With a new school year comes some changes and tweaks that need to be done to progress the district and that’s exactly what Neah-Kah-Nie School District Superintendent Paul Erlebach is overseeing.
By Joe Warren
The two major areas Erlebach is working on for the District are curriculum and overall district safety at all of the school campuses and the district office.
Earlier this month the district officials brought in a safety trainer contracted with I Love You Guys Foundation to discuss safety protocol at all of the district’s properties, helping ensure student and staff safety measures are optimal.
“The training was amazing,” Erlebach said. “I have received a lot of positive feedback from staff, law enforcement, emergency management and the public.”
Erlebach said that the District’s goals in the training is to be prepared for any situation, but if something happens, everyone will be talking the same language, react per the training and implement the learned protocol.
“Our training augmented the culture of student and staff safety that the NKN School District is constantly trying to improve,” he said. “The Standard Response Protocol training is a research based national model that many schools and other public agencies are implementing, it’s a critical ingredient of school safety and is the uniform classroom response to an incident at school.”
I Love You Guys Foundation was founded after an incident at a school district where a student was shot by an intruder.
According to the foundation’s website, on Sept. 27, 2006 a gunman entered Platte Canyon High School, held seven girls hostage and ultimately shot and killed Emily Keyes. During the time she was held hostage, Emily sent her parents these text messages: “I love you guys” and “I love u guys. k?”
Emily’s kindness, spirit, fierce joy, and the dignity and grace shown by the Keyes family following this tragic event define the core of The “I Love U Guys” Foundation.
Also according to the site, a critical ingredient in the safe school recipe is the uniform classroom response to any incident. Weather events, fires, accidents, intruders and other threats to student safety are scenarios that are planned and trained for by school and district administration and staff. Historically, schools have taken this scenario-based approach to respond to hazards and threats. It’s not uncommon to find a stapled sheaf of papers or even a tabbed binder in a teacher’s desk that describes a variety of things that might happen and the specific response to each event.
According to Erlebach, his staff, administration and teachers will host ongoing training on many emergency scenarios at the district.
Erlebach also said he and his staff will also continue to build relationships with local emergency response and safety management personnel as part of the districts safety plan.
Erlebach has scheduled another safety training for district employees, which the public is invited to attend on Wed. Oct. 14 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. During this training the group will focus on natural disasters namely, tsunami and earthquake preparedness.
Safety is not the only items that Erlebach said his staff is making uniform around the district. Sixth through 12 grade English and Math curriculums are new this year with a focus on uniform ways to take notes in class, making it easier as the student moves from grade to grade and learns the next section of each curriculum. Erlebach believes this will give each student a better understanding moving from grade to grade and give them the tools to succeed in these key learning areas.