After a Tuesday meeting between Solon Schools leaders and Police Chief Chris Viland, Solon Superintendent Joe Regano has told parents they will immediately begin planning and implementing changes to the schools security procedures.
The changes come in the wake of the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
The changes include:
- Re-Evaluate Building Security With Consultant: Immediately commission a re-evaluation of our buildings and security with the national school safety consultant who has worked with us previously on our security planning.
- New Director of Safety: Create a new position of district Director of Safety & Security to provide professional guidance and direction to our day-to-day operations related to school safety and security. It is clear to us that we need expertise beyond what is currently available on our staff.
- Architectural changes to school buildings: Make architectural changes to our school buildings, including, but not limited to, entry points, which make them more secure.
- School-day police presence: Work and plan with city officials as we begin school-day police protection and presence in each building and on school grounds.
- Re-enforce current security rules: More strictly enforce the security measures we already have in place.
- Practice safety drills more regularly: Practice the safety drills in our schools with more regularity and at different times of the school day so students and staff are prepared for action regardless of what time of day an emergency occurs.
Regano says all changes, as they are implemented, will be discussed during regular public school board meetings.
He writes in a letter to parents:
The Board and I are taking what we believe is responsible action to get us started in making necessary changes just as you expect. Although we are moving quickly to get started, we are not abandoning the thoughtful and deliberative process we so strongly believe in here in Solon. We will utilize professionals and the best knowledge available in the field of security and school safety. Along the way, just as we do to ensure academic excellence, we will commit the capital in financial and human resources we determine are needed to be among the best in the nation at protecting our students and staff at school.
Regano said that parents will be key to making any of these procedures work.
"We need your help if we are to enforce the types of changes that truly make our buildings and grounds more secure every day," he writes.
"This is just the beginning of our dialogue with you on these issues," he adds. "We will communicate with you often as these safety and security changes are discussed and implemented."