Our hearts go out to those impacted by the recent school violence in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as well as right here in Colorado. This has been a tragic and shocking time for school communities around the nation.
Student safety and security is a top priority for Aurora Public Schools. As a result of these incidents, APS has been reassessing current security practices to ensure that we are doing everything we can provide our staff and students a safe environment in which to work and learn. To help with this ongoing assessment, Superintendent John L. Barry has added Christine Hoppe, Director of Risk Management, to the Superintendent’s Cabinet. She will also serve as Incident Response Team Commander during a crisis.
“We have always taken school safety seriously,” said Tony Van Gytenbeek, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources. “However, we want to make sure that it is a top issue at every cabinet meeting and discussion.”
“Hoppe’s expertise and experience with security, risk management and the Incident Response Team will make her a key resource,” added Superintendent John L. Barry.
In addition, Superintendent Barry is meeting with Monte Moses, Superintendent of Cherry Creek Schools, and Aurora Fire Chief Dan Oates on Oct. 6. They will discuss ways of working together to increase safety in our schools.
APS also has many proactive policies and procedures in place to ensure safety for all of our schools, including:
- Regular unannounced school visits by Risk Management personnel to ensure that sites are following strict visitor check-in procedures
- All staff members required to wear name tags and ID Badges
- Lockdown plans and regular safety drills at all APS sites
- Annual site safety reviews
- Safe2Tell Hotline (http://www.safe2tell.org/), which provides students a secure place to call and discuss concerns about safety issues.
- Close relationships with the Aurora Police Department School Resource Officers at each middle and high school
- Screening of all school volunteers
- Fully monitored alarm systems for all schools and sites
- Emergency Guidebooks for all staff members
Working together as a community, we can make safety a top priority at APS so that every child has a safe and secure place in which to learn.