School safety plan under development
by Jason Collins
Nov 22, 2013 | 186 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BEEVILLE – The Head Start staff is looking to better develop emergency plans in case a dire situation were to arise.

Commissioner Dennis DeWitt said during last week’s Commissioners Court meeting, “We read about the active shooters and the schools and abductions, and sometimes we forget about Head Start. Those are schools also.”

Anna Simo, head of the Bee Community Action Agency that oversees the schools, said that they have plans in the works, but more still needs to be done.

“We are required, as far as licensing and performance standards, to maintain some emergency procedures,” she said.

The Head Start schools already have lockdown and fire drill procedures in place, along with plans in case of a hurricane, tornado or other severe weather.

Simo admits that more is needed, given the events that have occurred during past years.

“We had been discussing the need to develop a more comprehensive emergency preparedness plan for the Head Start program,” she told the full court of commissioners.

Development of that plan falls to Roxanna Garza, who runs the Head Start program.

“She started a draft and is gathering resources and materials,” Simo said. “We are going to look at what other community action agencies do for their Head Start programs and see if we can come up with a more comprehensive plan.”

Recently, Beeville school board trustees pledged a million dollars to improving the safety for students.

The move is the next step in a process that began with a district-wide safety evaluation of all campuses in February, by Deputy Superintendent Erasmo Rodriguez following the Newtown, Conn., school shooting.

The Sandy Hooks Elementary School incident in December 2012 is the latest of about 65 acts of random violence since 1927, according to a recent list compiled by CNN.

Fifty-four percent have occurred since 1991; 31 percent since 2000.

Skidmore-Tynan ISD was also looking at ways to improve its schools, but changes in the budget will be a limiting factor on what can be done.
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