Update from the Superintendent - November 16, 2023

This is the second part of a multi-week series on school safety with a focus on coordination with first responders and school-based law enforcement. The US Department of Justice has outlined the 10 basic tenets of school-based planning and actions with respect to physical and emotional safety, as shown in the chart below.

Over the years, we have been fortunate to have a close relationship with our first responding agencies, including police, fire, and EMT. On the law enforcement side, until this year we had one full-time School Resource Officer (SRO) assigned to the high school. Thanks to both the Board and Town of Cumberland for supporting an additional part-time SRO position that is assigned to MIW and GMS this year. Both of our SROs, Amie Owen and Eric Bell, are sworn Cumberland police officers.

In addition to being a familiar presence in our schools every day, SROs provide general safety training as needed. Both of our SROs are instrumental in supporting the ALICE safety approach that was adopted in 2022 district-wide. To learn more about this approach, click this link: ALICE for Families. As the designated school-based law enforcement officers, SROs act swiftly and work cooperatively with school administration to support student and staff safety when responding to major disruptions/threats and criminal offenses at schools. Additionally, our SROs assist schools in reviewing safety procedures and monitoring the facilities for potential safety gaps.

Another connection with first responders is through the district's Safety and Security Committee, a 15-member group that oversees all emergency operations planning. Several first responders are members of this committee, including both SROs, Cumberland Police Chief Chip Rumsey, Cumberland Fire Chief Dan Small, North Yarmouth Fire Chief Greg Payson, and Cumberland Police Captain Jake LaChance. This committee recently completed a two-year overhaul of the SAD's Emergency Operations Plan and has been overseeing the ALICE safety approach since its inception. 

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