To Our Socrates Academy Family,
We mourn for the students and staff who lost their lives in the most recent Florida school shooting. Our thoughts and prayers are with the students, families, staff, and citizens of Florida. Since the Columbine shooting in 1999, schools have taken various measures to ensure that this would not happen again. Unfortunately, almost twenty years later we are still experiencing the heartache and anxiety of fatal school crisis.
Here at Socrates we have been on the forefront of remaining proactive about safety by annually updating security on our campus. Every building on our site is secured and locked daily with every door having programmed card entrance only. This means that access to buildings can only happen if you have an approved card that can be swiped electronically. If a staff member no longer works here, his/her card is deactivated immediately. We take pride in our office staff who thoroughly screen the doors before opening them, and we have ongoing reminders with scholars about not opening the doors for individuals they do not know. Again, we have been fortunate to not have any incidents where our school community was placed in an unsafe situation.
To add, the Matthews community continues to be a very safe environment and lock downs have not had to happen on campus due to any area bank robberies, stolen cars or people on the run from law enforcement. Even though we are nestled in a very safe community, we do not take for granted that we must always remain vigilant and on alert. The administrative team and staff train on how to approach possible campus situations this summer prior to our scholars arriving and as early as yesterday, Mr. Bogar spent time revisiting this with each grade level as well. Safety at Socrates will always remain a top priority.
There is never enough training to ease the minds of parents after hearing about a school shooting. It leaves us all with a feeling of anxiety and fear. We want you to know that we are strategically working over the weekend and early part of next week to review the way we have staff and students practice the Lockdown drill/Active Shooter Preparedness and how we communicate to scholars. We want to ensure our dialogue is age and grade level appropriate, so that our younger scholars do not leave school feeling afraid and that our older scholars understand the importance of communicating with staff any potential threats communicated by their peers. Alongside this, we are working with our counseling department to tighten up our procedures to follow in the event of a suicide threat made on behalf of a scholar or staff member. As Socrates continues to grow, so do our needs. We are being proactive rather than reactive about how we approach everything.
Our communications department will be sending a list of helpful ways and sites you can use at home to talk with your children about school safety and how to approach your children in conversation after a traumatic time such as a school shooting. As we organize drills on campus, we will keep families aware of what is practiced at school.
As always, we value your feedback, support, and your time in keeping Socrates Academy safe.
President of Board of Directors