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NMUSD Prioritizes Safety

School Safety

Dear NMUSD community,

A few weeks ago our nation experienced yet another school shooting. Like the rest of our country, our sympathies are with the victims, families and the community of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Safety is something that each and every one of us at NMUSD take seriously, each and every day. We would like to share with you a message that was sent to our staff and parents after the tragedy in Florida, which briefly describes our approach to safety. 

Letter from Superintendent Dr. Fred Navarro to staff and NMUSD parents on February 15, 2018:

As we reflect on this unfortunate tragedy, please know that the safety and security of our students and staff is of utmost importance. Moments like this remind all of us to continue to be vigilant and prepare as best as possible for the unexpected. While your child is in our care, please know that we do all we can to provide a safe learning environment and that we regularly review, practice, and enhance our safety procedures.

Many of our students may struggle with what occurred in Florida and we encourage our staff, and you as parents and guardians, to be mindful of each other’s behaviors, emotions, and questions that may arise surrounding this tragedy. Our district has counselors, social workers, and school psychologists that are available to students should they need additional support. We also encourage you to have open discussions with your child to help them process the event and continue to raise awareness about the importance of safety. Below please find resources that you may find helpful in addressing trauma and violence:Managing Strong Emotional Reactions to Traumatic Events

Talking to Children About Violence 

Talking to Children About Violence - Spanish  

Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Educators 

We have a long-standing commitment to the safety of our students and staff and in light of yesterday’s event we would like to remind you about the safety plans and procedures that we have in place within our district. 

  • Our district has a partnership with the Costa Mesa Police Department and the Newport Beach Police Department to provide School Resource Officers (SRO), which are local law enforcement officers who are on our campuses to provide security and crime prevention services to our schools.
  • All school sites and district facilities have safety plans in place which are updated yearly and as-needed throughout the year. Safety plans are regularly reviewed and updated in collaboration with emergency responders and local law enforcement, including SROs. School administration was asked to review their safety plans, in light of yesterday’s tragedy.
  • Schools regularly conduct safety drills with students and staff to prepare for a variety of potential situations. Drills include procedures for lock down, shelter in place, run, hide act, among others such as earthquake and fire procedures.
  • Schools participate in threat assessment and emergency response trainings with local law enforcement and first responders.
  • Our district has a Crisis Response Team that is immediately deployed to a school(s) during a crisis to provide immediate and ongoing support and resources.

We approach safety with an overabundance of caution and continuously review and update our safety plans and procedures.

While we have plans in place that are regularly practiced, please know that school safety is not something we can do alone. The partnership and support that we have with our local law enforcement and our school community is critical. We ask for your support in reminding students to please take all drills seriously, follow law enforcement, teacher and site administrator instructions, and if they see something, say something - it is the best deterrent to potentially harmful situations. We want everyone on our campus, including parents and guardians to be empowered to report any unusual or suspicious activity. 

In the case of an emergency at our schools, we ask that you please remember to look for information from our district. We deliver messages via school and district websites, email, phone, text, district mobile application, and district social media accounts. Please ensure that your child’s school has your most current contact information on file – email and phone are crucial. By working together we can provide students a safe and healthy learning environment where they can focus and thrive.

Thank you for taking the time to read this email and entrusting your child in our care. Please contact your school principal and administration for guidance, questions or support.

Thank you,

Dr. Frederick Navarro, Superintendent

Newport-Mesa Unified School District