September 9th, 2022
Thoughts from Dr. Pacatte
Everyday when we leave our homes to go to work, school, shopping, etc., we have become increasingly more aware of our surroundings and the individuals around us as we move about our day. Some of us have habits or rituals that we have created to make sure our families, cars, or homes are locked and safe. We now have cameras and alarms in our homes that we set to protect ourselves and our homes. Gone are the days when you didn't lock your front door.
With the tragic events that took place in Uvalde, Texas, and Highland Park, Illinois, Gurnee School District made the decision to bring back National School Safety and Security Services, which has worked with our district in the past. This week each D56 facility was visited and included in an audit of our procedures, plans, and actual practice to identify if there is anything we could be doing differently or better. While we await our final report, which I expect to have very specific recommendations, we were provided some initial feedback. This feedback was quite positive in that our District has solid plans, procedures, and where appropriate, security equipment/devices throughout the schools. They reminded us that there is no gadget or app as effective as the people in the schools. Continuing to monitor our work/school environment, ensure that the people coming into the schools are expected to be there, and following the procedures and processes in place are the most important steps.
I know some of the safety precautions may take the "homey and welcoming" feel away from our schools and that is hard to accept. Keeping all of our staff, students, and visitors safe must be prioritized. It is my hope that all of our parents understand we are working very hard to keep our students safe. Everything you can do to help us is very much appreciated.
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Gurnee Park District
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