As the nation processes another tragic incident of violence in our schools, we know that the families in our community share our concern for the well-being of our children and their safety while attending our schools.
Our division and community have dedicated significant resources to modify and secure our facilities, continuously improve internal processes, and strengthen partnerships with the Goochland Sheriff’s Office and Fire-Rescue & Emergency Services. Results of these efforts include our updated secure visitor management process, notification systems, renovated entry areas, additional on-site surveillance cameras, and updated Behavioral Threat Assessment and Management (BTAM) teams in all schools.
GCPS is also among few school divisions in the Commonwealth to have dedicated school resource officers in each of our schools, an effort that will be finalized next month when the Goochland Elementary School SRO is planned to be placed full-time on site at GES. Dedicated SROs are currently on site at Byrd, Randolph, Goochland Middle, and Goochland High School. Our SROs are integral members of our team and resources for students and staff. In the past several weeks the Sheriff’s Office and school staff have engaged in “advanced lockdown” drills in all schools. These drills have engaged our staff members in activating lockdown procedures with little notice while responding to a scenario. Lessons learned from these drills have been invaluable and represent our shared commitment to improving our response in the event we are confronted with violence in our schools. We appreciate the support of our staff, our students, and our community as we refine our processes. Drills can evoke many emotions for all of us, but the investment of time and practice is invaluable.
The foundation of safety for our division is built on communication and relationships. The willingness of students, parents, and staff to report any concern immediately is essential to maintaining a safe and secure environment. You can do so any time by calling your child’s school, our central office, or using our GCPS SafeSchools alert system at any time to submit information anonymously via phone, web, or email.
We join the nation in grieving for the senseless loss of life in Nashville, and thank our community for their support as we continue to make the safety of our students the first priority at all times.
For resources to help have conversations with your children about school violence, visit the National Child Traumatic Stress Network information page on school shootings or reach out to your child’s school counselor.
As always, please contact me with any questions or concerns.
Yours in Service,