A Message From Superintendent Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart
March 7, 2018
Dear Hazelwood School District Parents and Guardians:
As we continue to grieve with the nation over the tragedy that took place in Parkland, Florida, our thoughts are with the families and friends of the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
We remain focused on the safety and well-being of our own students during these stressful times, and we are encouraged by the support, questions, and suggestions for assistance from the community.
Many of our students are still processing the event in Florida, and we want to validate their feelings as well as provide resources for students and staff.
Additionally, we know that across the nation students and organized groups are planning several opportunities to “walk -out” of classes and school buildings on specific days. However, our approach is that students and staff plan activities designed to respect students’ freedom of speech and to reinforce positive and appropriate ways to have students’ voices heard at schools. Our focus is on advocacy for safety. (Please note that an unauthorized walk-out of any kind is unacceptable and will be responded to based on the Student-Parent Handbook and Behavior Guide). We must ensure that our students are appropriately supervised and that our schools remain safe and orderly. We are having ongoing discussions with our students, parents, our advisory groups, and our administrative teams to solicit support and help develop plans. In addition, we are providing resources for reference.
It is important to know that the Hazelwood School District’s safety policies, procedures, and practices ensure that we are well trained, prepared, and responsible for keeping our students safe. We take safety seriously, and because safe schools require everyone working together cooperatively in the workplace and community, we have committed to the following:
- Training all students and staff members (including teachers, administrators, and support staff) in the 4E’s Active Intruder Training and emergency response procedures. The 4Es stand for Educate, Evade, Escape, and Engage. Each element of this training prepares us to know what to do if our safety is ever in danger.
- Assigned officers to schools from St. Louis County, Florissant, and Hazelwood Police Departments for additional support;
- Consistent surveillance of our school buildings and surrounding areas by our safety and security staff who work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Ongoing assessment of our safety protocols with adjustments made as necessary.
The Hazelwood School District has the safety and best interests of our students in mind at all times. However, it will take all of us working together to keep our schools safe. While we are confident that our procedures increase our safety, we will continue to implement safety measures as we welcome your support and feedback along the way.
Thank you for your ongoing parent and community engagement in the Hazelwood School District.
Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart
Superintendent of Schools