Important Safety Training Update
Planning for Lessons and Drills (September 21, 2023)
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Dear FPS Families and Colleagues,
I hope this message finds you well at the start of this school year. At Framingham Public Schools, the safety and well-being of our students and staff are the highest priority. A safe learning environment is a shared responsibility and we are committed to taking proactive steps to prepare everyone for potential emergency situations.
We are excited to share with you that this academic year, we are introducing safety training lessons and drills for staff and students. These trainings were created in partnership and collaboration between the Departments of Health and Wellness and Department of Safety and Security, with valuable input from the Department of Special Education.
We are committed to making FPS a safe and inclusive learning environment. Your support and partnership in this endeavor are greatly appreciated.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions or require further information about our safety initiatives. We look forward to working together to ensure a secure and nurturing school environment for all.
The Departments of Health & Wellness and Safety & Security
THE LEARNING EXPERIENCE
The safety lessons have been thoughtfully developed, drawing on best practices, including ALICE and the Safe and Sound Schools “Stay Safe Choices” model. We focused on keeping the lessons and drills age-appropriate and trauma-informed, meaning that we approached the lessons in a way that makes kids and staff feel safe, especially if they’ve had previous exposure to dangerous experiences.
We believe that the combination of safety lessons, followed by announced safety drills, are crucial in equipping our students with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate emergencies and make informed decisions. To help you understand our rollout plan, please review the explanations and the timeline below.
- Safety Lessons: In-class learning opportunities designed to teach students how to make safe choices in an emergency situation.
- Announced Safety Drills: Similar to how students practice evacuating the school buildings in case of fire, these announced and planned safety drills are an opportunity to practice and prepare for various situations, which includes staying in place, locking down, and evacuating.
LESSONS & DRILLS TIMELINE (2023 - 2024)
September 15th: Safety Lessons and Timeline shared with FPS Administrators
September 21st: FPS families & staff communication about Safety Lessons, Drills, and Timeline
October 5th: Preview Safety Lessons with Student Support Staff to plan ahead for any needed student support
October 15th - 22nd: Schools celebrate America’s Safe School Week (Touch-a-Truck, Read Alouds)
November - December: Buildings review safety protocols with Department of Safety and Security
November 7th: Middle School Teachers review Safety Lessons
December 7th: High School and Elementary Teachers review Safety Lessons
December 11th - January 19th: Safety Lessons are taught
January 22nd - March 26th: Announced Safety Drills
ALTERNATE ACTIVITY FORM (OPT-OUT)
We have also included an "Alternate Activity Form" for caregivers who may prefer that their child not participate in any school-wide intruder safety drills later in the year. Your input is essential in tailoring our safety measures to accommodate individual needs and concerns.
If you choose to opt your child out of the safety drill, we kindly request that you complete the alternative activity form by October 31, 2023. This will ensure that appropriate arrangements are made to accommodate your child's exemption from the safety drill and participation in an alternative safety lesson.
Please note that by opting for an alternative lesson, your child will only learn about stay in place, lockdown, and evacuate, in response to an intruder and practice with their teacher and class, but will not participate in any school-wide drills this year. We encourage you to discuss these important topics with your child at home to ensure they have the knowledge and skills needed to navigate a potential emergency.
The mission of the Framingham Public Schools is to educate each student to learn and live productively as a critically-thinking, responsible citizen in a multicultural, democratic society by providing academically challenging instructional programs taught by highly-qualified staff and supported by comprehensive services in partnership with our entire community. For news, updates, and announcements, follow Framingham Public Schools (@FraminghamPS) on Facebook, Twitter, and (@framinghamschools) on Instagram. You can also join the conversation using #FraminghamSchools.