Valley View School District 365U has announced additional safety measures in the wake of Friday's school shooting in Newtown, CT.
The measures include locking classroom and school doors, prohibiting food from being brought in and requiring each school to hold an "active shooter" drill this week.
Random "magnetic wand" searches will take place on a regular basis at the two high schools and five middle schools.
The district is revisiting its visitor procedures, and Bolingbrook and Romeoville police have agreed to step up their patrols in school neighborhoods for the foreseeable future.
"Please know that the first, and most important, priority for Valley View Community Unit School District 365U has always been, and will continue to be, the safety of our students and staff," Superintendent James Mitchem wrote in a letter to the community Monday.
Valley View already has a "top-notch security network in place," Mitchem wrote, including a comprehensive, nationally recognized Crisis Management Plan that incorporates ongoing lockdown drills, administrator and staff training and elaborate school safety procedures covering every imaginable scenario.
The district employs dozens of fully trained, full-time security personnel. Schools also restrict access through a variety of methods, including security holding areas at both high schools, buzzer-access at many of our schools and security cameras in both schools and on all of our buses.
While the district is confident in its current measures, the following security measures have been added:
- Increased presence of VVSD-trained and employed security staff in our schools.
- Until further notice, the doors to every classroom in the school district will remain locked while class is in session.
- The main entrance doors to all school offices will remain locked throughout the day.
- Each school will hold an “active shooter” hard lockdown either Wednesday or Thursday of this week.
- Random “magnetic wanding” searches will take place on a regular basis at both high schools and all five middle schools.
- We are reviewing current visitor procedures for the lunchroom to create more safeguards. While the review is underway, there will be a moratorium on adult access to students during the school day and for before school breakfast programs. We understand many parents value this special time with their children and want to find ways to ensure these opportunities continue to exist. However, until further notice, all such activities have been suspended.
- We are reviewing current visitor procedures for former students who will only be allowed access to buildings before or after school, and only if the visit is pre-arranged through the school office.
- Parents who come to school to pick up children must wait in the office until a school staff member brings the child to the office.
- Everyone who enters a school will be required to provide identification and sign in
- From this day forward, no food shall be brought into any school and shared with students. VVSD will no longer allow birthday treats, classroom rewards, snacks or any other food to be brought in from outside and shared with other students. This means parents cannot attend holiday parties this week nor can they provide food to share with others. You will receive further guidance from your building Principal.
- Both the Bolingbrook and the Romeoville Police Departments have agreed to provide more frequent patrols in our school neighborhoods for the foreseeable future.
- Our School Safety Department will re-visit each school’s annual safety audit to determine what, if any, additional safety procedures need to be put in place at each school.
- Interviews will be conducted at each school to seek additional suggestions from administrators and school staff.
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