A little over a year ago, Edmond Public Schools’ leadership invited community leaders, including parents, students, teachers, school counselors, private mental health providers, architects, the media, our local fire department and law enforcement representatives, as well as locally assigned Secret Service personnel, to discuss and problem-solve issues related to school safety.
Over the course of the year, the Safe Schools Task Force identified several important practices and efforts that would combine to improve our twenty-seven schools’ learning environments by ensuring safer campuses. Some initiatives have been simple, yet powerful, such as the “Think Before You Post” campaign in our secondary schools. Others, including the subject of today’s communication, are more complicated, involving considerable preparation, coordination, and investment.
As we open school this year, all of our middle and high school students, as well as the staff members of all K-12 schools, will be expected to wear a school-specific photo ID, displayed on a lanyard. In addition, our four high schools and three of our middle schools (Summit, Sequoyah and Heartland) will be equipped with controlled access mechanisms that will be activated by the student and staff IDs, allowing entrance to the building outside of the high traffic entrance and egress hours. The following year (2020-21), the remaining middle schools will come on board with specified, controlled access points to the schools.
Daily use of the IDs will provide both students and adults immediate assurances that only those who belong within the walls of the school are invited during the school day.
Implementation of school-specific IDs that activate the controlled access points at specific areas on campus has shown to be very effective in diminishing the occurrences of unwanted and possibly dangerous trespassers. However, the use of the IDs must be pervasive and without exception. With few exceptions, all students and staff will have photo IDs on the first day of school, and they will be expected to wear them daily, using the lanyards provided by the schools.
If lost or misplaced, student IDs can be replaced for $5 at the school site through the InTouch system. If this transaction takes place before the first bell to start class, there is no further penalty. If, however, a student enters the first class of their day (or any subsequent hour) without the ID, he/she will incur a consequence appropriate to his/her grade level.
Consequences if Lost or Forgotten:
For information on consequences for lost or forgotten IDs, please call your school. Administrators are working diligently to help their students learn new habits intended to enhance the safety of all those within the school’s community of learners. As always, we invite our students’ parents to join us in helping their children remember to wear school IDs daily.
Should you have questions regarding this school safety initiative, please call the EPS district office (340-2800) to speak with either the district’s safety officer, Mike Johnston, or the Associate Superintendent for Secondary Education, Debbie Bendick.