The Madison school district’s response to the roiling brawls on Monday
Blaska’s Top Line: Somehow, we thought the school district had a safety plan. But they’re still working on developing one. (Highlighted emphasis is ours.)
Madison Metropolitan School District
November 9, 2021
Dear East students, families, and staff,
Last night and this morning, I communicated with you about some immediate actions we were taking to ensure the safety and security of East students and staff in response to continuing student conflicts, and subsequent rumors of more violence circulating on social media. As a follow up, I would like to report we had a safe, calm, and productive day of learning at East High School today.
In order for our scholars to learn, they must feel safe, respected, and welcome. We are working diligently to ensure all of our learning spaces are places where students and staff can thrive. To this end, East and district staff have been working collaboratively over the last several days to refine short-term and long-term safety plans at East High.
I would like to share with you some of the strategies East will be implementing moving forward to ensure our school maintains a supportive learning environment:Modifications of East Safety and Supervision Plans
- We are making modifications to our open lunch supervision, and clarifying teacher supervision assignments for club times during lunch.
- We have adjusted start and end times in the work schedules of behavior response staff to increase supervision, and support during school opening and school dismissal.
- We are working to identify additional staff who can provide hallway supervision during passing times.
- We are increasing our collaboration with student leaders to uplift their voices in developing solutions.
- Our restorative justice personnel are assisting with student re-entry meetings to facilitate the rebuilding of relationships.Additional Central Office Presence
- Central Office staff, including student and staff support leaders, are being placed at East to provide a greater safety and security presence, while directly supporting our building leadership team.
- To support our plan for increased supervision before school, lunch, and after school, multiple central office staff are working out of East’s campus.
- Central Office communications team members are working on-site at East to support our efforts to communicate with students, staff, and families in a timely manner.
- The Office of Student and Staff Support (district level) is providing additional resources to support students who are experiencing trauma. The individual support and counseling provided will involve restorative processes; mental health interventions; and safety planning. This support is being coordinated with community resources and providers.Community Collaboration
- We have identified community partners who will assist in addressing issues in the community which are spilling over into our schools.
- We are working with a number of established community leaders, organizations, and advocates to create opportunities for them to have a long-term, positive presence on school grounds during key transition times.
Learning occurs best when school culture and climate is warm, inviting, and positive. We are working to ensure our students feel safe and secure. In the upcoming weeks, we will continue to inform, refine, strategize, and collaborate with you to ensure all our scholars have an opportunity to learn in spaces which promote their academic and social-emotional growth.Thank you for your support, patience, and partnership. Sincerely,Mikki D. Smith