A new feature that will appear once a month in Comenius Corner is a safety and security update.
As Mr. Zemsky mentioned in his back-to-school letter, safety and security are a priority for all of us, and as we go through the year, we want you to know what we are doing. We will be holding an information session in the future, but we wanted to update you on actions that are in process now.
In June, Bo Mitchell, President of 911 Consulting, conducted an assessment of Moravian Academy’s facilities, protocols and policies. Last week, he shared his assessment with members of the Academy’s leadership team and provided an overview for members of the Academy’s faculty and staff. We are now processing those findings and will develop a plan and timeline for moving forward on his recommendations.
As we are doing this, we have also set a few new protocols for this year that include the following:
This year, all Moravian Academy employees have been issued Moravian Academy badges that will be accompanied by a photo ID after picture day. In addition, contractors, visitors, volunteers and trustees will also be issued badges to wear when they are in the buildings. We want people to know that anyone wearing this badge may be in a Moravian Academy building, but we are not to open doors for others to enter the buildings unless they have identified themselves.
Door Answering Protocol:
Anyone arriving at our buildings will be asked to identify himself /herself on the call box and on entering must sign in and take a badge to wear during the visit. On exiting the building, individuals must sign out and return the badge. Please know that this is important as we are responsible for all individuals in our buildings during the day. Should there be a fire drill or a reason to leave the building, we need to know that we can account for all individuals. Also, if someone answering the door does not recognize you or know you, you will be asked to provide some method of identification.
Students Passing Between Classes:
At the Lower School, teachers are accompanying their classes to and from all special classes that require movement from one building to another.
Two-way radios have been used at the Lower and Middle School since last spring and we will start to use them at the Upper School this fall so that office personnel can communicate with security personnel and for security personnel to communicate with one another.
Student Support Teams:
One of the strongest pieces of advice for safety and security is to know your students and know your staff. While we do know our students well, the re-structure of the Student Support Team and the training our staff has had in Developmental Designs, should help to enhance our working relationship with students. The Lower and Middle Schools now have a Director of the Student Support Teams who is also a counselor for students in primer – grade 8. Along with the School Psychologist and Division Directors as well as the Dean of Students and Academic Coordinator in the Middle School, the Student Support Teams will meet once in every eight-day cycle to review their work with teachers on learning strategies for students.
At the Upper School, the nurse, who is also a certified counselor, will bring additional expertise to the Student Support Team that includes the School Psychologist, Learning Specialist, Division Director, Dean of Students, and Academic Dean.