Dear Weld RE-5J Staff and Families,

Student safety is on everyone’s minds, especially in the wake of the tragic incident at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida last month. Even prior to that terrible event, of the more than 1,000 people who took our school district survey earlier this year, more than half ranked safety and security enhancements for schools as their first, second, or third priority when it comes to what they would like to see funded. You can see the full survey analysis that was presented to the Board of Education on March 7 here .

Today, I would like to share information with you about the people, systems, and practices that we have in place to keep students and staff safe every day. In terms of people, our staff is trained in a highly respected Standard Response Protocol used by many districts. In addition, we have two full-time School Resource Officers—sworn law enforcement officers—who provide security and crime prevention services in our schools. Second, each school has secured video entry. At one time or another, you have probably experienced having to ask for a school door to be unlocked in order to gain entrance to the building. Once inside, visitors have their IDs scanned for a quick background check and are given a sticker badge, which they must wear at all times. Staff, too, are required to wear their name badges while on school property. Third, video cameras are installed on most school buildings.

These measures are in addition to the district’s Emergency/Crisis Management Plan and Threat Assessment Protocol and flowchart , which are reviewed by the District Accountability Committee annually and utilized every time a possible threat emerges. As you have probably noticed if you have an email address on file with the school district, we do our best to inform parents right away about any alleged threats made toward our students or schools. Oftentimes, schools and law enforcement learn about such potential threats through Safe2Tell Colorado. 

Safe2Tell is an important program with the mission of ensuring that every student, parent, teacher, and community member has access to a safe and anonymous way to report any concerns or threats to their safety or the safety of others. Calls, web reports, and mobile app reports are answered 24/7/365 by trained communications professionals at the Colorado State Patrol. Reports are sent to our schools and law enforcement agencies for investigation and follow-up.

Reporting information to a trusted adult or Safe2Tell is the best way for students to keep themselves, their friends, and our community safe. Reporting information prevents tragedies. According to the U.S. Secret Service 81% of the time a violent act occurs on school property, at least one student had prior knowledge of the event but failed to report it. We ask for your help in making sure our students understand that they should take every threat seriously and report it in a way that keeps them safe. One of those ways is to make an anonymous report through Safe2Tell using the   Safe2Tell Colorado mobile app   or by calling 1-877-542-7233.

Earlier this month, I held a roundtable discussion between district administrators, the Johnstown Police Department, the Milliken Police Department, and Front Range Fire Rescue. We discussed opportunities for improvements to our current safety protocols and potential investments that can and should be considered in future bond or mill levy funding requests. 

Thanks to the diligence of our students, staff, and law enforcement, our schools are and continue to be very safe. The role you play as a caring and committed adult, involved in your child’s life, is also critical in keeping our community safe. Thank you!