Thursday, March 28, 2013

School Safety Update

The events that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut in December were unimaginable.                                                      
This situation too harshly reminds us why we need to have safety/lockdown procedures and why it is important to review them regularly. In December, BRPS formed a new school safety committee that is made up of school staff and several representatives from our local law enforcement and other emergency management personnel. This committee has met multiple times and continues to meet to review and update our school safety/lockdown procedures and our district crisis plan. We will continue to meet to discuss and review our procedures in order to ensure we are providing the safest learning environment we can, for all of our students. This committee has also done walk-throughs of our schools and is looking to see what changes need to made in order to make our buildings and their entrances more secure. As a result, we have started investigating the potential of putting buzzer/intercom systems at the entries of all of our schools. We are also exploring the possibility of creating secure vestibule entries into our elementary schools and our middle school. To that end, our Board of Education has recently passed a resolution to put a “sinking fund” millage on the May ballot, which would allow us to have the financial means to accomplish these enhancements more quickly. We will be sharing more specifics about the sinking fund in the next couple of months. Our schools are safe places for our students. We have well-trained staff that care deeply for every child, and we will continue to meet with our staff and our safety committee to make every effort to ensure the safety of each of our kids. What happened in Newtown is unthinkable, but the heroes were the teachers and other school personnel that were prepared to handle such a situation.

Success Stories

Success stories take place, daily, in public schools, all over Michigan. Caring teachers and staff work hard to build relationships with individual students in order to help each child reach his or her own highest potential. All of our schools strive to provide a safe environment where all children are given the opportunity and are empowered to be successful.

Each day we have success stories at Big Rapids Public Schools. We have students who make a connection with a teacher or coach, we have students who achieve that “aha” moment, and we have students who do something for another student which makes their day better. These are only a few of the everyday examples of the successes in our schools. Many of these successes are due to the caring nature of our parents, staff, students, and community. We know there are many stories of success at Big Rapids Public Schools. We need to celebrate those success stories, so we are asking you to share yours. We want to know who and/or what has made a positive difference for you at BRPS.

No individual or group is perfect; everyone makes mistakes. However, our goal for all members of BRPS is always to learn from our mistakes. That being said, too many times the only stories that are shared tend to be about concerns. While we do want to continue to hear the concerns, we would also like to celebrate the successes of our schools and we need your help.

We are asking you to think about the successes BRPS has provided you, your children, your family, or your friends, over the years. We want to know the triumphs and accomplishments of our students and staff; we want the everyday evidence that proves our schools are making a difference.

We greatly appreciate your help with this project. If you would like to share a BRPS Success Story, please email your story to, send a letter to BR Success Story, 21034 15 Mile Road, Big Rapids, MI, 49307 or call (231)796-2627. In addition, if you know someone else that would be proud to share a story, please pass along this information to them.

 We know Big Rapids Public Schools has many success stories. We want to gather them and share them with the rest of our community and the State of Michigan. We are very proud of our students, our community, and Big Rapids Public Schools. Together, We are BR!