December 20, 2012
Over the past week, we have watched over each other quietly as we deal with the emotional aftermath of Newtown, Connecticut. Foremost, we send loving thoughts to those who grieve. Understandably at such times, our concerns for student safety increase, so listed below are some of the measures in place at Gillispie:
Based on expert advice six years ago, the School established security measures that have become familiar to us at Gillispie: adherence to a locked campus during business hours, a set of cameras around the perimeter and interior of the campus, and an alarm system for evening hours.
Based on visits to Gillispie and a faculty training by an emergency preparedness consultant last year, we practice a variety of drills (earthquake, fire, and shelter-in-place), including drills that allow us to be ready for an off-site evacuation and for gathering all children and adults into one location on campus.
Classrooms are equipped with essential supplies to allow for an extended shelter-in-place.
Gillispie is ready to communicate internally (via a campus PA system and walkie-talkies) and with families (through emailed Special Notices and a third-party auto-dialer system).
Most recently, we appreciated a visit by San Diego Police this past Monday morning to check in and share strategies.
Additional measures will be kept in confidence to maintain a secure campus, and as faculty and staff continue to analyze our environment and consult with experts, we’ll fine-tune our readiness and add a few procedures as we head into the new year.
Though the list above may bring you some peace of mind, my hope is that over the holiday break you will draw true comfort from being together with family and friends. Perhaps you will create your own list of child-centered actions (think big and messy) that brings you to a better place. I hope it includes a fort that uses every pillow in the house, or a set of train tracks that covers the family room floor, or a 500-piece puzzle or LEGO set that hogs up the dining room table, or hikes through your favorite local nature reserves. Whatever it is, may be you find the place that brings you happiness and peace.
Head of School
December 20, 2012