Superintendent's Safety Address

L-M Community Members,

Our thoughts and prayers go out to families, community members, and fellow American citizens of Parkland, Florida in the wake of this last month’s event.  It saddens me that we live in a time that we need to be aware and prepared for unthinkable actions like this.  Within the last five years at L-M we have taken several measures to increase that security of our campuses. We have increased our camera capabilities (schools & buses), implemented a buzz-in system at the schools, installed magnetized doors, put in push-button locks on the doors of the elementary, went through the Alert Lockdown Inform Counter Evacuate (ALICE) training and have scan card entry technology for staff at the secondary.  

We are going to be installing pushbutton locks in doors at the secondary building this spring and/or summer. After that is completed we will identify the doors that cannot be retrofit with a pushbutton lock at both the elementary and secondary buildings. We have contacted a company to then help us determine what kind of device will be needed to be able to secure the remaining doors.    

We have gotten updated ALICE training.  We recently had an ALICE refresher on March 9th during our early-out Friday staff development time. We then will have a full training during one of our pre-school in-service days next fall.  From that point on, we will incorporate an ALICE training into the new staff in-service days each year. We will look at the usefulness and practicality of scan card doors for staff at the elementary.

To help with the mental health of our students, we have increased counseling services this year at the secondary and will increase services at the elementary by having a five-days-a-week counselor at the elementary next year.  We have also partnered with a mental health therapist in allowing a place for her to meet with students as parents request.  I thank our parents, community, and staff for the care and love that you show our students on a daily basis, which is good medicine for emotional stability.   

We are open to suggestions of other proactive measures that you might think of. If at anytime you see or hear anything out of the ordinary having to do with student safety, please inform our district office.  It is always better to err on the side of caution.

Mike Van Sickle
Superintendent of Schools
Louisa-Muscatine