School safety is a priority at OPS. Over the last few years, we have made a number of improvements that hopefully you've noticed such as secure vestibules at all our buildings, additional playground fencing, and updated pick-up and drop-off procedures implemented in each of our schools. Local law enforcement agencies have also include us in their daily routines. Officers stop in the buildings, greet students, connect with staff and take time to work on our campuses. "This intentionality has resulted in positive relationships and students are learning that officers are not just around when something is wrong," says Jeff Haase, Otsego Superintendent.
Otsego Public Schools has made other behind-the-scenes changes that incorporate additional safety features, implemented OK2Say and has a renewed commitment to Capturing Kids Hearts, a national program emphasizing the importance of positive relationships. "Often the difference between a good result and a not-so-positive one is a positive relationship that has been formed with our students, families and community," Haase adds.
During the National School Safety Week of October 21st, when Otsego was off for Intersession Week, we shared some of these safety actions and others on our social media. This week, we will conduct different activities to better prepare our students and staff in the event of an emergency.
"We hope by doing it this way, it will emphasize our commitment to school safety and raise awareness for all that is being done to provide a safe environment for our staff and students," Haase says. Haase encourages parents to discuss any drills conducted with their children to help them understand and become comfortable with the process.
"We are fortunate to have a strong school and local community and appreciate your support and commitment to our staff and students. I look forward to a great week!"