March 19, 2018

SCHOOL SAFETY PUBLIC FORUM INVITATION  

April 19, 2018 - Middle School Commons (6-7pm)

The St. James R-I School District and St. James Police Department are committed to strengthening their partnership aimed at keeping St. James R-I students safe so they can focus on learning. Police Chief Ron Jones, School Resource Officer (SRO) Tony Gray, and several school officials discussed the plan at the St. James R-I Administrative Building on Friday, March 16. The goal is to improve safety and emergency processes in an effort to foster a positive and safe climate for all students while on school grounds.

"If kids feel safe at school, they can concentrate in class, and making the necessary improvements at the school and in the hallways will remove one of these barriers of learning," St. James police chief Ron Jones said. Chief Jones and SRO Tony Gray discussed their plans to improve safety and crisis procedures and increased visibility of local police officers in school buildings and during school events.

Last school year, the St. James R-I School District and the St. James Police Department took another step in securing the district by partnering to fund a full-time SRO. Missouri law allows school districts to have SROs with the enactment of a memorandum of understanding between the District and local law enforcement. SROs must be licensed peace officers and must also complete training developed and provided by the Missouri training center for the DARE program. The Peace Officers’ Standards and Training Commission also has statutory authority to establish standards for school protection officer training.

The St. James R-I School District/SJPD partnership includes the following safety measures:

  • Continued support of all successful security and safety programs at the District
  • Improved communication between school personnel and SJPD  
  • Improved knowledge of the District Crisis Management Plan
  • Development of strategic improvements to all school safety processes
  • Enhanced Active Shooter training for all District staff
  • Increased number of Intruder Drills each year  
  • Improved communication and training for all District students during Intruder Drills
  • Improved parent/patron notification processes during emergency situations  
  • Increased visibility of local law enforcement on all campuses
  • Four A.L.I.C.E. trained instructors (SRO and SJPD staff) available to the District for the 2018-2019 school year
  • Twenty-Four hour badgepass access for all SJPD staff
  • Enhance the District intercom and security camera systems
  • Secure all outside and interior doorways throughout the District
  • Strategic improvements to all grade levels in building positive relationships with students
  • Implementation of Virtual Comment Box for students and staff to easily access a QR Code to provide anonymous information to SRO
  • Improved communication with parents and community

We presently have people, processes, infrastructure, and plans in place throughout our District to help safeguard all students. If and when an emergency arises, our District staff is thoroughly trained to respond in a timely and accurate manner. Of course, we consider the matter of school safety everyone’s business. We ask you to keep your eyes open and to report any unsafe condition or matter to your student’s teacher, principal, superintendent, police officer...and always call 9-1-1 if an emergency exists. Together, we can continue to create a broad and superior security network for the safety of students and staff.  

Communicating our intentions to parents and the community will be a point of emphasis as the 2017-2018 school year commences. The St. James R-I School District and the St. James Police Department will be holding a School Safety Public Forum on April 19, 2018 at the Middle School Commons from 6-7pm. All interested and concerned parents and community members are invited to join Police Chief Ron Jones, SRO Tony Gray, Superintendent Merlyn Johnson, and other school officials to further discuss present and upcoming safety procedures at St. James R-I Schools. We welcome all comments and would be delighted to discuss any ideas or concerns you may have regarding the matter of school safety or emergency preparedness. Snacks and drinks will be provided.

In our District and Community, your children come first. Thank you for entrusting them to our care.

This message was prepared by:

The St. James R-I School District & St. James Police Department