See Something – Say Something
Beginning last summer, the Academy engaged with the Origins group and started training our faculty in a program called Developmental Designs. Our goal is that all students will feel that their voices can be heard and that they are confident and comfortable in expressing their ideas as well as their concerns.
As we have been working toward ensuring that all our students speak to an adult when they have a concern about their own safety or that of someone else, the state of Pennsylvania has recently enacted a new law which affects all schools, public and private. Out of this law, a program called Safe2SaySomething (S2SS) was developed. S2SS is an anonymous reporting system that encourages students and adults to report behavior that may be harmful to self or others. The report is received by third-party crisis counselors who triage the information and reports it to a team at the school for follow up by school personnel. More information about this program and our plans for training students in the Middle and Upper Schools on the use of this system is forthcoming.
Doors and Access to Buildings
Last spring and in the summer, several doors on our two campuses had been identified as needing to be refurbished, replaced or have power crash bars added. In November and December, those needs were addressed. The front doors of Snyder House, the south doors of the Devey Building, the front doors of the Lower School Main Building and two doors on the Alumni Gym have been upgraded.
Communication with Local Police and Fire Departments
Members of the Bethlehem Township Police and Fire Departments have been on campus to continue conversations on how we can best partner with one another. We have invited members from these two departments to be visible on our campuses. We have spoken about emergency response and protocols they would like us to have in place. Similar conversations are being scheduled with the Bethlehem Police and Fire Departments.
Safety and Security Protocols and Training
We have been working with our consultant from 911 Consulting, Bo Mitchell, on all hazards and fire prevention policies and protocols. The Middle and Upper School faculty and staff will be training on emergency responses with Mr. Mitchell on our professional learning day, February 19th. The Lower School teachers will be training in March.
We have also scheduled a parent meeting on March 28th at 6:30 p.m. on the Merle-Smith Campus for parents to learn more about our safety and security efforts. Bo Mitchell will be at that meeting as we share information about our work with him. We hope you will mark that date on your calendar and plan to join us.