May 25, 2022

Dear School Community Member:

Once again, I am writing to you with a heavy heart after viewing the media coverage last night of the horrific school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.  No parent or child should be subjected to such disturbing and senseless acts of violence.  I ask all of you to keep the families and school community at the Robb Elementary School in your thoughts and prayers.

The physical safety and emotional well being of each child in Park Ridge has always been a top priority of our Board of Education, school administration, faculty and staff.  In addition, we place an emphasis on providing a safe school environment for all community members.  Ongoing discussions regarding ways to improve our school security will continue. 

Please keep in mind the district maintains an open, positive and productive relationship with the Park Ridge Police Department. I communicate with Chief Madden regularly about many topics, including school security. Many of the safety upgrades that have been installed in our schools are the result of these discussions. They include, but are not limited to:

  • The Lockdown & Emergency Notification System (LENS) installed at all three schools.  This system can be activated from any classroom or office in the district.  It immediately notifies emergency response services and other personnel in our schools;
  • Security cameras and monitors installed on all exterior doors and inside our school hallways, multi-purpose rooms and cafeterias. The police have “live feed” access to all of these cameras from their patrol cars;
  • Two sets of locked doors at the main entrance to each school. All visitors are viewed on a monitor, before being allowed entry into the building;
  • Police officers conduct walk-throughs at all of our schools several times during the school day. This practice has been in place for many years.  The police presence on all three campuses has been increased as a result of yesterday's incident;
  • All Evacuation, Shelter-in-Place and Active Shooter drills are conducted in conjunction with the Park Ridge Police Department. Recommendations for improvement after the drills take place are immediately implemented.


The administration immediately reports all threats (specific & non-specific) to the police department, including alarming or disturbing social media posts. If a direct threat to a school is received, the school community is notified immediately. We encourage students and parents to continue to contact an administrator, counselor or teacher of any potential threats of violence. The best way to keep our school community safe is to keep the lines of communication open between school officials and law enforcement. See something, say something.


As I write this, I am sure discussion has already started about hiring armed personnel to protect students and staff. Some schools in our area have hired retired police officers (SLEO III) or a school resource officer for this purpose. If you would like to discuss this option, please feel free to contact me. I would like to hear from the community about this possibility. 


Media coverage regarding the school shooting in Texas will remain intense for many days to come. Events like this impact our students in a variety of ways. Please know that we have a team of professionals, inclusive of school counselors, school psychologists, social workers and therapists who are available to provide any child an opportunity to share their feelings.


As always, thank you for your continued support of your child's experience in the Park Ridge School District. If you would like to discuss the contents of this letter or anything related to school security, please feel free to contact me.




Robert M. Gamper, Ed.D.


C: Chief Madden, PRPD