Casteel: Safety No. 1 priority for schools - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Education News

Casteel: Safety No. 1 priority for schools

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Posted: Friday, December 14, 2012 4:25 pm | Updated: 5:46 pm, Fri Dec 14, 2012.

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Our hearts and prayers are with the families of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Today’s senseless shooting spree that killed at least 27 people, including 20 children, is not only heartbreaking but unconscionable.

We want you to know that the safety of our students and staff is the No. 1 priority of the Chandler Unified School District. Our commitment has included security fencing, with one-point of entry, and a requirement that all visitors check-in with our offices. Additionally, we are in the process of installing surveillance cameras at all of our schools and support buildings.

In partnerships with the Town of Gilbert and City of Chandler, we employ uniformed School Resource Officers, while the district also employs school Safety Officers. We meet with law enforcement officials monthly to review safety practices and routinely revise our crisis intervention plans for each school. Additionally, our campuses routinely practice lockdown drills that are evaluated and approved by our officers.

Most importantly, we are attempting to promote a culture where everyone has a responsibility to be vigilant and focused on safety. We ask that you talk with your children about the importance of sharing information that could be considered threatening to our community with a responsible adult.

In closing, we pledge to continue to make safety our No. 1 priority and to take any threat seriously. We are anxious to review lessons learned from today’s terrible tragedy so that we can continue to be proactive.

Please join me in prayer and positive thoughts to the entire community of Newtown, Connecticut.


Camille Casteel, Ed. D


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