School Safety - Seguridad de Escuela
Green Dot families,
As we return from fall break, I wanted to reach out to express my thanks to our incredible students, families, and staff who help maintain safe, fun, supportive learning environments every day. Here at Green Dot, we are family. We will always look out for each other and put our students first.
I also wanted to address the matter that you may have seen in the news before the fall break regarding the security threat made against one of our schools, Ánimo Mae Jemison. The safety and well-being of our students and staff are our highest priority, and we completely understand how unsettling the news has been. I have included some tips from the National Association of School Psychologists to help you talk with your student about this type of incident.
As you know, schools across the country have been facing violence and threats of violence, and we are deeply saddened that our school community has now been on the receiving end of this awful trend. That said, we are also grateful that at Green Dot, we have built a culture that allows our students to raise their concerns or speak up if something makes them uncomfortable so that we may identify and respond to these types of threats before they become tragedies.
As many already know, our students informed adults on campus of their safety concerns. Once our staff at Ánimo Mae Jemison were notified of the threat, they quickly informed the sheriff's department, an investigation was conducted, and they prevented any harm from coming to students. Because the students did the right thing by coming forward with concerns - and the trusted adults on campus immediately acted - we averted a potential tragedy.
In addition to the supportive culture that we’ve built at all our schools, we also wanted to highlight some of the processes and procedures that we have in place at our campuses that contribute to a safe learning environment, including:
- A robust system of mental health supports provided through school counselors, school psychologists and clinical social workers;
- An electronic visitor management system to screen all campus visitors;
- Campus security officers for general supervision day-to-day;
- Staff trainings in safety measures like ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) to help prepare for the possibility of an active threat.
We will continue to refine these safety systems and procedures to ensure we promote Green Dot’s overall culture of safety and support, and we will maintain an environment that helps our students learn, grow, and feel empowered every day to speak up.
Thank you again for being a part of the Green Dot community, and for working with us to cultivate a safe environment for our students to learn and grow. I hope the Thanksgiving holiday brought you all comfort, joy, and time with loved ones.
Dr. Cristina de Jesus, President and CEO of Green Dot Public Schools California