Belmont Elementary: A PAWSitive Place to Learn!
Hey, hey, Belmont! Hey, hey, Bulldogs!
This week, my daughter-in-law has struggled to make sense in her brain how one of her former high school classmates could kill one of the children (and five more humans) of her clients whom she's previously watched over in child care, at the church where her parents previously worshiped. Read that again. It's a loaded sentence. And all week I've once again struggled with the reality that I am responsible for every life in our building. Every life. And friends, I'd give my own for any one of them. My own children are now again struggling with that reality. It seems unreal, and yet here we are.
What I tell my children is this: In my career, I will continue to love hard, to help every child feel loved, to help them know that they matter. I will do this because I believe that it is our very best defense against unknown violence. We have done active shooter training. We may not be able to stop an active shooter. Our team talks about, trains and prepares for the unimaginable. We may not have thought about every possibility. We do not put our students through unneeded trauma. There is enough chaos in their world. We do train them to listen. To follow directions. To be aware. To respond quickly. To think. To understand that if a staff member tells them to hide, to run, or to throw iPads, that it needs to happen. Immediately. Listening to directions matters. Please, reinforce this at home. Our children need to listen to direction from adults. From you. From their teachers. Please, do not let them slack on hearing you. And please, do not quit listening to them. Because again, other than taking guns out of the hands of people who are hurting, taking care of people so that they don't choose to pick up the gun to cause harm is our best defense. Love. Hard. Listen. Act with truth and kindness. BE aware.
Our district has collected some information to share regarding safety in our schools. Please, do not hesitate to reach out with questions, and thank you for recognizing that we have guidelines for a reason, and your willingness to follow our guidelines helps everyone continue to concentrate on learning instead of the distraction of checking out every abnormality.
On that note: please do not enter school grounds for pick up prior to 3:15pm. It's distracting for staff to need to evaluate every car lining up for pick up while they are still out supervising afternoon recess. Thank you so much for helping us to keep the lines clear until closer to dismissal.
From the district:
Our thoughts are with the families in Nashville as they struggle with the fallout of another deadly school shooting. We want to assure our school community that the safety and security of students and staff remains a priority in USD 232.
Every time there is a mass shooting, school or otherwise, we revisit our multi-layered, comprehensive approach to school safety. This process is a partnership between district personnel and three local law enforcement agencies, as we constantly review protocols and ever-changing technology to increase and improve our safety efforts.
While we do not publicly share details of our school safety plans, we have developed a Safety Vision categorized into three areas defining our intention and guiding our direction as detailed below:
COMMUNICATION: Timely, thorough, and effective communication guides our prevention efforts, and clarity of responsibilities during an event.
- See Something/Say Something: Building positive relationships among students and staff is critical for establishing the kind of trust needed to create an environment of open and shared communication. This simple message is pushed through multiple avenues.
- Podcast: District Administration and Safety personnel created the district’s first podcast, which was dedicated to school safety and security. The podcast is posted to the district’s website.
- Website: The district’s website provides the community with safety related resources, including KS School Safety Hotline, KBI Suspicious Activity Reporting page, USD 232 Report Bullying/Harassment form, and KS Parent and Youth Resource Hotline. Other communications on the website include information on bullying prevention, suicide awareness and prevention, and contact information for Johnson County Mental Health.
- Building Radios: All buildings are equipped with two-way radios, allowing real-time internal communications throughout the day. Specific radios that can communicate across the district provide access to additional personnel, including law enforcement.
- Securly: This software is utilized on district owned devices to help monitor potentially threatening behavior, including mention of weapons, self-harm, and other illegal activity.
- Flow Charts: Procedures have been implemented to organize the flow of communication for visitor access, tragedies, and instances when 911 is dialed from a district phone.
- Law Enforcement Collaboration: The district maintains ongoing productive and professional relationships with the three agencies serving our schools – Shawnee Police Department, Lenexa Police Department, and Johnson County Sheriff’s Office.
SECURE FACILITIES: Access control, visitor management, and sound surveillance techniques help support a safe learning environment.
- Access Control Systems: All buildings have access control systems with video cameras that allow doors to remain locked. Access to the interior of schools is limited through a secure vestibule requiring visitors to request access through a second, locked door.
- Video Security System: All buildings are equipped with internal and external security cameras monitored daily by front office staff, School Resource Officers, and others with authorized access. There are approximately 850 cameras district-wide, with additional cameras added as new needs are identified.
- School Resource Officers: Law enforcement officers are embedded into secondary schools, but are also assigned elementary schools to maintain professional, working relationships with the administration for when law enforcement needs arise.
- Door Checks: Routine door checks by staff help ensure locks are functioning and “propping” is strictly prohibited.
RESPONSE TO CRISIS: Planning and practice help ensure proper performance when the need for action is evident.
- Crisis Alert Badges: The district is exploring the possible implementation of this new technology. The Crisis Alert badges would give every employee district-wide the ability to signal for help, allowing for two levels of crisis alerts while providing their exact location within a building.
- Digital Clock-Speaker System: The multicolor, scrolling displays and speakers will eventually allow us to broadcast announcements and make emergency notifications to 7500 students and 1000 staff at the touch of a button.
- Drills and Training: K.S.A. 31-133 requires schools to administer a minimum number of fire, tornado, and crisis drills each year. The crisis drills are created with the intent to educate students and staff on the proper response to a threat and designed to be age appropriate. Additionally, the district Safety Team conducts scenario-based crisis response training for district staff.
- Crisis Planning/Guides: Content for new emergency response guides is currently being created from the district’s more complex crisis management plans. The guides will allow instant access to streamlined plans, and later rolled out in a mobile application.
- Door Numbering: Work is underway on a project to number all exterior doors district-wide. A uniform system of door numbering across the district will allow staff to better guide emergency personnel to the appropriate location during all levels of crisis, from medical emergencies to a building intruder.
USD 232 is a safe school district. We understand the need to continuously improve our safety and security through the efforts outlined in this communication, and future protocols and technologies as they develop. School safety is a responsibility we all share, and the district will continue a tradition of providing safe learning environments for students and staff by building on the strong partnerships created between schools, community, and law enforcement.
If you have questions about school safety, please reach out to our Coordinator of Safety and Transportation, Rob Moser, at 913-667-6220. Rob is a retired Chief of Police for the City of Shawnee, and brings 29 years of law enforcement experience, along with a sense of care for your children, to the district.
Got Junk? We Might Want It!
The 4th graders are going to be making arcade games for STEAM night and Mrs. Stiles, our Technology Teacher, is needing the following:
Empty cardboard boxes
Plastic tubs (like sour cream)
Toilet paper/Paper towel rolls
Cans (from vegetables)
The 5th graders are working on dioramas to depict careers they have been researching and we are needing the following donations for that project:
Barbie/doll clothing (no shoes)
Miniature toys (like the mini brand toys or tiny doll type furniture/accessories)
Just send any of the above items to school and we'll get them to Mrs. Stiles! Thank you!
Class Pictures in Back Packs!
Bulldog Bank Update: WE COLLECTED $3,000!!
Making A Difference Award Nominations are Always OPEN!
We are blessed to have such an amazing team here at Belmont! If you would like to send a special thank you to anyone on the team, please consider nominating them through the USD 232 Making a Difference Award program, sponsored by the USD 232 Education Foundation and the Great American Bank. All you need to do is click on the link below and fill out some general information about your deserving nominee! Thank you for helping our staff feel your appreciation for the love and dedication they put into our children's educational journey.
Nominations are received through the end of each month with the winner being announced the following month. The winner is surprised with a $250 check and a special award crafted by USD 232 CAPS students at Cedar Trails. Please, feel free to nominate any USD 232 employee who has made a difference for your child this school year.
Click on this link to see the DAWGS Specials Schedule for the entire 2022-2023 school year. It's ready to print and post on your fridge!
Coming Up at BE:
April 4 Belmont Night at Pegah's
April 20 PTO Family Glow Party
April 21 No School, Building Closed
April 24 No School, Professional Development Day
May 4 5th Grade Music Program, 9:00 and 6:30pm
May 5 Family STEAM Night
May 22 Yearbook Signing
May 23 The SHOW 2023, 9:30am
May 23 5th Grade Celebration, 1:15-3:30pm
May 24 Field Day
May 25 Celebration of Learning Celebrations
May 25 12:10 Dismissal for the last day of the 2022-2023 school year!
Visit the BE Online Calendar of Events (by clicking on the button below) for a more complete list of activities!
Find information about opportunities throughout the district. Visit often!
Click here to see what's coming up in PTO Family Events! We would LOVE to have YOUR HEART and HANDS join our efforts! There's literally something for everyone! YOU matter to our students!
2022-2023 Lunch Schedule
11:25-11:52 1st Grade
11:55-12:22 3rd Grade
12:05-12:32 2nd Grade
12:35-1:02 4th Grade
12:45-1:15 5th Grade
Reservations required to join your child for lunch- CLICK HERE to reserve your family table!
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Community partner Country Club Bank is providing support to ensure this service is available in USD 232.