What strategies might you consider in order to assist the administration in maintaining safety within all Orcutt schools?

All responses are listed alphabetically by candidate’s last name.

 

Laurel Ciervo:

I believe that well thought out and communicated protocols and procedures are very important. There are simple things like all staff wearing name tags and checking in at the office that will improve the basic safety and security on campus. Ensuring that staff and students know what to do when a lock down, shelter in place or active shooter situations is imperative. The language of security and safety must be common and understood by all. This occurs when staff is trained and given time to practice these protocols. There is no perfect answer to student safety. However, there needs to be a willingness and commitment to learn and apply the best practices proven to make campuses safer. Proactively, working on social emotional learning and addressing issues promptly and with due care are also essential to maintaining a safe and secure campus. Finally, the safety and security fencing going up in the elementary schools can help with the process of identifying a potential issue.

 

Shaun Henderson:

SCHOOL SAFETY AND SECURITY IS AN AREA THAT I FEEL HAS GREAT IMPORTANCE CURRENTLY IN OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT. WE NEED TO LOOK AT EVERY AREA THAT CAN HELP TO SECURE OR SCHOOLS TO KEEP OUR STUDENTS AND TEACHERS SAFE.I BELIEVE ALL CLASSROOMS NEED TO HAVE A CAP TO PREVENT OVERCROWDING. THIS VIEW IS RELATED TO SAFETY AND SECURITY AS WELL. TEACHERS CAN NOT DO THEIR JOBS IN AN OVER CROWDED CLASSROOM. MANY TIMES TEACHERS DO NOT HAVE ANY ADDITIONAL SUPPORT AND MUST TEACH VARIOUS LEVELS WHILE MAINTAINING ORDER IN THEIR CLASSROOMS. CAPPING THE AMOUNT OF STUDENTS ALLOWS COMBINATION CLASSES TO BE WORTHWHILE.

 

Eric Melsheimer:

I support the Measure G Bond emphasis on improving school safety and security. This includes enclosing all of the campuses and having a single point of entry during school hours. This need for security must be balanced with the role the school sites serve as neighborhood parks and athletic fields. After hours and weekends, the school fields should be accessible to the community for soccer and other activities. Traffic hazards are another safety concern at our schools. Making sure that students can be safely dropped off and picked up as well as having safe routes to walk to school is very important. Providing mental health resources and education is also important for student safety. Students should have access to counselors or therapists and know how to get that help for instances of harassment, abuse or violence. Learning can only happen if students feel Safe.

 

Mark Steller:

Safety is a multifaceted issue. From a facilities perspective, I support the district’s plan to utilize Measure G funds for perimeter fencing and a single point of access to campuses during school hours. From the perspective of policies and programing, I support rules, policies, consequences, and supervision that ensure that everyone on campus treats each other appropriately and with respect. I believe that Orcutt Academy High School and the district’s two junior high schools would benefit from a stronger connection with the County Sheriff’s Department, and I also believe that we need to have strong counseling and other programs to address students’ social-emotional needs. Finally, safety often is about how people feel about their school. I value, and will encourage, a strong sense of connectedness to schools, so everyone on campus feels they matter and are an important part of the school community.

 

Melanie Waffle:

School Safety, is a very complex issue needing to be addressed. Luckily, with the help of Measure G, the schools are getting a physical facelift to help with security issues.  However, I think student mental health, volunteer/chaperone background checks and proper emergency or situational training are aspects that could use some much needed attention.  I do not have an agenda or plan…my strategy is to focus on what the teachers, staff, parents and students think would be beneficial in regards to the students’ mental well being and safety. I’d love to have conversations and get as much feedback as possible so that an informed decision could be made on what might truly effective, not necessarily what I think is needed.

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