March 14, 2018

Dear Parents/Guardians:

Jonathan Elementary students will be learning about “lockdown with options” and on Friday, March 16th, we will run a drill. We want you to be aware that we have improved procedures that staff and students must follow if an intruder enters the school. “Lockdown with options” gives staff and students the following choices in a lockdown, depending on the situation: hide, run and counter.

We have been practicing “hide in place” lockdown drills for many years. Now, multiple law enforcement and safety agencies recommend a more proactive approach. With our new procedures, classrooms are to run from the school if there is an intruder and it is safe to run. They should hide if it is not safe to run, and the last option is to counter. Whether students help counter an intruder depends on their age and ability. Counter is only for an unavoidable confrontation. The purpose is to distract, subdue or incapacitate the intruder. Every situation is different. We are using hide, run, counter to have options for students and staff to protect themselves and others.

We invite you to watch the video that students will view in Grades 3, 4 and 5 on Friday as preparation for lockdown with options.

Students in Kdgr., Grades 1 and 2 will not view the video but will have age appropriate conversations about lockdowns and safety.

Please use our discussion guide, which were developed for parents/guardians to talk at home about lockdown with options.

Lockdowns are scary situations to consider. Violence on a school campus will always be headline news, which can make it seem more common. In reality, violence at school is extremely rare. Schools are among the safest places for students. Our school has secured entrances, visitor check-in systems and more, thanks to a 2013 referendum and the support of our community. Eastern Carver County Schools regularly reviews its safety measures. These lockdown procedures are part of our commitment to continually improve school safety.   If you have questions or concerns, please contact your child’s teacher, school counselor or administrator at 952-556-6500.

Thank you for your support of our school.

Nancy Wittman-Beltz, Principal