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Safety is Our Number One Priority

Providing a safe environment in our schools for the students and staff is the most important thing we do as a school district, so we take this very seriously. The following list is a sample of the things we have in place as a district to ensure students and staff come to school in a safe working environment every day:

  • Secure Buildings: All school entrances are locked during school hours.
  • Marion and Cedar Rapids Police Departments: We have fantastic working relationships with the police departments in both Marion and Cedar Rapids. We are appreciative of their continual support to our schools and are confident in their ability to respond to emergency situations immediately.
  • School Vulnerability Assessments: We have had local police departments conduct vulnerability assessments in the past. We also partnered with the State of Iowa to utilize an organization named Tetra Tech to conduct a vulnerability assessment this past December as part of the Governor’s School Safety Initiative. We just recently received thorough and detailed reports from this assessment and are currently in the process of reviewing the recommendations from Tetra Tech for future considerations. 
  • Student Drills: On an annual basis, students practice fire, tornado, and active intruder drills. The active intruder drills include learning what a school intruder is and how to respond, walking to the evacuation site, practicing how to barricade in their classrooms, practicing how to assess a situation, and how to respond quickly.
  • CrisisGo: CrisisGo is a school safety platform that allows us to house our emergency response plans through technology and gives access to staff on how to respond to any emergency they may face. CrisisGo enables us to strengthen our safety protocols, practice our emergency response plan, prevent possible threats, and properly respond to any emergency. During an emergency, CrisisGo works as a tool for the sharing of real time information through alerts, messaging, and video. Linn-Mar has also worked with the Marion Police Department to connect CrisisGo to their department.
  • Safe2SpeakUp: For students in 7th-12th grades, their school computers have an app installed called Safe2SpeakUp. This app gives the students the ability to report directly to school administrators when they have concerns about school safety or student safety.  Safe2SpeakUp is a part of the CrisisGo application that the district utilizes during an emergency.
  • Staff Annual Drills: Staff participate in active intruder drills as well. They are able to practice active intruder training with the Marion Police and Marion Fire departments, Stop the Bleed trainings, and active intruder drills that include how to be alert, how to inform others of what is occurring, how to assess a situation, and how to respond accordingly in the form of evacuation or barricade.
  • School Resource Officer: The district has a partnership with the Marion Police Department for a full time School Resource Officer (SRO). The SRO works with all the Linn-Mar schools to build positive relationships between students and the police department. Officer Tom Daubs is assigned to Linn-Mar on a full-time basis. Office Daubs also teaches the DARE classes and assists with the active intruder trainings. The School Resource Officer and Marion Police tactile experts, along with Linn-Mar administration and staff have completed safety and security checks on all of the school facilities. 
  • Mental Health Supports: Linn-Mar has 21 school counselors and 11 student assistance team members. The school counselors and student assistance teams work with the classrooms to provide core instruction, as well as small group and one-on-one interventions with students. Linn-Mar has also partnered with Mercy Family Counseling to offer counseling services to the intermediate, middle school, and high school levels.  Along with this service, Linn-Mar is also working with Mercy Family Counseling to provide three free visits to students in crisis at their off-site location. These visits are set-aside appointment times for Linn-Mar families only, which reduces the wait time for an appointment to only days versus other locations where it could take weeks or months.
  • Threat Assessment Training: The district and building administrators, along with the school counselors, student assistance team members, deans of students, athletic directors, and school nurses have participated in a Threat Assessment training. These staff members have completed both levels 1 and 2 of the Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines (CSTAG) through Navigate360. CSTAG is an approach to violence prevention that emphasizes early attention to problems such as bullying, teasing, and other forms of student conflict before they escalate into violent behavior. 
  • ALICE: ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) is a school safety program developed in 2000 to offer additional options to students and staff in dealing with an armed intruder situation. Nearly two million students have been trained in the ALICE protocols, now being used in universities, colleges, hospitals, churches, corporations, and government offices. ALICE is the chosen training for students and staff at Linn-Mar where we have 11 certified ALICE trainers that are responsible for planning the student and staff drills at the school level.

District-Wide Crisis Committee: Linn-Mar has a 19 member district-wide crisis committee that is represented by district administrators, building administrators, managers, staff members, Marion Police Department, Marion Fire Department, and parents.  This committee discusses all of the items listed above as well as assists in reviewing our district emergency operation plans.