Dear CPS Families,
Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year. It is with much enthusiasm and excitement that we open our doors to the infinite possibilities for our 35,000 students. So many opportunities abound inside our schools.
As we greet this new school year, it is an opportune time to talk about school safety at our high schools. This year, we have enhanced our school security measures by adding more walk-through metal detectors at the entrances of our high schools. The walk-through detectors, similar to those at an airport, are intended to identify and deter anyone from bringing a weapon into our schools.
In addition, we have hired more security assistants to provide students and staff with a safe learning environment. The school district now requires all security assistants to wear a uniform so they are easily identified by the school community.
School safety is always my top priority. Last year, I launched a Safety Task Force that brings together experts from the Police Department, Fire Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security to develop strategies that enhance the CPS safety plan – using insights gained from the violent situations that have unfolded across the country in recent years, and ensure that students are safe each and every day. The task force met recently to review our safety plan for the upcoming school year. The comprehensive CPS safety plan has been in place for several years, and includes School Resource Officers, background checks for visitors upon entry, controlled access to facilities, extensive emergency training of students and staff, frequent drills to practice safety measures, regular security audits, bag checks, and closed circuit monitoring through more than 4,000 digital cameras in our schools.
Thank you for your cooperation as we work together to ensure the safest environment for our students, staff and community.