Dear Humble ISD Families and Staff,
There are no words to express the sadness we feel for our colleagues, the students, the parents, and the community of Parkland, Florida. Once again, unspeakable acts have changed the education landscape in America. As we continue to debrief recent events, we are updating our already proactive and strong safety plans.
As you may know, safety is our first goal and priority in Humble ISD. Last spring, our Board of Trustees funded all of the safety improvements presented in our budget plan — a plan aligned to our district goal of student and staff safety. While we should not discuss all of the details of our plan, for obvious reasons, I want you to know that our safety plan has improved our building security, our emergency communication infrastructure, our proactive information sharing strategy through iHELP, and increased the amount of district police officer presence at all of our schools. In addition, staff members have engaged in significant training exercises and drills throughout the year.
Some of you have reached out to better understand our approach to student safety, and to that end, we would like to share some of our best practices that include the following:
- If you see something, say something. We have learned that none of us is as smart or informed as all of us. We must all be committed to the safety of our Humble ISD family by letting officials know right away if we hear or see something that concerns us. Please encourage your child to be part of this commitment through a trusted adult or through our iHELP app.
- Access control at elementary schools. It is important that we limit access to students in our elementary schools. We have many strategies in place to do this.
- Proactive mental health support for students who are struggling. Please see your building counselor if you feel that your child could benefit from counseling support.
- Armed police officers on all secondary school campuses and patrolling our elementary schools. We know that the most important safety feature, outside of proactive sharing of important information and tips, is an armed, trained police officer who is present during all hours of school operation and prepared to defend our students and staff if necessary.
- Communication infrastructure - while we choose not to share all of what we have in place, we know that reliable communication is extremely important during an emergency, and we have this in place.
- Drills and training - as educators, we are not trained law enforcement officers or first responders. However, we understand that we serve in place of the parents when your children are in our care and we take this responsibility very seriously. Therefore, we participate in trainings that teach us what to do in various situations that will best keep our students safe until first responders can arrive and help.
- Significant evacuation and reunification planning — in the event of a situation at one of our schools, we are prepared to evacuate and relocate our students and staff to a safe location where we plan to provide appropriate food, water, and medicine if necessary. Then, we have a reunification plan that will help us return students to their families safely and as quickly as possible.
In addition to all of the items listed above, Humble ISD is in the process of evaluating and likely implementing a few other strategies that utilize modern technologies and will help us keep our students and staff safe. These include student transportation tracking for our youngest bus riders, 911 apps for staff, and geofencing strategies to monitor social media.
It’s important to understand that no one school safety strategy is guaranteed. The very best approach is to use layers of safety and support...to create a scaffolding of measures that all work together to keep our students safe. Therefore, providing the safest schools possible requires all of us to work together. We need to know if you are aware of something that you think might require our attention - none of us is as smart as all of us. We also need to know if you believe that your child is struggling with social and/or emotional issues so that we may provide appropriate support. We work in partnership with medical professionals, law enforcement officers, and first responders to provide the very best for our students and staff, and you too are part of the Humble ISD family safety fabric. Together we are Humble ISD Strong.
If you have questions or concerns, please do reach out to your building principals or assistant principals. We are here to support you and your family and we know student safety is an important part of our work.