Keeping Community Safe

Dear Cherry Park Community

I know that the most recent school shooting is weighing heavy on our hearts.  As parents and as educators we have the awesome responsibility to keep our children safe. What I can promise you is that I will do anything in my power to keep your child from harm.   While we never want to think that the worst will happen at our school, we strongly feel that we need to be prepared.  Below are a few of the ways that Cherry Park Elementary keeps our community safe.

  • Our goal every day is to make sure all staff are connecting and building relationships with students as well as making students feel part of a greater community.
  • We establish high expectations and reinforce students who show positive behavior and follow through with students who are not respectful or safe with their words or body.
  • We make sure that students feel heard, listened to and validated for anything that they share.
  • Each year our staff meets with our local law enforcement to discuss, train and plan in case there is an emergency.
  • Each space in our building has very detailed protocols that have been developed for various emergencies.
  • We regularly practice emergency drills with our students in case there is a fire, earthquake, or unsafe situation inside or outside of the building.
  • As always, I am always here for all our community members.  If you have concerns, want to process or get additional information on a situation please reach out to me via phone, email or in person and I will always follow up.
  • Our building is signed up with an organization called Safe Oregon.   Safe Oregon is a program created for Oregon students, parents, school staff, community members and law enforcement officers to report and respond to student safety threats.  The goal of Safe Oregon is to prevent school safety threats from occurring by providing schools and communities with a relevant tool for reporting potential threats.  Tips can be submitted in a variety of ways, including email, phone calls, text, etc. To learn more or to report suspicious activity go to http://safeoregon.com/

You may be wondering how and if you should talk to your child about school violence.  Below are a few strategies from the National Association of School Psychologists:

  • Reassure children that they are safe.
  • Make time to talk and to listen
  • Keep your explanations developmentally appropriate.
  • Review safety procedures.
  • Observe children’s emotional state.
  • Limit television viewing of these events.
  • Maintain a normal routine.

More details are provided in the NASP handout, Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers available in English (PDF)Spanish (PDF) and as an Infographic(PDF).

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.  Thank you for trusting us to care for your child.

Sincerely,

Kate Barker

Principal