Current Superintendent's Letter to the Community
Dear Parents, Community and CCUSD Staff,
As a result of the horrific shootings at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, CCUSD Schools has had additional lockdown drills, including lockdown drills where the fire alarm goes off. We have asked our teachers to talk to students about safety plans for their classrooms and reminded students to take these drills and plans seriously. We have added discussions on awareness of surroundings and reporting even “casual” remarks that students may make about violence to others, the school or themselves.
Again, a reminder that all of our schools and departments have detailed emergency plans. We work closely with the Scottsdale and Phoenix police and fire departments, as well as Maricopa County Sheriff's Department to be prepared for emergencies. We have Homeland Security visits to audit our school sites for improvements. Our schools conduct drills and review procedures for scenarios we hope we never need.
In light of this latest tragedy, I have asked all of our school leaders and Scottsdale Police and Fire Departments, Phoenix Police and Fire Departments, Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and Rural Metro to reconvene to re-examine our procedures and make any modifications necessary. In addition, we have contacted Homeland Security to return for reviews of our school campuses. I have also discussed safety with the Superintendent’s Student Cadre and the Superintendent’s Community Council to gather concerns and suggestions as we work to make sure our schools remain welcoming, yet safe.
One of the most frequent comments from students was that high school IDs must be checked carefully each day as students enter the campus and remain visible throughout the day. Parents can help with this by reminding students to wear their IDs. Thankfully, the majority of students polled say they feel safe at school due to the frequent drills and practices.
CCUSD will continue to monitor and adjust safety procedures. We are thankful to our public safety providers in sharing information and providing valuable updates. We know that the number one concern of parents is that school is first and foremost a safe zone where optimal learning can then take place.
I look forward to seeing you in our schools!
Debbi C. Burdick, Ed.D.