Superintendent's Column on Safety

Dear Rossford Schools Community:

Ensuring student safety is a top priority for the district and is a priority that is continually under review for improvement. A major part of the improvement process is the review of our safety plans with area emergency responders to make sure we have the best practices included in our plans and communication with emergency personnel remains open and consistent.

In keeping with these goals Rossford Schools recently hosted representatives from several area emergency agencies for what is called a safety table-top exercise. The table-top exercise presents to the school personnel and emergency responders different emergency scenarios using various circumstances in each scenario such as time of day for the occurrence and student age groups involved.

These scenarios create a dialogue between school officials, law enforcement, and our fire/EMS. School officials apply their developed plans to each scenario and the group discusses strengths of the plans as well as areas for improvement. Emergency personnel apply the most recent safety practices and protocols to the situations. When we couple the emergency protocols with our plans it this gives school staff and responding agencies a stronger sense of what to expect should a situation occur in the district.

Discussions about preventative measures were included as well. These exercises provided an opportunity for our administrators to share the capabilities of our safety equipment and software for emergency personnel to use to their benefit.

Finally, the student-family reunification process was reviewed. We discussed our ability to use smartphone technology for faster student accountability measures as well as the process used to release students to their parents and guardians. The communication practices used to notify families were also a part of the morning’s discussions.

All of this information is scrutinized for best practices by the group and district plans are adjusted where needed to reflect and provide the safest measures possible for our students and staff.

In short, the table-top exercises were mutually beneficial and provided a great opportunity to discuss student safety and work with our area emergency experts, all in the name of providing a safe and secure environment for our students while in our care. We want to express our sincere thanks to all of our emergency responders for sharing their time and expertise, especially Brad Gilbert, Director of the Wood County Emergency Management Agency for conducting the event and serving as its facilitator. Others to thank: Rossford Police and Fire, Wood County Sheriff Office, Perrysburg Township Fire, Wood County Emergency Management Agency, and school staff for taking the time to participate and help us plan and prepare for an emergency situation.

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