Superintendent's Message

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Letterhead

October 3, 2019

Dear Saint Clair Area School District students and families:

As a school system, we are committed to creating and sustaining a comprehensive, coordinated effort to improve our school culture and overall safety.  To accomplish this, we have taken the following steps for the 2019-2020 School Year:

  • Expanded Counseling4Careers coursework to include Social Emotional Learning
  • Applied for and received a $5,000 grant for the “Start with Hello” program through Sandy Hook Promise to support our Anti-Bullying programming in Guidance and Health classes
  • Adopted the “Run, Hide, Fight” protocol for crisis situations
  • Planned St. Luke’s “Stop the Bleed” training for staff
  • Continued participation in the Safe2Say program through the Pennsylvania Department of Education
  • Maintained School Resource Officer for attendance, truancy, and school safety purposes
  • Scheduled presentations by Clarissa Geary (K-8th grades, annually) from SARCC and Lindell Berg (6th -8th grades) for Relationships Under Construction
  • Offering Reading Counseling Services to students and families

Relationship building, self-management, and responsible decision making skills are taught and reinforced with Kindergarten through 8th grade students in all classrooms to resolve peer conflicts.  Students receive instruction in Social Emotional Learning skills during Guidance, Health, and Counseling4Careers coursework to address the real or perceived imbalance of power that leads to bullying situations.  One of our goals is for students to recognize the multiple roles they play in order to effectively prevent and respond to bullying.

Guidance Counselor Mrs. Carr is working with Sandy Hook Promise (SHP) for our “Start with Hello” kick-off assembly on November 1, 2019.  A SHP representative will present to our 6th through 8th graders about the program, and Mrs. Carr’s Saints Club will lead “Start with Hello” activities to create a culture of inclusion that values each individual in our school community.  This program dovetails with our motto of “Learn and grow as a community” from our Comprehensive plan.  You can view the draft plan on our website (http://saintclairsd.org) under the District Information tab.  Please message or tag @SaintClairSchoolConnections Facebook page when you want to share good news!                                                                #LearnAndGrow                                             #SaintClairCommunity

In accordance with Act 44 School Safety and Security regulations, we are committed to safety preparedness.  Our staff was trained in “Run, Hide, Fight” from Service Access Management (http://www.sam-inc.org/Services/act-of-violence-response-active-shooter-for-workplace-schools.html) in June of 2019.  We are scheduled for additional training with St. Luke’s “Stop the Bleed” professional development on October 14, 2019 (https://www.slhn.org/stop-the-bleed).  We will be conducting our school security drill on October 16, 2019, which will replace our monthly fire drill.  Faculty will discuss age appropriate “Run, Hide, Fight” response protocols and alternate exits with their students, but no one will physically exit the building during this “lockdown” drill.  We may conduct two additional school security drills during the 2019-2020 school year.

The “Safe2Say Something” (S2SS) anonymous reporting system, which is mandated under PA state law / Act 44, teaches students, teachers, and administrators how to recognize warning signs and signals, especially within social media, of individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others and Say Something to a trusted adult OR use its anonymous reporting system.   Our students often are aware of the problems their peers are facing, so we must empower them to know the danger signs and give them the tools to help each other with the assistance of trained and caring adults. As you know, most conversations are taking place on social media, therefore it is critical that we teach our students to be looking out for one another as these digital conversations are taking place. S2SS teaches them what to look for in text, video and photos while empowering them to act quickly to help a fellow student.  The S2SS program is being provided through Sandy Hook Promise, a nation-wide non-profit organization.  Mrs. Buletza and Mrs. Carr will be training our middle school students on October 8 through October 16, 2019 within Health classes.  We anticipate that S2SS will help stop school shootings, suicides, and gun threats; it will help reduce bullying and cyberbullying; help intervene upon cutting, drug use, racial conflicts, and other violent and victimization acts.

We are grateful for numerous initiatives involving students, parents, staff, local law enforcement, health professionals, and local/national community organizations.  If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. 


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#LearnAndGrow

#SaintClairCommunity


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