In the audience Rachel Narsh, who has three kids currently in the district, takes notes during the presentation. She was not only there as a parent but also as a writer for the West Newsmagazine. “I wish more parents had come,” Narch said. “It’s a big scary thing but I’m glad they are educating the staff and teachers on what to do and talking it through with the kids.”
Parents and staff gathered to discuss current safety procedures yesterday, Nov. 6 at the Annex. This was the first of these events and was put together to better inform the RSD community and gather feedback for further improvement. Each attendee was provided with a flyer of the RSD app and a feedback sheet to gauge their thoughts on the event.
Superintendent Dr. Mark Miles gathers with Janet Sadowski, administrative assistant to the Superintendent, and Lynne Midyett, vice president of the Board of Education. Dr. Miles introduced the forum and discussed current safety measures, including recent changes to them such as the change in the intruder alert system, and those still in the works for future implementation, such as annual intercom speaker tests and updated notifications for parents in case of an emergency.
Dr. Miles welcomes Eureka Police Chief Mike Wiegand to the stage to talk about the district’s partnership with local law enforcement. Chief Wiegand assured parents and staff alike how seriously school emergencies are taken and the amount of training first responders receive. “I have four kids who went through and I have grandkids in the district now,” Chief Wiegand said. “It’s personal to me. It’s personal to you.”
Members of the Metro West Fire Protection Department also attended the meeting. Chief Wiegand said all Rockwood schools had been equipped with “Stop the Bleed” kits and training on how to treat wounds in a classroom setting.
Director of Student Services Dr. Terry Harris addresses the audience to emphasize that safety is much more than only intruder drills although the most recent focus has been on revising those procedures due to the increase in mass shootings. Dr. Harris presented multiple videos to further communicate to parents and staff the role they play in keeping the district safe. “We want to encourage our students, our parents, our community members to use the tipline so that we can make sure we can keep everyone safe,” Dr. Harris said.
Sophomore Principal Carl Hudson listens to the presentations as the head of the Safety and Security Committee at MHS. While he found the presentation informative and important to the community, he said he wished more teachers and staff would’ve attended. “The 4E training is what we’ve been trained on but we have a number of staff members in our building that’ve been hired in the last five years who haven’t been trained,” Hudson said. “I have gone through the training but it’s been six years, I need to be retrained.”
As part of Tier One Tactical Solutions, LLC, St. Louis County Police Officer, Lt. Brian Schellman presented on the 4Es: Educate, Evade, Escape and Engage. He emphasized the importance of training and taking the right precautions so during a real emergency staff and students will reserve to the learned procedures rather than freezing in shock.