From the Superintendent: Rights, Responsibilities and Keeping Students at the Center

suptsilva_nobg_4.jpg

Colleagues:

Our entire staff -- all 7,200 full and part-time employees -- do incredible work every day. The incidents of last week do not change the fact that together we offer exceptional opportunities for our children to grow and flourish. 

We know students cannot learn and teachers cannot teach in chaotic, unsafe environments. While the events of last week are serious, they are not system wide. We have a small number of students in a few schools exhibiting violent behaviors. We do not tolerate such actions and will follow discipline procedures outlined in the Rights and Responsibilities handbook.

While we cannot control what students bring inside our buildings, we can control our responses. Staff at Harding High School did everything right last week -- the entire incident was handled swiftly and safely. We commend all staff members involved for their actions to keep everyone out of harm’s way.

As educators, we are charged with keeping our students safe and must use our best judgment on how and when to intervene. We ask you consider the following:

  • Staff should always call for immediate assistance, including calling 911 if necessary
  • Do not place hands on a student unless harm or danger to students or staff is imminent
  • If your judgment tells you to intervene, act in the safest and fastest way possible
  • Follow procedures outlined in each school’s safety plan

Schools and classrooms are special places for our students. They are not, unfortunately, immune to challenges within our community. Many of our students are forced to persevere through all types of stressors that we in SPPS have little control over. What we can control is the quality of education and support we provide our students and staff.

SPPS teachers and staff are called to do heroic work every day to help build a better future for our youth and community. For this and everything else you do to keep students at the center, I thank you.

Your very proud superintendent,

 

Silva Signature

 

Valeria Silva