KIPP Texas Families,
As I watch the news and learn more about the Uvalde tragedy at Robb Elementary yesterday, my heart continues to break. Innocent lives were taken from us senselessly, and it has shaken all of us to the core. We are here for you and our Little KIPPsters as they process the news and their emotions.
KIPP Texas Safety Measures
At KIPP Texas, we take the responsibility of keeping our Big and Little KIPPsters safe seriously. As a standard practice, we implement preventative measures at our schools to maintain a safe and secure environment for all of our KIPPsters. Among them are the following:
- Staff members will monitor all open exterior doors during arrival and dismissal. Doors will not remain propped open without a monitor.
- All exterior doors/gates will be closed and locked, as building design allows, during the normal course of the school day.
- During lockdowns (drills or otherwise), all classroom doors are locked.
- All staff is required to wear a KIPP employee badge. If staff members forget to bring their badges, they will receive a temporary badge.
- Only visitors on verified official business will be allowed beyond the front desk. These visitors should all be wearing a temporary badge and, if not, will be routed back to the front desk to obtain one.
- Staff will immediately report all concerning behavior, including threats and any physical safety concerns to School Leaders or the next available school leadership team member.
- School leadership and assigned staff members will be present and vigilant during arrival and dismissal times.
There are many end-of-year events taking place during the last few days of school. All visitors are required to sign in at the main office. Please bring an ID and arrive early to ensure additional time to check in.
In the wake of this tragedy, we are doubling down on our standard and working closely with all involved teams to ensure our protocols are followed today and every day.
Additionally, in alignment with Senate Bill 11, we have a dedicated School Safety Department at KIPP Texas. After this year, we will have conducted safety and security audits at all 59 KIPP Texas schools and are working as a team to address the findings. We also acknowledge there are physical aspects of some of our schools that could improve to meet a gold standard of safety.
Lastly, in the past 12 hours, we have learned of several copycat threats and rumors. Each allegation is taken seriously and investigated as such. Those that have come to our attention were verified to be rumors.
We ask that you talk with your children about not making light of these instances and not circulate rumors or jokes about anything that could pose a risk to our Team & Family. Students who do will face disciplinary action according to our code of conduct. Thank you for talking to your KIPPsters about the seriousness of these matters.
We are also asking that Big KIPPsters play a heightened role in speaking up if they hear or see something of concern as we all play a part in keeping our schools, students, and staff safe. Our greatest safety measure is vigilance.
Little KIPPster Support Services
In addition to security, our school leaders have also received resources to support our student’s mental health and wellness. Many of our schools have exceptional school-based health staff. Our Student Wellness Team is equipped and ready to help if a school needs additional student support.
Families, we are so grateful for your partnership. We love our KIPPsters and are doing everything we can to keep them safe and well.