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New Trier officials talk about campus security at first school board meeting of school year

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As students return to classrooms, school administrators across the country are faced with the harsh reality of having to prioritize campus safety and security.

Following the May 24 shooting at a school in Uvalde, Texas, and the July 4 shooting during a parade in nearby Highland Park, Nutrier High School Superintendent , Dr. Paul Sully, briefed the school board on the following situation. Monday, August 22nd, about what the school district is doing to keep students and staff safe.

Sully said the outline wouldn’t include every detail of a school’s safety plan because certain details aren’t appropriate to share publicly, but the school district has a strong focus on prevention, safety, and security. You said you’re taking a 4-tier approach. Connect, Support and Prevent. Physical security measures and routine procedures. community partners; emergency procedures and preparedness;

Of these four categories, Sally emphasizes connection, support, and prevention, calling it “most important,” with connection being the highest priority. In particular, the district focuses on building strong relationships.

“Our effort over the last few years in our strategic planning has been to have a culture of belonging,” he said. “Make every student feel like they belong at Nutria.”

This is done through multiple methods, both within Nutria and in the community, including advisor programs, extracurricular activities, student clubs and groups, and access to social work and mental health services.

Pages on the school’s website provide links to resources for students and the community, and Sally believes it is important to raise awareness of this information not only among students and staff, but also among members of the community. said it was.

Prevention is another element of a school’s safety plan, focused on preventing harm to yourself and other students.

“This is where we put a lot of our resources,” Sally said.

Prevention includes TrevTips, an anonymous reporting tool for bullying and health issues that can be found on the website. However, Sally emphasized that he is one of the resources that is not monitored 24/7, although it is checked regularly.

We’re ready, but we’re staying vigilant,” he said. “It’s important that we continually see what we are doing as a school to keep our children safe.”

Dr. Paul Sully, Nutria Superintendent

In his presentation, he emphasized the phrase “see something, say something” and said it applies to students, staff and families.

In addition, the Nutrier Parents Association, a volunteer organization made up of Nutrier families, offers programs throughout the year to raise awareness of a variety of issues affecting teens.

“We are looking at how we continue to build awareness about the signs of healthy teens, the signs of suicide, and the critical need to reduce access to lethal means,” Sully said. In addition to prescription drugs, access to automobiles may also be included, and there is certainly a role for substance abuse that families want to make sure they are aware of when they have a student in crisis. ”

Several parents at the conference raised the importance of educating parents on safe gun storage. All five community members I spoke with, including four members of Moms Demand Action, spoke about gun violence, some provided stats about teens and guns, and urged the board to open up a conversation about guns. Some people worked on

In addition to providing resources to the community and fostering a culture of belonging, Sully highlighted other safety measures the school is taking. This includes partnerships with institutions and mental health organizations such as Northwestern University’s Family Institute and the Jocelyn Center.

Physical security measures mentioned by Sully include limiting access to the building and having security personnel stationed at each entrance, video surveillance in hallways, school resource officers on both campuses, and electronic warning systems at entrances. And so on.

New Trier also conducts annual emergency drills. This includes an annual ‘Emergency Awareness Day’ where safety procedures are reviewed with students and communication systems in case of emergencies.

Sally also said procedures are reviewed regularly for improvement.

“We’re ready, but we’re staying vigilant,” he said. “It’s important that we continually see what we are doing as a school to keep our children safe.”

Board members should ensure that all persons associated with the school are aware of local resources and that links to those resources are prominently displayed on the school’s website. Sally said links to available services he mentioned are all on the school district’s homepage.

Executive Vice President Gene Hahn praised Nutria’s “intentionality” in how it works with students, keeps them safe, and how procedures evolve.

“Like all things with Nutria, we never think that something is over, dust off and move on to the next,” she said. “We are constantly monitored and safety is no exception.”

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