Important message from Superintendent Dr. José Espinoza
Dear Team SISD,
Thank you for the outpouring of LOVE and SUPPORT for our great El Paso community in the wake of yesterday’s tragic events. We are heartbroken for everyone that has been impacted. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with them all. Words cannot express how PROUD I am to be part of this amazing community whose actions are a direct reflection of a strong, UNITED family who care for and support one another.
We are ready to receive students and staff tomorrow to continue with our work of providing endless opportunities for student success AND to offer support to those impacted by yesterday’s senseless act of violence in our community. I met with our leadership team this afternoon, including police and counseling leaders, to ensure our safety protocols are STRICTLY followed and ALL employees are vigilant and prepared to help individuals who may be grieving and are in need of support.
With two young children in our schools as well, I understand first-hand the concern of our parents for our students’ safety and emotional wellbeing. As such, I ASSURE you that the safety and security of all students and staff remains our #1 PRIORITY! Our Socorro ISD police force as well as all of our campus leaders and personnel are 100 percent committed to keeping our students and staff safe at all times.
We have NUMEROUS safety and security protocols across our entire district. Our fully licensed SISD Police Department is on duty 24/7 with a FULL staff of police and security officers that are assigned to EVERY school in the district. Every campus is monitored at ALL times by the district police department with a state-of-the-art surveillance system, which includes a minimum of 15 cameras at each school. A campus staff member is stationed at the main entrance of each campus to greet and monitor all visitors as well as deter intruders. Every SISD school also has a sophisticated Hall Pass digital check-in system to implement background checks on all visitors, and we are installing panic buttons to instantaneously alert police in the event of an emergency situation.
The SISD Police Department works in conjunction with partner law enforcement agencies in our community to evaluate campus emergency plans and maintain effective safety procedures. Our community also has allowed an extra layer of safety monitoring through the Watch D.O.G.S. volunteer program and other similar volunteer parent safety groups. We also have ramped up the amount of drills our students participate in to ensure they are prepared including evacuation, severe weather, fire, shelter in place, reverse evacuation, and lockdown.
In addition, our counselors have prepared information to guide employees through conversations with students and colleagues impacted. We also will send home information to support parents in discussing this tragedy with their children.
To further our community efforts to protect our children, I am once again asking all our parents, students, and stakeholders in Team SISD to be vigilant and proactive when it comes to any threat against our schools, district, or community as a whole – whether it is verbal, on social media, etc. We ask that parents, students, and community members openly and honestly share information with SISD in a timely manner to help us identify and swiftly address any safety concerns. Reports can be shared 24/7 directly to our district police dispatch at 937-HELP (937-4357). Again, if you know something, see something, or hear something, please SAY something!
Working closely with our outstanding community, we will stand STRONG and remain VIGILANT. Team SISD is El Paso STRONG! Thank you for your unparalleled support!
José Espinoza, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Published August 4, 2019