Higley superintendent releases letter to parents on school safety - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Higley superintendent releases letter to parents on school safety

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Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013 1:29 pm | Updated: 11:56 am, Fri Jan 25, 2013.

Superintendent's letter to parents

January 21, 2013

Dear Higley Parents and Community:

With concern for the safety and security of the children across our country reaching an all-time high, I would like to update you on our security and safety efforts in the Higley Unified School District.

The safety of your children and our staff are our highest priority. I can assure you that we have had excellent emergency plans in place in our District for quite some time, but now is the time to scrutinize those plans even further.

We believe it’s important to collaborate with our community on safety issues. Therefore, we are forming focus groups involving our stakeholders - parents, teachers, bus drivers, secretaries, custodians, ground maintenance teams, principals, school resource officers, and more. I also have met with authorities at the Gilbert Police Department and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, who also will participate in our discussions.

To be sure parents of every school are represented in our focus groups, principals have recommended two parents from each campus to participate. We would welcome your involvement, too. Any parents who want to join the focus groups are encouraged to e-mail Kimberly Fouhy at kimberly.fouhy@husd.org, or call her at 480-279-7063.

I must also take this opportunity to introduce you to our new director of student services who will be involved in our safety discussions. Sheila Argeris, an educator and administrator for more than 22 years, is experienced in crisis management and will work closely with our focus groups, administrators and local law enforcement to refine our crisis management plans and security systems. We welcome her aboard.

Lastly, I would note the best safety plan involves communication with our community. Please ensure your school principal has your current contact information, including mobile phone numbers and e-mail addresses where you could be quickly reached in case of an emergency. To receive news and updates from the District, I would encourage you to sign up for our new Twitter feed, twitter.com/higleydistrict.

We will hold our first focus-group meetings in February and we will announce more details about those very soon so you may plan to attend.

Thank you in advance for your participation and feedback. Parent involvement and engagement are the top factors that make Higley an “A”-rated District, and we count on you for this to continue.

If you have any further questions about our safety plans and focus groups, please contact my office at 480-279-7016 or dbirdwell@husd.org.

Sincerely,

A. Denise Birdwell, Ed.D.

Superintendent, Higley Unified School District

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