Frequently Asked Questions About Safety
The Ottumwa Community School District has taken steps to insure your child's safety while in school. Each school has developed a crisis response plan. Emergency preparedness includes an all hazard approach to school safety that includes mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. See below for commonly asked questions.
Nationally, school threats and violence continue to plague our education system, requiring all districts to focus on school safety. While safety is our number one priority, we continue to focus on was to improve safety. For example, at Evans Middle School first trimester in 2017-18 there were 28 students with six to eight office referrals and 57 students with over nine. In 2018-19 during the same time period, those numbers had been reduced to 11 students with six to eight office referrals and seven students who had over nine.
There's a lot of pressure put on schools to provide a visible sign of security. Many people suggest metal detectors to serve this purpose. Metal detectors can create a false sense of security. Ottumwa Schools opted to hire additional safety monitors and behavior interventionists to support our School Resource Officers in our secondary buildings. These Campus Safety Monitors will increase the level of security in the building. This will be evaluated for effectiveness and other options will be explored if needed.
All teachers have been provided ALICE Training, tornado, fire, etc. Buildings run through drills several times each year to ensure that students and staff are familiar with building procedures in each safety scenero.
Please contact your building principal and inquire about ways to get involved. Many of our buildings have either Parent Advisory groups that meet frequently or PTA organizations.
When there is a traumatic event that impacts a school building, parents will receive a text through our student information system, PowerSchool. If the event impacts the larger school community, we will not only notify the entire district via text but also share details with our traditional media partners, including the newspaper, television, and radio.
Ottumwa began a collaboration with the Ottumwa Police Department in 1994 with one officer at the high school. The prevention program is designed to build rapport with our students and provide day-to-day security. The school resource officers (SROs) frequently assist in resolving problems that are not necessarily law violations, such as bullying or disorderly behavior, but which are safety issues that can result in or contribute to criminal incidents.