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Roaring Fork Schools Already Doing What School Safety Survey Suggests

Sep 13, 2019

Credit Basalt High School / http://bhs.rfsd.k12.co.us

A study published in August by the Colorado Education Association, or CEA, and Padres and Jovenes Unidos recommends best practices to improve school safety and decrease the number of school-based violent incidents.

The Roaring Fork School District said they have been implementing those suggestions for years. 

The study suggests a positive school environment improves safety and learning in schools. It recommends integrating schools into the community, focusing on social-emotional learning and creating authentic engagements between community and policymakers. 

Rob Stein, the superintendent of the Roaring Fork Schools, said the district has already been doing all of those things. He said school safety has always been a top priority, and recent school shootings have not been the ultimate driver in creating action plans. 

Stein said they often ask the community about what it would like to see in the future. Although safety was not the top concern for many parents and students, they did want more security in schools. 

"We changed the architecture in all of our schools, so there is now a vestibule and there's a buzzer, and a visitor of the school has to be recognized...before letting them into the school," Stein said.  

He said some schools may have stricter procedures, and others more relaxed, but the current security measures are good for the needs of the Roaring Fork Valley. 

When asked if recent school shootings have left parents and students more concerned than usual, Stein said of course, they are scared and worried after traumatic events happen in the country, but he said when incidents like that do happen, he does not hear people wanting a change in safety action plans or security levels.

"We are being more vigilant than we were...over the course of my career as an administrator, which predates Columbine," Stein said. "The findings in this report is everything we have been all over."