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District Safety Update for Families and Staff

Dear Ladue School District Families and Staff,

School safety will always be our district’s top priority. We want our students and staff to enter our schools with the assurance that every possible measure has been taken to ensure their physical safety and social-emotional well-being takes precedence. Four years ago, to ensure the district remains current on best safety practices, our Board of Education voted to add a Safety and Security Coordinator position filled by Matt Hill, a former police officer, school resource officer, and U.S. Marine.

Hill works in partnership with Assistant Superintendent of Student and Community Services Dr. Derrick Wallace, School Resource Officer and City of Ladue Police Officer Rick Ramirez, and all of the local police and fire departments that serve our district.

Shortly after his arrival, Hill updated our district’s School Safety Plan. He collaborates with our SRO, school crisis teams, local police, and other first responders to review and update the district’s safety plan and procedures, which includes a training schedule for students and staff.

The Ladue School District utilizes options-based active intruder protocols centered on the recommendation of the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. These agencies recommend all school districts teach students and staff options that may be available to them in an intruder situation. The foundation of the intruder training is based on the 4E’s Program: Educate, Evade, Escape, and Engage. You can view our district website for additional information on this program. 

Our staff was fully-trained pre-pandemic on 4E’s and what to do in the event of an active intruder, and all schools have an annual refresher on active intruder training. All students engage in age-appropriate, building-wide intruder drills and videos each semester.

We have several measures in place to minimize the potential of an intruder entering the building, including:

  • All exterior doors remain locked at all times, are well-lit, and are free from obstructions.
  • Most of our schools have double vestibules that visitors must go through before entering the main part of the building. The schools that do not will have them once our Prop L projects are completed.
  • The use of Raptor, a visitor management system in which all visitors must receive clearance before admittance.
  • Cameras are placed throughout the interior and exterior of each building, allowing us to monitor common areas and corridors with real-time information. 
  • With the completion of our Prop L construction projects, our schools will also have Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) rated safe rooms. 
  • In addition to the mandatory intruder training, the district is also required to hold fire, tornado, and earthquake safety drills.

As a district, we will continue to do everything we can to help mitigate risk and ensure the safety of our school community. We will constantly review and assess our safety plan and provide professional development for staff, with and without students, to practice different crisis scenarios to reinforce our safety options in the event of a school emergency. We will also ensure our students participate in our school safety drills to know what to do and where to go in emergencies.

 

Sincerely,

Dr. Jim Wipke
Superintendent