A School Safety Preparedness Forum hosted by the New Manchester High School (NMHS) Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is planned for Feb. 6 at 7 p.m., in the NMHS Theatre. Douglas County School System (DCSS) parents, students, staff and community stakeholders are invited to attend the meeting and learn more about the district’s safety preparedness. Scheduled speakers include DCSS Superintendent Dr. Gordon Pritz, New Manchester High School Principal Connie Craft, DCSS Safety Director Zach Spencer, DCSS Student Support Coordinator George Chip, and Sgt. Jesse Hambrick of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department.
“I appreciate the opportunity New Manchester High School’s PTA is providing to keep communication lines open between our district, its schools, parents staff and the community,” said Pritz. “Our entire staff is committed to the district’s mission of providing a quality education to all students in a safe, supportive environment. We are committed to constantly reviewing our Crisis and Safety Plans on the district and school level and maintain approval of our plans with the Georgia Emergency Management Agency and the Georgia Office of Homeland Security. Our annually updated plans are unique to each school and provide step-by-step guides for how principals and administrators should respond to a wide variety of scenarios ranging from but not limited to severe weather, fire, bomb threats, and intruders or threats of violence.
“Perhaps most important to school safety is the trusting relationship within our system between students, teachers, parents and administrators,” Pritz continued. “Often, reports or rumors of suspected threats are shared with our staff. When shared, these reports or rumors are investigated thoroughly and action taken, resulting in our goal of providing a safe and supportive environment for our students and staff. Every principal at each school works closely with District and local school staff to ensure sound safety practices are in place at their schools. Parents should work closely and cooperatively with their child’s principal to gain a full understanding of these practices and share concerns when and if they exist.”