Clarinda Community School District at-risk coordinator Sara Honnold shared details of the Parent and Community Education Support (PACE) project Wednesday, Oct. 9, with the Clarinda Community School District Board of Directors.
“In the last couple of years, one of our main focuses as a counseling team is to bring more opportunities for community and parent interaction,” she said. “We made a list of things that would serve our families best, and picked some topics that we knew would be relevant to what we deal with on a daily basis.”
One pertinent subject chosen was “standard response protocol,” referring to action taken in the wake of any emergency situations at school buildings that pose dangers to students, teachers and staff. It was discussed at a PACE session earlier this month.
“We have currently trained all the staff and all the students on what the standard response protocol is,” Honnold said. “Our next step is to train everyone on drilling, and how we get that rolled out.”
She said district officials will work with local law enforcement and fire department personnel “so they can be there to help out that first day, not to make it intimidating or life-like, but to have that support so people get used to seeing them.”
The goal, she said, is to teach students and staff “how to keep themselves safe and what their response would be.”
She noted that keeping classroom doors locked is considered to be an effective strategy for ensuring safety, and students “have the right to tell the teacher that a door is not locked.”
Upcoming PACE sessions will cover such topics as dangers of vaping (Nov. 20), perfectionism and anxiety (Jan. 22), social media and parents (Feb. 26) and transition anxiety (April 22). In addition, a children’s health fair is scheduled Oct. 29-30 in the middle school gymnasium.