Wellness Department to host parent forums on teen safety Tuesday, Feb. 28, via Zoom
The William S. Hart Union High School District provided a safety and wellness update to its community on Feb. 15, and discussed areas of improvement as well as ongoing actions being taken to address those concerns.
Kathy Hunter, assistant superintendent of student services, safety and wellness, led both presentations on school safety and the district’s strategic plan update, which focused on safety and wellness.
According to Hunter, the district contracted with Prince/Kallin Consultants, leading experts on school safety and threat assessment, back in 2012 after the Sandy Hook shooting and due to the many years’ worth of experience in consulting the company had. The company provided the district with an updated report of its school safety and more.
“That’s our umbrella. It’s our guidelines, our roadmap for how we move forward with safety and wellness,” Hunter said.
According to the report, there are four areas, which include mental health and wellness, site security, policy and training, and communication, the company examined and provided feedback on. Hunter said mental health and wellness plays a vital part in making campuses safe by strengthening relationships.
“The more that we have student-to-student relationships, student-to-staff, student-to-teacher, teacher-to-teacher, teacher-to-community and parents, then the more those relationships are tightened. The more people speak to each other about concerns they have, and we catch things before things happen,” Hunter said.
As part of Hunter’s presentation, she listed various actions the district took in the past and current actions the district is in the process of doing to address the four areas. However, Hunter focused on the things the district is strengthening.
For example, the district recently approved an agreement with the Children’s Bureau, Child and Family Center and Samuel Dixon Family Health Center to help support students with counseling services when district support services are being “tapped out.”
“Right now, we are working on fencing at Bowman, which was one of our campuses that we found out, through our security check, needed additional fencing to close in their full campus,” Hunter said.
“We’re looking at adding an additional campus supervisor for the Academy of the Canyons campus because they only have one and they have a very large campus being on a college campus,” she added. “Also, we’ve already added an additional lead campus supervisor on all our campuses.”
Hunter moved on to reviewing the district’s strategic plan focusing on safety and wellness.
She outlined the five focus areas of the strategic plan under safety and wellness, which includes expanding support structures to enhance student and staff wellness on each campus; develop practices that encourage produce relationships and inspire positive behavior patterns; provide and promote systems of support; systematically identify evolving security needs; and provide communication regarding safety protocols to all sites and their communities.
Governing board members applauded and thanked Hunter for her presentation.
“They do go hand in hand,” said Cherise Moore, who represents Trustee Area No. 3, during the meeting. “Our safety efforts and our goals around strategic plan focus area No. 2 are very much in alignment.”
District also encouraged parents and guardians to participate in a parent forum via Zoom on Tuesday, Feb. 28, in English and Thursday, March 2, in Spanish at 6:30 p.m. to discuss ways parents can be mindful of online targeting of teens by local trafficking offenders.
Dan Broyles, chairman of the Santa Clarita Valley Human Trafficking Taskforce, will be a guest speaker and lead the discussion.
For more information on the parent wellness forum, visit hartdistrict.org under its calendar. For those interested in learning more about the district’s school safety plans, visit bit.ly/3IlUy5N.