At all Carlsbad Unified School District (CUSD) schools, administrators, teachers and support staff have been given printed material and other tools to help students cope with the Sandy Hook tragedy. Counselors are available to speak with both children and adults.
At Kelly, a Lifeline Counselor has been available for the past two years to help students navigate through the various emotions associated with any post-traumatic stress or related concerns. The District has other support services in place and are prepared to call in additional resources, if needed.
District Superintendent Suzette Lovely emphasizes that the safety, security and emotional well-being of every CUSD student is at the forefront of daily efforts. Principals, teachers and students practice regular emergency drills spanning a variety of scenarios.
“Teachers and administrators are trained to respond quickly, but calmly, to suspicious events or signs of trouble on their campuses,” Dr. Lovely states. “We believe our teachers would act no differently than the heroic staff at Sandy Hook who gathered students into safe areas, read stories to keep children calm, and assured them, ‘We’re waiting for the good guys.’ ”
CUSD Assistant Superintendent Suzanne O’Connell was part of the District management response effort to the 2010 Kelly shooting and its aftermath, which culminated in the trial and conviction of the perpetrator earlier this year. Ms. O’Connell notes, “Our primary objective is to reinforce a sense of safety and security while allowing children the opportunity to express their emotions.”
CUSD Safety Coordinator Keith Holley reports, “In Summer 2011, the District used Prop P funds to install perimeter fencing at elementary and middle schools. This fencing and the entry process bolster the safety and security of our campuses.” He notes that staff at all schools know and practice emergency preparedness and response techniques, including immediate lockdowns.
Dr. Lovely states, “Carlsbad Unified, along with first responders and local safety providers, works daily to keep our schools safe places through ongoing planning, preparation, and practice."