February 19, 2018
I am writing to bring your attention to a few matters. The first two involve updates to two district policies. The third relates to school safety in light of the terrible events recently in Florida.
The School Committee recently amended the district’s Dress Code policy. The revised dress code has been inserted in the elementary, middle, and high school handbooks and may be accessed through the district’s website (www.dracutps.org).
The School Committee also recently amended the district’s Alcohol Use by Students policy to include breath alcohol testing as a tool focused on proactive deterrence. This amended policy has likewise been included in student handbooks. If you would like a hard copy of a handbook, please contact your child’s school.
Lastly, I want to assure everyone that the district views safety as its first and most important duty. We have strong, collaborative, and dynamic relationships with the Dracut Police and Dracut Fire Departments. We constantly communicate and coordinate our safety procedures and preparedness efforts.
In the past few years we have taken steps to enhance the safety of our buildings. Those steps include processes and enhancements to the buildings themselves. Some of those enhancements are not visible and, as I am sure you understand, will not be discussed publicly. In support of further strengthening our buildings, in addition to my regular conversations with the School Committee, I have had productive conversations with the Town Manager and the leadership of the Dracut Police and Fire Departments. I am confident in everyone’s continued commitment to supporting the safety preparations in our schools.
Even before the most recent events in Florida, planning has been underway for our annual enhanced lockdown drills. Those drills will take place in the coming weeks. As we have done previously, we will provide developmentally appropriate advanced notice, especially in regards to the elementary schools. Principals will be providing context and information in the coming weeks.
A number of resources are located on the Parent Resource page of our website, under the title, “School Safety and Enhanced Lockdown Information.” Those resources include a link to an American Psychological Association site that supports parents in their conversations about events like the recent Florida incident; a Massachusetts Juvenile Police Officers video on the ALiCE enhanced lockdown program; and a copy of the story that is read to all of our elementary school students in advance of the lockdown drills.
If you have any questions regarding the amended policies and/or our safety efforts I encourage you to speak with your child’s principal and/or contact me directly. We will be happy (within the context of what we are able to share publicly, as stated above) to discuss these matters with you.
Superintendent of Schools
|Superintendent's Letter to Parents||117.02 KB|