Happy Friday Magee Families:
I have been out all week due to COVID and I thank you for your patience if you have been waiting to hear back from me. I look forward to returning to Magee on Tuesday.
I woke up Tuesday to the news of the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. As an elementary school principal, it weighs heavy on my heart that another elementary school and their community had to experience such a tragic event. My heart goes out to all of the families and the Uvalde community who now have a tragic mark engraved in their life story.
For your reassurance and peace of mind, our school has secured entrances, monitoring cameras, alarm systems, and increased lines of sight for administration and administrative assistants. We also employ a visitor check system called Raptor, where non-km staff visitors and students need to submit photo IDs prior to entering a building. Raptor performs a background check on all visitors before we allow them in the building. Those visitors have a name badge sticker, if there is an issue with the visitor, law enforcement is notified electronically.
From a training side, all staff members are trained every year with ALICE training, a national organization that trains staff to react to a series of challenges that might face both staff and students. We also partner with the Waukesha County Sheriff department and have a school resource officer in our district. Since the beginning of ALICE training, we have also received Department of Justice grants to maintain updates for safety and security. Students are trained in lockdown and evacuation procedures as well every year.
If you see something that doesn't seem right, say something. Contact me, the district office or our School Resource Office at 262-968-6200 ext. 4005. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you can also contact Speak Up, Speak Out Wisconsin at 1-800-697-8761, or use their online tip form.
When events like this happen, our learners may ask questions especially to their parents. As a parent/guardian, you can reach out to our School Counselor for advice on how to speak with your child about these tragic events. You can also view this resource from the National Association of School Psychologists for tips on how to talk to your children about violent tragedies.
No matter what it is that we are doing each and every day at Magee, safety is our number one priority and it is engraved in everything that we do. Years of research has been done proving that the simple act of making sure all kids identify that they belong and are connected to their school community increases safe learning environments for continued social and emotional growth as well as academic growth and achievement. The research has also proven that belonging and having connection to school cuts back on behavioral problems, disruption, school violence, bullying, etc. So not only is our job to help our learners academically grow, we are continuously working on making sure that every child and adult in our building belongs and is connected to our school community.
Today, I wanted to share just some of the ways we continue to make our Magee a safe learning environment for everyone. The following are some of the ways we reach out to each child to make sure they belong and are connected to our community.
- Community building at the beginning and end of the day (all class morning and afternoon meetings)
- All School morning announcements
- Student Shout-Outs
- Weekly instruction around habits of mind and how they align with self-management, self-awareness, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.
- Restorative practices with students when there is a conflict between students
- Open door policy with our school counselor, school psych, principal, teachers
- Regular guidance lessons around safety, bullying, etc.
- Whole school events to celebrate each other and our community
- Weekly meeting between School Principal, School Nurse, School Counselor, School Psych, and Mental Health Coordinator to identify students who may need additional support and a plan of support put into place.
- Small groups that meet with School Counselor and School Psych on a variety of topics (family divorce, death of a family member, peer conflict, etc.)
- Big Buddies (K5 and 5th Grade)
Our student management (discipline practices) are aligned with Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (P.B.I.S.) as well as aligned with compassionate discipline
As we go into Memorial Day, we will be honoring all of our military members who have died while serving in our U.S. forces. So, if you are willing, while we take a moment this weekend to remember those who died while serving in our U.S. forces let's also take a moment of silence for those who lost their lives in the 27 school shootings that have taken place this year.
Thank you for helping us create a such a strong and positive community at Magee. We are truly blessed to have such a special school to be a part of each and every day.
As always if you have any questions or would like to meet with me, schedule a time: Click Here to Schedule a Meeting with Me
Wishing you a restful and relaxing weekend.
Take Care and Be Well:
Justin S. Nies and the Magee Team