by Superintendent Mitch Wainwright
With the recent school safety issues happening here in Wisconsin, we all take a step back and reevaluate how our own school compares to those that have been affected by the tragic events. This is especially true as we are designing a new addition and remodeling project at the elementary school. I would like to assure you that we continually work to make our schools safe and inclusive places to belong.
The architectural firm HSR has been designing school buildings for many years and safety is a top concern for their company. As the school board and core planning team meet with HSR, safety is a constant topic of discussion. How do we maintain a warm and inviting building while ensuring that everyone is safe? Appropriate design features are included into the project.
Safety does not just involve a shooting or stabbing inside the building. How do we drop off students and pick them up each day? Traffic patterns can play a large role in how safe we can keep all of our children. If you think about the number of students, cars, and busses that travel to and from the elementary school each day, you would be surprised by the sheer volume of traffic. Thanks to the staff at the elementary school supervising the morning and afternoon arrival and dismissal procedures, our students stay safe.
Once the project is completed, our plan is to move all car traffic into the south parking lot for morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up. A new parking lot will be designed to promote a simple traffic pattern that, hopefully, makes this process easier for everyone. We will also be encouraging everyone to use 5th Street as their main road to and from the elementary school. The hope will be to turn north on Cothern Street and enter the south lot. This will free up congestion on Front Street, where the busses drop-off and pick-up each day.
Other areas of safety that Mineral Point is working on deal with the social and emotional well-being of our students. We currently have a reporting system called “Safe Schools Alert” that allows for students, or their parents, to report any incident they have concerns about. The message can be sent through a voicemail, email, or text message and can be anonymous. We want people to feel free to reach out and report information to the proper person. The reporting link is found on our school website under both the Parents and Students tabs. You may have heard the phrase, “See something, say something.” We want people to help us keep everyone safe.