701 W. Gregory Mount Prospect, IL 60056  |  847-394-7300
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A Message from Your Superintendent

March 1, 2018

After yet another tragic school shooting 2 weeks ago, many people throughout the country and in our own community have come together to express support for victims of gun violence and fight for greater safety in schools and public spaces. I have great respect for the young people who are showing courage and leadership in the wake of such tragedy. Many of them are planning protests, including a national school walkout on March 14. Organizers are encouraging “teachers, students, administrators, parents and allies” to leave school at 10 a.m. for 17 minutes (one minute for every victim killed in Parkland, Florida). While we understand that parents might choose to take part in this protest with their children, the schools as a whole will not be participating. Parents should write a note or call the attendance line in advance if they plan to take their child out of school that morning, and they should sign him or her out before leaving. Any child who does participate along with a parent will have an excused absence.

We believe peaceful protests can be a valuable opportunity to teach young people about how activism can lead to necessary change. However, like many school districts, we do not feel it is appropriate for the schools to officially take part. We have a responsibility to educate ALL students. And many of our students might be too young to understand what’s going on or feel apprehensive, while others might have parents who do not support their children being removed from school for this activity. Also, safety is our number one priority, and it would be difficult to adequately supervise students during a mass walkout, especially if others are participating on school grounds. So the school day will proceed normally on March 14. Anyone who wishes to take their children out of school can do so, as long as they follow the usual procedures.

I also want to stress that keeping our schools safe is the most important responsibility we have, and we devote a great deal of time to developing and refining our security procedures. We are part of Mount Prospect’s Safe Schools Committee, along with other school districts and the police and fire departments. We all meet several times a year to discuss crisis plans and learn from each other. In addition, the police and fire departments observe many of our safety drills and provide feedback, and they meet annually with the entire administrative team to review security procedures. Of course, exterior doors are locked at all times, with access only by key card, and visitors can only be admitted by office staff and are required to sign in. Staff members participate in extensive safety training, and we conduct many drills to make sure students and staff know what to do in various types of emergencies.

I know that students often see the news and can worry about their safety. If your child feels this way, I encourage you to tell him or her that every effort is made to keep them safe at school. The most important things they can do are pay attention during safety drills and follow their teacher’s instructions if there is an emergency. In addition, we ALL must remember that if we see something that might be suspicious, say something. This applies to students, staff, those who live near the schools and all community members. Any suspicious person or situation should be reported to a staff member, the principal or the police. Never hesitate to call 911, even if you’re unsure there is a danger.

News of violence, especially when it occurs at a school, can be unsettling for all of us. But we can all work together to keep our schools and community as safe and secure as possible. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Dr. Elaine Aumiller
Superintendent of Schools, Mount Prospect School District 57
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Mount Prospect School District 57
701 W. Gregory
Mount Prospect, IL 60056
Phone: 847-394-7300
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mount prospect school district 57
701 w. gregory
mount prospect, il 60056
phone:  847-394-7300
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