Volume 4, Issue 3
October 2018

Student safety is a top priority in the Cypress School District. While the month of October includes earthquake preparedness and Red Ribbon Week, our staff is hard at work protecting the well-being of our students all year long. This month’s issue highlights some of these efforts and provides families and community members with additional resources to ensure safety at home, too. We encourage you to take a moment to review this valuable information. Investing just a few minutes of your time could make a world of difference for you and your family!

Anne Silavs, Superintendent
The Great California ShakeOut
Preparation Saves Lives

People across California participated in The Great California ShakeOut on Thursday, October 18, including students and staff in the Cypress School District. Why is “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” so important to practice? The fact is, you may have only seconds to protect yourself in an earthquake before strong shaking knocks you down or something falls on you. Practicing now helps to develop muscle memory so you will be ready to react quickly and correctly when the ground starts shaking. This annual activity also serves as an important reminder of the need for disaster preparedness. In the Cypress School District, all our schools have comprehensive safety plans which are updated each year and posted on the district website. Furthermore, we have established Search and Rescue and First Aid teams at each school, and all our campuses are equipped with medical supplies, food, and water in the event of an emergency. In the case of a real earthquake of significant magnitude, it is important for parents to remember that school personnel are responsible for the care of your children until you or another individual authorized on the student emergency card is able to pick them up from school. To learn more about what your family can do now to prepare for an earthquake and other natural disasters, please click here
School Safety
Maintaining Safe and Secure School Campuses for All Students

We pride ourselves on parent and community involvement in the Cypress School District. It’s an important component of warm and welcoming schools and helps support high levels of student achievement. However, for the safety of our students and staff, we have established systems for controlling and monitoring visitors on campus. All of our schools are equipped with perimeter fencing and single point-of-entry access through the school office during school hours. Lock Bloks on every exterior door help secure classrooms quickly in the unlikely event of an intruder on campus. All school visitors are screened upon entry using an online management system that checks their government-issued photo ID against a national database. Regular school volunteers must be fingerprinted and cleared by the Department of Justice before being permitted to help in our classrooms. While sometimes inconvenient, collectively these measures are important for maintaining a safe learning environment for everyone.
Partnerships With Local Law Enforcement
The many ways we work together to keep kids safe

Every year, our schools work with local law enforcement agencies to conduct school security audits and lockdown drills to assess our emergency practices and procedures and provide important feedback to ensure the safety of students and staff on campus. In addition to this important annual event, our local police officers also work behind the scenes with school and district administrators to address any safety issues that may arise, day or night.
In terms of direct support to students, local law enforcement sponsors character development programs for all sixth grade students in the Cypress School District. The Cypress Police Department sponsors the Positive Actions thru Character Education (PACE) program at all of our schools within their jurisdiction, and the La Palma Police Department sponsors the Police Interaction with Youth (PIY) program at Luther. These partnerships help support student safety across our district by educating students about peer pressure, bullying, and drug abuse. Students develop critical thinking skills that enable them to effectively solve problems and make good choices. We are very grateful for the ongoing support of our police partners!
CyberSafety & Digital Citizenship
How can I help my child be a safe and responsible user of technology?
Children are accessing technology at a younger and younger age. As adults, we want our children to enjoy the many creative learning opportunities that technology can provide, but we want them to know how to make safe and wise decisions in their use. As the Cypress School District continues to utilize technology to enhance instruction and improve learning, we recognize the need to teach our students safe and responsible cyber skills. One resource that we use is Common Sense Media’s Digital Literacy and Citizenship curriculum, which “empowers students to think critically, behave safely, and participate responsibly in our digital world.” This national organization provides valuable resources for parents, too! They publish independent ratings and reviews of most apps, games, websites, and other media that our children frequent. To find out more about Common Sense Media’s curriculum and the free resources it provides for parents and families to help children use technology wisely, please click here .
Red Ribbon Week
An Annual Commitment to Keeping Children Safe and Drug Free
The Red Ribbon Campaign was initially launched in 1985 after the death of a federal agent, who was killed at the hands of drug traffickers. This event became the catalyst for concerned citizens to form a grassroots movement to prevent drug use in the United States. In observance of Red Ribbon Week, every year students in the Cypress School District participate in a variety of fun and meaningful activities that reinforce the dangers of drug and alcohol use and promote the importance of making healthy choices, even in the face of peer and media pressure. It is also important for parents to keep in mind that children may be at risk from substances commonly found at home. For additional information on how to protect your children from prescription or over-the-counter medicines, please click here . For information on preventing inhalant abuse, please click here
Candi Kern - Sandra Lee - Donna McDougall - Brian Nakamura - Lydia Sondhi, Ph.D. 
Anne Silavs