Lake Agassiz Monthly Newletter

November 2019

Message from Mrs. Jonasson

School Security

Push to Talk School Entrance System

Lake Agassiz's office staff: "How can I help you?"

{Please interpret as -- 'please state your name and reason for visiting Lake Agassiz'}

Examples Responses include:

Parent: "John Doe here to pick up my daughter Lacy for a dentist appointment"

Parent: "Jane Doe here to volunteer in Mrs. Storadahl's classroom for Art"


If you have stopped by Lake Agassiz during school hours, you have used our Push to Talk system to enter our building. In the past, you may not have been asked your name and/or purpose for needing entrance to the building, but this is a safety measure that is now in place as you visit our school. We have many visitors that come to our school on a daily basis. Students from the universities nearby, staff from local agencies, volunteers, other Grand Forks School staff, name only a few visitors we have in a day...all in addition to parents. With this measure in place, please don't be offended if you are asked these two questions. And we promise not to ask them if you tell us first :)

Thank you for understanding our strive to keep all students and staff safe!

Practice Drills

Every year, we practice emergency drills so we are as prepared as we can be in the event of such an emergency. We practice fire drills, severe weather drills, Lockdown- Instruction Continues, and Lockdowns. As a staff, we talk with students about the importance of being safe and making thoughtful decisions in an emergency. We never want to scare students or cause fear. If your child has worries about any drill, please communicate that with his/her teacher.


A little "101" on Lockdowns:

Did you know that there are two different types of lockdowns, serving two different purposes?

A “Lockdown” means all staff is to immediately secure the area for which they are responsible. Official notice will be given when to resume normal operations. In a lockdown, our goal is to protect students and selves from threats inside or outside the building.

A “Lockdown-Instruction Continues” may be called when staff and students are not in immediate danger but need to stay inside classrooms. Lockdown-Instruction Continues may be called to simply clear hallways and other common areas for privacy in medical emergencies or even a child that has been sick in a hallway, to preserve someone's privacy.


Lockdown Drills this Year:

We practice 2 lockdowns each school year. It is a state requirement to perform 1 drill a year, but our district has determined that two practices can better prepare us if the need ever arises to go into an actual lockdown. We performed our first drill the second week of school with our School Resource Officer, Officer Drees, present to monitor and give feedback. Officer Drees also led a staff meeting in October that focused on what officers and the nation have learned over the past year, helping us be more prepared in knowing what to do if we ever have an unsafe person in our building. The district will be sharing with families some of this new learning via a future email message. One example is to help staff and students realize that in some cases, we want students to RUN (ideally with teacher supervision) to get to safety. While we are teaching this as a school, we do talk with students about safety and safety plans if they are somewhere else when something unsafe is happening, like a store or park. This valuable learning is for life, not just the school setting. While it is unfortunate that we have to be teaching students these lessons, we recognize that this knowledge is extremely important.


On October 19, we performed a "Lockdown: Instruction Continues" drill in compliance with the Grand Forks School District Safety and Security Plan. These drills are to help us improve our practices and procedures by being unannounced by our district Safety Team and district administration. They come to the school unannounced and ask us to go into Lockdown- Instruction Continues. At that point, the Safety team monitors how we perform the drill and gives us commendations and recommendations from their observations. The drill went smoothly and we resumed our normal school day.


If you hear that we are in lockdown by some chance or see emergency vehicles at our building DO NOT call our office. We need our phone lines clear for calls pertaining to anything happening (drill or real) and phone calls to our office take us away from the matter at hand.


Thank you,

Mrs. Angie Jonasson

See Something, Say Something

Lake Agassiz Families,


Statistics consistently show that schools are among the safest places to be due to the strong commitment of educators, families, and our community to our students and schools. We strive to be proactive rather than reactive.


Despite these proactive measures, there may be times when your student struggles socially, academically, or otherwise at school. There may be a time you/your student sees, hears, or is made aware of something that causes concern. In these circumstances, we would like you to remember the phrase, “See Something, Say Something.”

  • Please directly contact your student’s teacher, counselor, or administrator when a school-related concern arises that requires intervention or assistance. The phone number to our school office is 701-746-2275.

  • If there is a safety concern after school hours, on the weekend, or when school is not in session (ex: holiday break, summer break), contact the Grand Forks Police Department (GFPD) at 701-787-8000. To text an anonymous tip to the GFPD, text GFPD to 847-411.

  • If it is an immediate concern, call 911.

  • Please do not use social media (ex: Facebook, Instagram, etc.) as a forum to share these concerns. Individual privacy settings may inhibit emergency responders and school administrators from seeing these messages, making them unable to assist.


We care about each of our students and work hard each day to support their needs. Thank you for your efforts in keeping our students, employees, and community safe.


Sincerely,

Mrs. Angie Jonasson

Important Dates!

** November, 5th RED event 2:30-2:50 p.m.

** November, 5th - PTO at 6 pm in library

** November, 7th - 5th grade music program at 6:30 p.m.

** November, 11th NO SCHOOL - Veteran's Day

** November 13th - Early Release - School is dismissed at 1:30 p.m.

** November 21st - Turkey Bingo 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

** November 27th - Early Release - School is dismissed at 1:30 p.m.

** November 28th and November 29th - NO SCHOOL - Thanksgiving break

American Education Week!

Students and Staff will celebrate American Education Week from November 18- 22nd.

The following are our focuses of appreciation and "theme days" for the week:


  • Monday, November 18, 2019: Kick-off Day: "Fancy Feet" Kick-off" Wear crazy socks or crazy shoes!

  • Tuesday, November 19, 2019: Parent Appreciation Day “Hats off to Parents” Wear a hat!

  • Wednesday, November 20, 2019: Education Support Professionals Day: “Our Support Staff Makes a Great Team” (aka paraprofessionals, custodians, cafeteria staff, and secretaries!) Wear your favorite "team" apparel!

  • Thursday, November 21, 2019: Teacher Appreciation Day: Dress Like a Teacher!

  • Friday, November 22, 2019: Substitute Teacher Appreciation Day: Wear your Lake Agassiz Pride gear or purple and yellow!

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Lake Agassiz PTO Meeting: November 5th in the library

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Important Reminders

All GFPS Elementary Schools are Peanut and Tree Nut Restricted!

A friendly reminder that all of GFPS elementary and middle schools are Peanut and Tree Nut Restricted buildings.

That means:

  • Any /all snacks brought to school must be nut or tree nut-free.
  • Any/all lunch items must be free of peanut butter or any other nut.

All Child Nutrition lunches are peanut and tree nut-free.

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