Sunday, May 14, 2023
Good Evening families —
First off, I hope all of the GRPS mothers had a wonderful day celebrating all you do for our children. Please let me be among those thanking you for your efforts and encouraging your ongoing love and support for our students. Not only do we celebrate mothers, we celebrate those filling the role of “mom” for children who need you. Happy Mother’s Day!
As we prepare to begin a new week, I want to address some of the recurring themes that have emerged in my conversations over the past several days. We are in the midst of a robust conversation about the future of securing our schools and your input is already guiding those discussions.
Thank you to those who have reached out to our team with words of support, your concerns, and your questions. While we may not be able to alleviate every frustration, we appreciate your understanding in knowing that the safety of our scholars and staff is our goal in the decisions we are making.
What about metal detectors?
The district currently has 15 sets of metal detectors. We are evaluating other options as we consider expanding their use in our buildings. We are currently sending information to finance to get approval for purchasing devices to pilot.
We are borrowing detectors from a neighboring district so we can get some immediate feedback on newer technology offerings.
Are clear backpacks an option?
A number of our scholars and families have asked about the feasibility of using clear backpacks.
We are actively researching the use of clear backpacks in the K-12 environment including obtaining samples of what they may look like if we are able to offer them to our families.
We have decided not to change course and allow clear backpacks at this time. The backpack restriction is going well in our buildings and we also want to be sensitive to the needs of our families when it comes to obtaining backpacks. We will obtain input from our scholars and families before making changes to the policy.
We are currently looking at upgrading cameras in all of our buildings. Camera evaluations have been ongoing. Several locations have been submitted to finance for approval. We’re taking camera contracts in small batches so contractors can manage and deliver more efficiently.
All high schools and middle schools have cameras.
We are strategically investing in the installation of additional cameras throughout the district.
We have a comprehensive training package that is currently rolling out. We are working on ways to determine best practice for timing this training and targeting the appropriate audience.
We will be incorporating the incidents that occurred involving guns in our schools this year as part of our training ahead of the upcoming school year. This will reinforce and help us to develop additional training in the upcoming year.
We are looking at calendars to establish other opportunities for community / parent forums though finding time for another event before the end of the school year may not be possible. We will be looking at available dates in June and share more once timing is worked out.
Please remember our community forum is this upcoming Saturday. We look forward to hearing from our community. Find more information here. If you aren't able to make it Saturday we are working on a date for another engagement soon.
Please continue to reach out to our team with your feedback.
Let’s have a great week of learning!
Leadriane Roby, Ph.D.
Grand Rapids Public Schools