The following message from ESUSD Superintendent Melissa Moore was emailed to ESUSD families and employees on May 25, 2022.
Dear ESUSD Family,
Like you, we are shocked and deeply saddened by the news of the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Texas on Tuesday. We share in the heartbreak we are all feeling for the families who have lost a loved one due to this senseless act of violence.
School should and must be a place where students feel completely safe and secure. As student safety is our number one priority, I wanted to remind you of partnerships and resources in place in the El Segundo Unified School District (ESUSD).
Partnership with El Segundo Police Department
El Segundo Unified School District is fortunate to have a long, positive, and collaborative partnership with the El Segundo Police Department and keeping our schools safe continues to be a top priority. Chief Jaime Bermudez immediately reached out to me to share that as an added precaution, there will be an increased police presence in and around our schools for the rest of the week. We are thankful to him and the officers of El Segundo Police Department for providing this reassuring presence around our school communities. Chief Bermudez and I communicate regularly. The City funds two ESPD officers who are assigned full time as School Resource Officers for all schools located in El Segundo. The emergency response time by patrol officers is less than 3 minutes of receiving a 911 emergency call. The El Segundo Police responds to and investigates all safety related threats, including those on social media.
Comprehensive School Safety Plans
In March of each school year, Comprehensive School Safety Plans are submitted to the Board of Education for review and approval. Each school site has a safety committee that provides input on the safety plan. ESUSD also has a tradition of consulting with law enforcement and the fire department to ensure proper access for emergency personnel and that the plans reflect the most current best practices.
Campus Security Assessments
Actus Consulting and Training has conducted security assessments at all school sites. From active shooter events to other types of internal or external threats, Actus Intruder Training prepared our employees by providing them a clear plan of action if faced with a worst-case scenario. As we move into the 2022-23 school year, ESUSD will schedule refresher training and student safety presentations (run/hide/distract) for grades 4-12 this Fall as well. The all-inclusive security assessment is custom tailored for each school location, and includes the following tasks:
- Threat and vulnerability assessment
- Review of site and facility security
- Review use ofCrime Prevention through Environmental Design(CPTED) principles.
- Review of security policies and procedures
- Development of recommendations for security improvements
Campus Fencing & Security Vestibules
Knowing that safety is a top priority of the Board of Education, Measure ES included multiple facility improvements to further enhance safety. Fencing has been installed at each campus location and new safe and welcoming security vestibules have been added at Richmond Street School, El Segundo Middle School and El Segundo High School. These enhancements can serve as physical deterrents and contribute towards safety.
Gaggle and We Tip
ESUSD has two reporting systems to further enhance our ability to intervene early in potential concerning behaviors. The District purchased technology support services through Gaggle which flags concerning content in students’ school issued accounts. Gaggle helps ESUSD see the early warning signs so we can take action to protect students from harming themselves or others—before it is too late. Severe situations concerning student mental health or safety are alerted to district-appointed contacts who are immediately notified by phone, even after standard business hours. Thus, Gaggle provides an essential resource that allows appropriate intervention to occur in a timely manner.
We Tip is an additional reporting system that is available at all school sites and encourages See Something, Say Something for students to anonymously report any potential threat or matter of concern.
Mental Health Resources
This tragedy is heartbreaking and can surface fears about safety. We know events like these can impact the physical and mental well-being of our students, staff, and families. We encourage you to connect with your friends and family and support each other and seek help as it is needed. We want to assure you that El Segundo Unified School District is committed to the safety of our schools and well-being of our community.
We know that children and teens will process this news in different ways. Counselors are available at each of our school buildings to assist students who may need some extra support. We strongly encourage any middle or high students to stop by the counseling office at any time. Elementary students should check in with site administration if needed.
Whatever you or your family are experiencing, we want you to know that you are not alone, and that support is available at school and in our community. If you or someone you know needs help, below are some resources to help you or loved ones cope.
Tips for discussing the tragedy with children:
- What to say to kids when the news is scary (NPR)
- Talking with children about difficult things in the news (Fred Rogers Institute)
- Helping Children with Tragic Events in the News (PBS)
- Parent Guidelines for Helping Youth After the Recent Shooting (The National Child Traumatic Stress Network)
- Helping Children Cope with Frightening News (Child Mind Institute)
- Coping in the Aftermath of a Shooting (American Counseling Association)
Mental Health Support
If you or a family member would like help finding a mental health care or substance use treatment provider, contact Care Solace, a complimentary and confidential coordination service provided by El Segundo Unified School District:
- Call 888-515-0595. Support is available 24/7/365 in any language.
- Visit caresolace.com/elsegundoparents and either search on your own OR click “Book Appointment” for assistance by video chat, email, or phone.
- If your child needs additional support at school, contact your school’s principal or counselor.
In closing, I once again want to emphasize the theme of See Something, Say Something and report any concerns in a timely fashion. It is critical that individuals in distress or crisis receive appropriate support, intervention, and monitoring immediately.
Safety is our collective responsibility. By working together and communicating openly – and especially by talking with and listening to our students – we can continue to keep our schools safe. Please join us in keeping the students, staff, and families of the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District in our thoughts at this time.
Melissa Moore, Ed.D.
El Segundo Unified School District