockdown and a front door “buzz-in” system. The district is currently performing a feasibility study to determine what the district needs in order to implement the next phase of our access control system. The goal is for these systems to be installed in all schools in Summer 2018.
- Communications systems
Community members asked if the methods of communicating both internally within the school building and externally to parents are adequate during emergencies. The district is in the process of implementing a new phone system that has the capability of making “all calls” during emergencies. These “all calls” can happen from any phone in the school instead of relying on the intercom system located in the main office. Externally, the district uses SchoolMessenger to send messages out to families. Parents were reminded to check in Skyward Family Access > Skylert to ensure that the correct phone numbers and email addresses are on file with the school to allow for phone, email, and text messaging.
- Anonymous Tip Line
Lake Washington School District works with SafeSchools Alert. This resource allows anyone to anonymously report safety concerns. The phone number (call or text) is: 425-529-5763. This number is listed on every page of the LWSD website. The email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. There are also posters with this information posted in all schools. The district is working on other ways to share this phone number and email address to ensure that our students, parents, staff and community members have this information.
- Safety Drills
Community members requested more information on A.L.I.C.E. (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) drills. Parent volunteers expressed an interest receiving training in A.L.I.C.E. drills. The Volunteer and Risk Management Offices will combine to offer these trainings for any interested volunteers. Questions were also brought up about whether substitute teachers have received these trainings. The district does offer A.L.I.C.E. trainings to substitute teachers. Parents expressed the desire to be made more aware of when drills will take place so they can speak with their students about the drills.
- School Resource Officers
LWSD partners with each of our local jurisdictions (City of Kirkland, City of Redmond, City of Sammamish and King County Sheriff’s Office) to provide School Resource Officers that are trained professional law enforcement officers in our comprehensive high schools and some middle schools. Right now, there are differing levels of service provided by the jurisdictions. The district is discussing the feasibility of adding resources for additional SROs with the jurisdictions. SROs provide emergency response, are consultants for safety, work with building administration, provide instructional time in classrooms, and have day-to-day interaction with students. SROs report to their sergeant and building administrator.