A Word from the Interim Head of School

It’s hard to make meaning of events like the tragic shooting at the Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati last week.

We continue to pray for Whitney Austin as she travels the long road of her recovery. I know that her family has very much appreciated the tremendous support that the Collegiate Community has shared.

Perhaps the miracle of Whitney’s survival can serve to remind us of what is most important. Our charges, the safety and well being of your children, are always at the center of everything that we do. Recent events cause us to imagine the unimaginable.

Last year many of you attended an event sponsored by the Parents Association (PA) that focused on the work the School was doing to ensure student safety. That work has continued over the summer and into the new school year.

Options-based active shooter training was conducted on campus for Faculty and Staff as part of the back to school in-service week. The concept is simple, traditional lockdowns in response to armed intruders are not the only practical solutions. Options-based responses allow those in crisis to choose an appropriate action based on real-time circumstances. Those actions include barricading doors to slow down or distract the intruder, or safely evacuating the scene. Faculty and Staff training will continue throughout the school year, and in the spring we will introduce the options-based concept to students. We will practice these drills just as we do for possible weather or fire events.

Later this fall, you will begin to learn about the installation of the Raptor Visitor Management System, a system used by other NAIS schools nationwide. The new system provides an immediate check of the visitor’s ID against the national sex-offender registry database before issuing a visitor badge. The search takes less than a minute, and the resulting single-use badge will take the place of our yellow visitor tags. The Raptor System will only be installed in the Main Office (Glenmary Circle), and all visitors will continue to be required to enter the campus at that location.

In addition to the steps noted above, we have also instituted a policy that requires all visitors to be escorted from the Glenmary Circle Main Office entrance to their campus destination by their host. The work necessary to keep our community safe is ongoing, and we will continue to keep you informed. Please look for an October update from our Safety Committee co-chairs Director of Facilities, Mike Basham, and Associate Head of School, Tracie Catlett.