Dr. Kamela Patton, Superintendent, Collier County Public Schools Kevin Rambosk, Collier County Sheriff Sheriff Rambosk and I, along with our leadership teams, have met extensively since the tragic …
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Our School Doors are Locked for Safety
Special to the Immokalee Bulletin
Dr. Kamela Patton, Superintendent, Collier County Public Schools Kevin Rambosk, Collier County Sheriff Sheriff Rambosk and I, along with our leadership teams, have met extensively since the tragic Parkland school shooting to review our security plans. This is in addition to the long-standing partnership between Collier County Public Schools (CCPS) and Collier County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) that has kept our schools safe for over 41 years. Much of what we have discussed, including tactics, safety equipment, and strategies, cannot be discussed in public due to the sensitivity of the information. What we can tell you is that proper security is not built around one technique. It is built around providing layers of protection. We have concluded that an additional security enhancement should be put in place to further ensure the safety of our students, staff, and guests at our schools. If you visit a Collier County Public School, you will soon notice our front doors will be locked as another layer of security. This enhancement will be phased in and put in place at all schools before the start of the 2018-2019 school year. Each school will receive a new access control device prior to the office door being locked. In addition to CCPS communicating to parents/guardians, volunteers, and community members as each new system is installed, schools will begin to notify staff, parents, volunteers, and community members prior to their respective school’s implementation. This is an enhancement to the existing visitor screening procedures currently in place. Guests arriving on campus will need to request access using the access control device with a video monitor next to the front door. When the front office staff acknowledges a visitor is at the door, the guest will be asked for their name and the reason for their visit, which may include their child’s name. All visitors will be asked to display photo identification to the camera. Once approved and granted access inside the school, our guests will again present photo identification and then receive a visitor’s pass using the existing visitor screening system. We will be producing videos to demonstrate and to further explain the new entry procedures. Again, our goal is to have this enhanced security system at all schools by the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year. School principals will notify you in advance of implementation. Guests should plan to arrive at our schools earlier to help expedite their visit. Prioritizing student and staff safety is a commitment we all share. Together we are committed to continuing to maintain our school safety and security best practices, but to always review and improve our abilities and our resources to protect our children and our community. We also recognize and appreciate the community’s role in helping keep our kids safe. Please check what your students are bringing to school in their backpacks and monitor student communications and social media accounts (for example: Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook). If you or your child see or hear anything suspicious, you can report it to your principal, administrator, or go to the Collier County Public Schools’ “Keep Collier Safe” webpage and click the “Report It” button. That tip will go directly to law enforcement. You can also take your tip directly to law enforcement by visiting our onsite Youth Relations Bureau deputy or report it over the phone to the Sheriff’s Office at 239-252-9300. And in an emergency, dial 9-1-1. School safety remains a top priority. We continue to look at all options to keep our schools as safe as possible. Thank you for putting your child and trust in Collier County Public Schools. Thank you for putting your trust in the Collier County Sheriff’s Office as well as all of our local law enforcement partners.