Dear Austin ISD Administrators and Staff Members,
Our thoughts are with those affected by last week’s incident in Florida. We know these issues are impacting our community. Please know that the safety and security of our students and staff remain our highest priority in AISD.
The AISD Police Department and Emergency Management team met with administrators to review safety and security procedures and administrators were asked to review those procedures with staff. Please make sure you are familiar with those safety and security procedures and that you review your Emergency Operations Plan so that everyone is aware of what to do in case of an emergency.
Remind family and community members that they can help us keep our campuses safe as well. When family and community members visit campuses and district facilities, please make sure that they provide proper identification and sign in at the front office. Please remind parents and guardians to make sure their contact information is current and that the individuals listed who can pick their child up are current. Other best practices include:
Things you should DO:
- DO wear your Austin ISD ID when on campus.
- DO report any suspicious activity you see on campus.
- DO report anyone you see walking around campus without an AISD badge or visitor badge to the front office.
- DO keep cell phones charged.
- DO follow the campus emergency procedures.
- DO dial 911 for emergencies.
- DO talk to your children about personal safety and security.
Things NOT to do:
- DO NOT allow other visitors to piggyback in to the campus buildings.
- DO NOT encourage or ask students to open doors.
- DO NOT prop doors open behind you.
Counselors are available to talk to students and families as well and are trained to handle these discussions. We know that this can be a difficult time for students and families and that you might have questions about how to talk to students and families after incidents like these. Attached are resources to help communicate with students and families. Click on the links below to download PDFs of the information:
- Letter to Families—AISD Message Regarding School Safety
- Safety and security document for families
- NASP’s Talking to Children About Violence infographic
- NASP’s Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers
We are prepared to respond as quickly as we can to any incident that might occur, and we will continue to use the most current and effective best practices. Remind students, families and staff that, “If you see something, say something.” We encourage our students, families and staff to report any possible security issues to campus administration or AISD Police.
Working together, we can all make sure that our campuses and district facilities are the safest they can be. Thank you for all that you do to keep our children, families and staff safe.
Paul Cruz, Ph.D.
Interim Chief of Police