The St. Johns County School District (SJCSD) was presented with an Exemplary School Safety Award by the School Safety Advocacy Council (SSAC) at the National School Safety Conference held last week in Las Vegas. The SJCSD was one of only seven schools or school districts to receive an award out of 145 nominations; seven individual awards were also presented. The district was lauded for its efforts on taking a proactive approach to safety following the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.
The SSAC has been recognizing agencies and individuals at its annual conference for the last eight years. More than 560 school officials and law enforcement representatives attended the conference representing 46 out of 50 states, Canada and the Netherlands. Also in attendance were parents and representatives from Sandy Hook Elementary.
“This award is affirmation that we are doing the right things to keep our schools safe for our students, parents, teachers and administrators,” said Superintendent Dr. Joseph Joyner. “I am extremely grateful for the work of district staff, school administration and local law enforcement to ensure that we continue our resolve to make our district one of the safest in the nation.”
School safety is paramount to the success of the SJCSD and is an integral part of the district’s daily operations. All district schools have school-based emergency operations plans, regular emergency drills, consistent safety team meetings and emergency preparedness charts posted in all offices and classrooms. In addition, through a reciprocal agreement with the St. Johns Sheriff’s Office, Youth Resource Deputies are assigned to all middle and high schools. The excellent working relationship with local law enforcement provides many opportunities to collaborate, and several school enhancements have been made to provide safer school atmospheres.
“The safety of our students is vitally important, but it is not a single agency issue. Our long-term partnership with the school distirct has enabled our deputies to intereact seamlessly with school staff, students and their parents,” said St. Johns County Sheriff David Shoar. “Our law enforcement community will continue to train and enact porcedures to reduce the likelihood of school violence.”
For more information on school safety in St. Johns County schools, please contact School Safety Coordinator Steve Ray at 547-7534.