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Superintendent Opens School Year with Letter on Safety, Connecticut Tragedy

Douglas County School System Superintendent Dr. Gordon Pritz opens the new school year with a letter to parents about safety.

Dear Parents,

I am hopeful that you and your family had a wonderful time of rest and celebration during the recently enjoyed winter holidays. As we get ready to return to school on Tuesday, Jan. 8, I wanted to provide you with information and assurances of the efforts we make to provide for the safety of our students and staff. Providing an environment that is safe and secure is always the top priority of our school district here in Douglas County.

Please know that the school district works year round to maintain safe and secure schools. All of our schools have unique safety plans that exceed state requirements and these are annually updated. They have been approved by the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) and the Georgia Office of Homeland Security. While no one is totally immune from the kind of tragedy that occurred in Connecticut, please be assured the Douglas County School System is continually auditing and updating its safety procedures and protocols.

You may have noticed prior to the holidays an increased law enforcement presence in and around your child’s school. We work closely with the Sheriff’s Department and the Douglasville Police Department all year long and will continue to do so throughout the remainder of the school year. All our principals conduct regular safety training and drills with their staff and students and will increase focus on this as we begin the New Year. We have included some additional documents on our website that provide important information on our safety and security practices across the school district.

One of the most important things we can do as a school system is to maintain a sense of normalcy, or routine, and focus on learning in the classroom each day. This routine is so important to our students as it helps promote a strong sense of safety and security. It is important to me that each parent knows that every DCSS administrator, teacher and support staff member understands and embraces their scope of responsibility, in ensuring that your children have a safe environment, to grow and prosper, while in our schools.

I hope that you continue to stay involved in your child’s education and school as you are able. Parent involvement is so critical to the overall success of our kids. We encourage productive communication with your child’s principal and teacher/s throughout the school year. Should you have any concerns about safety at your child’s school, I hope you will share that with the principal.

Welcome back to school! I am confident that the second half of the 2012-2013 school year holds in store many great accomplishments for our children.

Warm Regards,

Dr. Gordon Pritz, Superintendent

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