Task force digs into Elizabeth school safety

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Elizabeth Schools has appointed a new safety task force, and its first job will be to tear apart the results of a recent districtwide safety survey.

Dubbed the Elizabeth School Safety Task Force, the 10-member team is made up of representatives from each school, assistant principals, office managers, teachers and a school board member, according to Michele McCarron, district spokesperson.

Task force members are volunteers and were selected by School District Superintendent Douglas Bissonette in an attempt to create a cross-section of people and subject-matter experts.

Charged with helping the district problem-solve, prioritize safety issues and recommend immediate action steps, the group held its first meeting Feb. 5 and digested more than 300 pages of data from the survey.

“The group met again on Feb. 13 and their work has really just started,” explained McCarron. “They are slowly compiling a list of things to be implemented and a list of things that should be considered.”

McCarron said from this list, the group will work closely with first responders and emergency managers to prioritize necessary actions and investments.

Prompted by the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Connecticut, Bissonette reached out to the community late last year, asking for candid input on school safety.

He sent an electronic survey to more than 2,000 residents, faculty and staff.

Bissonette shared the preliminary results with Colorado Community Media in January and the numbers indicated a general feeling of confidence in the school system, although some responses suggested more could be done, including modifying entry control points and training staff members to carry weapons.

The survey, said Bissonette, is an effort to capture the sentiments and the voices of parents and staff on the matter.

He said the study was designed to address concerns and “what was already on the forefronts of everybody's mind.”

Summary results of the survey are posted on the district’s website at www.elizabeth.k12.co.us. Select “Safety” from the “District Info” drop-down menu.

Along with the task force, the results have been distributed to the Board of Education, the Infrastructure Assessment Committee, emergency responders, and the leadership team at each school.

 

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