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Notes From the Superintendent

In light of the recent tragedy in Connecticut before Christmas, the Bottineau Public School will be implementing some changes for student and staff safety.  The events in Connecticut and the recent school shooting exercise the school and community entities participated on November 27 has brought to light items we as a school need to change.  These changes will take place starting January 21 (start of second semester).  Again, these changes are being implemented for the safety of our staff and students.  The changes are as follows:

1.  Once school begins, there will be designated doors unlocked and can be accessed to enter the building.  At the Junior/Senior High building, door #13 and door #14 will be unlocked.  These doors are located at the south side of the building.  At the Middle School, door #4 will be unlocked.  This door is located on the north side of the building.  At Central School, the entrance facing Main Street will be unlocked.

2.  All classroom doors will be locked at all times.  The door to a classroom may be open.  But, it will be locked so when closed a person would not be able to enter without a key.

3.  All staff will be required to wear an ID lanyard or badge with an alligator clip.  This will enable parents and visitors to know who works at the school.  It will also be very helpful for new students to know and recognize staff members.  I am hoping to have this available by January 21.

4.  The office will have lanyards for parents or visitors to wear if they are going to a classroom or will be in the building for an extended period of time.

5.  All parents and visitors will be required to report to the office when entering the building during school hours.  Currently, each of our doors state “Welcome All Visitors Must Report To The Office”.  This is not being followed or enforced by the district.  In some cases, there are individuals coming into the school and going straight to a classroom or their child’s locker without reporting to the office.  This is not good practice.  I realize in some cases an individual might not know where the office is located.  We are in the process getting signs to show where the office’s are located.  If a parent or visitor is not wearing a visitor lanyard, staff will direct you to the office to check in.

I realize these are some big changes from what is currently being done.  Safety of our students is a high priority of the district and these measures are being placed for the safety of our students.  The safety of our students will not be stopping with these changes.  We are in the process of exploring other safety measures the district can take to ensure student safety.  At the December School Board Meeting, it was decided an Ad Hoc Committee will be formed to help identify other options or needs our district may have in the future.  This will be ongoing and hopefully any improvements or changes implemented will ensure the safety of the students attending the Bottineau Public School.

I realize the changes to be implemented starting January 21 might be inconvenient.  I do believe they are in the best interest in the safety of our students.  A person never thinks a tragedy similar to the one in Connecticut will happen in our town.  Unfortunately, this event shows it can and does happen.  These changes don’t necessarily solve the problem.  I do believe they are needed and a step in the right direction.