A SAFER tomorrow starts with you!
Even with almost 80% of our students and staff feeling safe in our buildings, we know we can do better. It is our goal to provide more proactive safety measures for our students, staff and families.
That is why the FWCS Board of School Trustees approved a resolution in June allowing a public question to appear on the Nov. 7, 2023, ballot to raise funds for the following safety and well-being initiatives:
- Employ or compensate a school resource officer or school resource officers.
- Establish or fund a school safety office.
- Conduct a threat assessment of a school building.
- Create or update a school safety plan.
- Develop or update school emergency response systems.
- Purchase equipment to enhance the safety of a school building, school grounds or school buses.
- Establish and administer programs to address youth specific mental illness, addiction, anger management, bullying and school violence.
- Develop and administer professional development programs for teachers, administrators and other school employees designed to improve school safety and reduce violence.
What are SAFER Schools?
S is for STUDENT ADVOCATES
Having strong relationships with students is the most effective way to make sure students are engaged in school. When students are engaged, it leads to higher academic achievement, stronger sense of well-being, better attendance and fewer discipline issues. With the passage of the referendum, Fort Wayne Community Schools will hire individuals to serve as Student Advocates in each of our buildings. These new staff members will have one goal: support students. Student Advocates will assist in monitoring enhanced security initiatives, such as the weapons detection system, and will walk the buildings making sure they are secure.
A is for ADVANCED SECURITY
Installing enhanced security technology to ensure building safety is key for preparing a successful learning environment for students. A safe and secure school allows students to feel comfortable and more engaged in the classroom by limiting stress and creating a space for creative learning. Funds from the referendum will allow for the purchase and installation of Advanced Security systems including portable weapons detection systems for middle and high schools, exterior door lockout systems, intrusion alarms and additional classroom door locks.
F is for FAMILY FRIENDLY
Creating a safe and friendly environment at school helps build connections between students, teachers, families and the community. A Family Friendly environment is welcoming to school visitors and is a space for respect, trust and student development. At South Side High School, students are working with Alive Peacemakers to change the culture of the school by empowering students with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Principles of Nonviolence. The referendum would allow for the expansion of the Peacemaker program to all FWCS high schools.
E is for EDUCATION CENTERED
At the heart of student success is a learning environment that allows the pursuit of knowledge in a safe space with educators who care. When students are emotionally grounded and comfortable in the classroom, they are more likely to be engaged and thrive socially and academically. With a successful referendum, FWCS will hire mental health therapists who will focus on early intervention and treatment services for students in coordination with their families and outside counseling services. Students will learn self-regulation and de-escalation techniques to escalation promote an Education-Centered atmosphere and a safe learning environment.
R is for RESPONSIBLE
Fort Wayne Community Schools educates all students to high standards enabling them to become productive, Responsible citizens. To ensure students at FWCS continue to collaborate, learn at a high-level and become the leaders of tomorrow, enhancing security and adding staff to support student well-being is critical. FWCS has taken a pro-active approach to develop a security plan that is detailed and fiscally Responsible, costing a few dollars a month for the average homeowner.