April 4, 2017
Dear MCPS Community,
The recent tragic incident at Rockville High School has caused all of us to stop and reflect on our work to ensure the safety and security of our students. While MCPS has a robust security system that includes thousands of cameras in schools, school- and central office-based security personnel, engaged teachers and administrators, and a partnership with the Montgomery County Police Department, we must always consider opportunities to improve school safety.
With this in mind, I want to share with you the steps we are taking to review our school safety and security protocols. In collaboration with school administrators and other departments, the Department of School Safety and Security will be conducting security reviews at all schools, beginning with high schools in early April.
As part of the review, we will examine security procedures already in place to determine the appropriate next steps for individual schools. The assessments will focus on the following areas:
- Utilization of school security personnel and other staff
- Resource allocation and management
- Facilities enhancements to restrict or limit access to more isolated areas of school buildings and grounds
- Technology infrastructure, including security cameras, and their use
- Procedures for managing students outside the classroom
- Protocols for responding to allegations of student-to-student sexual harassment or assault
Following the review, we will work closely with each school on next steps, including strengthening security procedures where needed. As a part of this process, we will be benchmarking best practices with other school districts and youth-serving organizations.
Even as we begin our systemwide security review, my thoughts continue to be with the victim and Rockville High School community as they heal in the wake of this tragic incident. I am so proud of the students and staff at that school who have come together to support the victim and one another. They are truly “Rockville Strong.” I thank all of the community members who have supported our schools in this difficult time.
Jack R. Smith, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools