Weekly Message – Nov 9th

Dear Colleagues,
Some of you may have read an article in the Berkshire Eagle on Thursday evening regarding a message sent by me to parents on Friday evening to prepare them for the presence of state and local police and fire at both LMMHS and Morris Elementary School on Monday. The purpose of the police visit was to review our Active Shooter/Crisis Management protocols and to walkthrough our buildings to examine appropriate labeling and management of egresses. Toward that effort, I would like to provide you with a brief update of our progress and next steps.
This summer, the Administrative Team participated in A.L.I.C.E. (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) training in Pittsfield. During this training, the admin team and I participated in realistic active shooter training to further develop our skills and prepare for the work ahead. Shortly thereafter, I attended Active Shooter Training with the Lenox Police and Fire Chiefs and the SRO from LMMHS. Through this training process and follow up conversations with local police, fire, and administration, I learned about the Massachusetts State Police Active Shooter/ Crisis Management Protocol. I refer to it as ALICE “lite” as it is grounded in the context of safety preparation already familiar to students through fire safety practices and procedures. Together, we decided to move forward with this protocol because we believe that it can increase students’ preparedness while not increasing their anxiety. Although we have many parts of the protocol in place, the district is in the self- assessment phase of planning and implementation. I look forward to working collaboratively with state in local officials to make our schools as safe as humanly possible for our students while not interrupting the wonderful teaching and learning that goes on each day.
Going forward, school safety will remain a standing focus for our District as evidenced by our ongoing training. What cannot be lost or overlooked, however, is the work we do each day to build caring, trusting relationships with our students and their families. That, above all else, will help ensure that we know our students well, that we are supporting them through struggles, and that we are building their capacity—and sense of responsibility—to take care of each other. That’s an approach to security that I remain proud to support and that I believe reflects our Core Values.
As always, thank you for all that you do!
Have a wonderful Veteran’s Day weekend!