Smithville Independent School District Committed to Excellence

Skip to main content
Mobile Menu
Homecoming is this Friday, September 9th ■ Get Connected with Smithville ISD's Phone App at www.myschoolway.com/smithvilleisd

Parent Meeting February 22, 2018 Questions Posted

Smithville ISD District Parent Meeting
Thursday, February 22, 2018 6-7PM
FAQ - based on questions/comments presented at the meeting.

(no questions were posed on the comment section of the livestream or Facebook Live)
Questions that would jeopardize the safety and security of students and staff OR violate FERPA (Federal Educational Rights Protection Act) will be noted with ‘No Comment’.
 
________________________________________
● It was stated that most teachers at Brown Primary would not want to be armed.
○ 1) Has there been a formal poll of all teachers at all campuses? No
○ 2) If not, will the school do so and make results public? Yes
○ 3) Has school administration considered guns? Not previously
● Does current policy mandate that a staff member is monitoring persons entering the building in between classes or before and after school when students are coming and going? Campus procedures provide for duty stations throughout the campus, manned by staff, before and after school and during passing periods.
● Are the cops going to be at Brown Primary school parking lot when the kids are in class?
No
● Do the teachers in Brown Primary have cell phones? Teachers have and are allowed to have personal cell phone. SISD does not supply cell phones to classroom teachers.
● Can we as parents volunteer to monitor the surveillance cameras during school hours? Not at this time.
● Why was FBI & APD at SHS today? The FBI was on campus conducting an investigation. No further information can be shared due to FERPA. APD was not on campus, however, Bastrop County Sheriff’s office was on site conducting a previously scheduled training acquainting themselves with the campus layout.
● Why do some teachers at SJH close and lock doors and other do not? All teachers do not follow procedures - this is being addressed on the campus.
● Why is our budget for safety and security so low compared to other rural district in our area? Safety and security expenditures come from more than one budget line item.
● My daughter asks why are these protocol signs in the hallway so an intruder knows the what the signs are? The signs are so staff and students know what to do.
● Why aren’t we notified by the school district about law enforcement on any campus? Law enforcement and other first responders are present on the campus for many reasons: student and staff training, random checks, medical emergencies, and discipline. Parents are only notified if there is an emergency such as a fire or specific threat to the campus.
● What will be our line in the sand, before we as a community consider armed security on campus whether police, security guards, or school staff? There is no line in the sand. All security options are being considered.
● How are “problem children” students currently being monitored? All students are monitored throughout the school day.
● Lock out - what about kids going to classes out of the main building? Alternative location will be designated and students and staff will be trained to go to these designated safe areas.
● Has Smithville had any threats made? Yes - the district has taken action and the situation has been resolved.
● Why now is there so much concern? Increased number of incidents in the United States and specifically most recently, Parkland, Florida.
● What is the school considering to harden the building such as locks to the individual classrooms or strengthening windows? SISD is looking at every avenue (physical changes, personnel changes, training, etc.) to increase or harden against school vulnerability.
● When will SISD have secured entrances on every campus? Each campus is being evaluated in order to develop a timeline to achieve this.
● Why does SISD only budget $8565.oo per year for security and monitoring when LaGrange, Giddings, and Caldwell ISD’s budget 40K to 70K (2017-2018)? Safety and security expenditures come from more than one budget line item.
● Does SISD perform Intruder Assessments as required by Texas School Safety Center? Yes.
● SRO - can we please have on campuses? SROs are being considered for next year.
● Do Smithville PD officers come to lockdown drills to assist in pointing out weaknesses? They have not in the past but SISD is working collaboratively with SPD when future Lockdown Drills are held.
● SJH - my daughter tell me the classroom doors are not closed and locked during school, On 2-21-18, only one class had the door shut/locked. (teacher name not added here) All classroom teachers are to keep their classroom doors locked during instruction.
● If you recognize the vulnerability as stated by Dr. McNulty, why are you not spending more (back to the budget) in protecting and being proactive? SISD is evaluating now specific safety and security measures and expenditures for improvement and ‘strengthening’ our current buildings. This includes funds for training both staff and students.
● Will you allow citizens to give voluntary donations to pay for a school resource officer?
○ A monthly donation of $10 from 500 parents and citizens would help. We prefer not to rely on donations to support recurring costs.
● With new security entrances being (most likely) a long-term wait to install, how realistic would it be, budget-wise, to equip each classroom with a door-jammer? A device that expands and latches beneath the door which would prevent it from opening in the case of lock-failure? Depends on cost and consideration of additional safety concerns if used.
● What is the protocol for notifying parents of a threat or lockdown or lockout? Upon determination of a lockdown situation, that is not a training activity, parents will be notified via the district ‘all-call’ system which includes phone call, email, text. (Social media outlets will be used if appropriate)
● Substitutes need to attend faculty meetings for safety training. We agree substitutes need safety training and SISD will be implementing this training.
● Can we do something about bringing backpacks to class? At this time, this is a campus level decision.
● Is there a standardized and anonymous way for students/teachers/citizens to report concerns? If so, who is taking care of those concerns? Yes, the district utilizes STOP!T.
● Can a permanent police presence be established on the high school side of the tracks? This is a question for the Smithville PD.
● Aside from communication, how can we, as parents contribute to the safety and security of our children on campus? Listen to your children and discuss personal safety and security measures they can take for themselves personally.
● If funding is an issue, what can we (as parents) do to raise/help raise funds for security upgrades? We prefer not to rely on donations to support recurring costs.
○ Who is in charge of organizing fundraisers? N/A to security
● How often are active shooter drills performed? We do not currently conduct these drills. We do conduct lockdown drills annually.
○ How are the drills performed? N/A this is referencing the active shooter drill
● Is there an extra signal or precaution now to make sure a fire alarm is legitimate? No
● Can you describe the training the counselors have had to deal with any mental health issues or behavioral issues? School counselors are trained through their professional certification programs to screen and refer students to resources such as Special Education services within the district, and outside professional mental health providers.
● How much training do teachers get in identifying students with mental or emotional health issues? SISD has school psychologist, behavior specialists, and counselors who are specifically trained to deal with students with mental and emotional issues. Classroom teachers do not.
● How are unstructured times and places being protected? (cafeteria, recess, gym, stadium, bus lines, car drop-off/pick-up) Campus procedures provide for duty stations throughout the campus, manned by staff, before and after school and during passing periods.
● Are all doors in the building easily lockable from inside the classrooms? No
● Are there going to be metal detectors installed at campus entrance doors? SISD is looking at every avenue (physical changes, personnel changes, training, etc.) to increase or harden against school vulnerability.
● Are there going to be guards at the campus entrance doors? SISD is looking at every avenue (physical changes, personnel changes, training, etc.) to increase or harden against school vulnerability.
● Can a maintenance worker become a campus Marshall? SISD will review the qualifications of determining who may be designated as a Marshall.
● How can we help students to understand the seriousness and importance of safety drills? Having conversations with your children about the seriousness and importance of safety drills.
● Is the Smithville School Board prepared to increase the amount budgeted for security right now? Yes
● What is the school doing to improve communication with parents during an emergency? Reviewing current procedures and protocols.
● What resources do teachers have as the first line of defense in dealing with students who display signs of mental distress? Access to their school counselors and behavior specialists.
● What new security related procedural changes have been implemented on campuses in the last 3 or 4 years? All staff are issued Photo ID tags (Substitutes also) Cameras have been added and upgraded. Single campus access points have been created by locking exterior doors where possible. Keyless video confirmation access created at the DAEP/Tiger Academy. The Standard Response Protocol is in the process of being implemented district-wide.
● What incidents have happened at Smithville High School in the past few years?
○ 2014-15
Criminal Mischief (Felony) - 1 occurrence
■ Runaway - 1 occurrence 
■ Possession of Drugs - 2 occurrences
○ 2015-16
Assault-Bodily Injury - 1 occurrence
■ Assault-Bodily Injury on a Public Servant (Felony) - 1 occurrence
■ Assault-Physical Contact - 1 occurrence
■ Criminal Mischief (Misd.) - 1 occurrence
■ Criminal Mischief (Felony) - 1 occurrence
■ Improper Photography or Visual Recording (Felony) - 1 occurrence
■ Possession of Controlled Substance - 2 occurrences
■ Possession of Marijuana (Felony) - 1 occurrence 
■ Trespassing - 1 occurrence
○ 2016-17
Curfew - 1 occurrence
■ Criminal Mischief (Misd.) - 1 occurrence
■ Drug Paraphernalia - 1 occurrence 
● Can a fundraising effort be made in the community to help with the cost of more secure campus entrances? All options are on the table.
● Is there a policy in the district to protect teachers from aggressive parents? No.
● Can teachers request security for questionable parent conferences? Yes
○ If so, is it a requirement that the request be honored? Every effort will be made for all staff to feel safe during parent conferences.
● What are students instructed to do if they hear gunfire and they are out in the open? (between classes, lunch or recess) Standard Response Protocol is for the campus to be in lockdown if there is an active shooter on campus. Students in the open should immediately move to the nearest secure location with lights out and stay out of sight.
● How much documentation is required before an aggressive student is considered a threat to security? There is no preset amount of documentation required.
● Can School Resource Officers be added back to Smithville ISD schools? SISD is looking at every avenue (physical changes, personnel changes, training, etc.) to increase or harden against school vulnerability.
● Aside from the school Marshalls as allowed by the 2013 Protection of Texas Children’s Act, is it also possible for our school board to allow firearms to be carried by authorized personnel under Texas Penal Code 46.03(a)(1)? SISD is looking at every avenue (physical changes, personnel changes, training, etc.) to increase or harden against school vulnerability.
○ Wouldn’t this be faster than the Marshall plan? Potentially.
○ Has the school board been presented these options? Nothing has been formally presented to the board for consideration, but all options are being considered and will be presented to the school board.
● Is it under consideration to arm teachers with either lethal or non-lethal weapons? SISD is looking at every avenue (physical changes, personnel changes, training, etc.) to increase or harden against school vulnerability.
● How are bus routes and bus students being protected? At this time, SISD has cameras on all buses.
● In case of an emergency, what do you want parents to do? SISD requests that all parents/guardians keep their contact information up-to-date with the campus registrars.
○ Where do we call? Main district phone line 512-237-2487.
○ Where will we find updates? SISD utilizes Facebook and Twitter and is working on communication protocols for future incidents.
● Is it possible to change the plans for the new facilities (in the 2017 bond) to plan for security upgrades? Yes, however, the new junior high facilities plan currently includes secured entry and security cameras.
The following questions request a guarantee and/or are very hypothetical in nature. With unforeseen circumstances guarantees are impossible to make, however, as the district moves forward with discussions regarding arming staff these questions and many others will be taken into consideration.
● How can SISD and SPD guarantee that an armed teacher would properly evaluate when deadly force is necessary against an intruder or a student?
● How can SISD and SPD guarantee the mental and emotional fitness of each armed teacher on campus?
● How can SISD and SPD guarantee a processed, logical response to a crisis situation by armed staff rather than an emotional, knee-jerk reaction?
● How would Smithville ISD keep armed teachers from taking matters into their own hands, causing a deadly situation where there may not have been one?
● Would having armed staff on campus allow for easier access to deadly weapons by students or people who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to access such weapons?
● What protocols would armed staff need to follow regarding their weapons?
● How do you identify persons of risk?
 
 
*******************************************************************************
 
Smithville ISD District Parent Meeting
Thursday, February 22, 2018 6-7PM

FAQ - based on questions/comments presented at the meeting.
(no questions were posed on the comment section of the livestream or Facebook Live)
Below is a list of questions Smithville ISD district personnel are working to answer. Questions that would jeopardize the safety and security of students and staff OR violate FERPA (Federal Educational Rights Protection Act) will be noted with ‘No Comment’.
 
************************************************************ 
 
● It was stated that most teachers at Brown Primary would not want to be armed.
○ 1) Has there been a formal poll of all teachers at all campuses?
○ 2) If not, will the school do so and make results public?
○ 3) Has school administration considered guns?
■ Would be locked safely and not in a purse, etc. If teachers are armed?
● Does current policy mandate that a staff member is monitoring persons entering the building in between classes or before and after school when students are coming and going?
● Are the cops going to be at Brown Primary school parking lot when the kids are in class?
● Do the teachers in Brown Primary have cell phones?
● Can we as parents volunteer to monitor the surveillance cameras during school hours?
● Why was FBI & APD at SHS today?
● Why do some teachers at SJH close and lock doors and other do not?
● Why is our budget for safety and security so low compared to other rural district in our area?
● My daughter asks why are these protocol signs in the hallway so an intruder knows the what the signs are?
● Why aren’t we notified by the school district about law enforcement on any campus?
● What will be our line in the sand, before we as a community consider armed security on campus whether police, security guards, or school staff?
● How are “problem children” students currently being monitored?
● Lock out - what about kids going to classes out of the main building?
● Has Smithville had any threats made?
● Why now is there so much concern?
● What is the school considering to harden the building such as locks to the individual classrooms or strengthening windows?
● When will SISD have secured entrances on every campus?
● Why does SISD only budget $8565.oo per year for security and monitoring when
LaGrange, Giddings, and Caldwell ISD’s budget 40K to 70K (2017-2018)?
● Does SISD perform Intruder Assessments as required by Texas School Safety Center?
● SRO - can we please have on campuses?
● Do Smithville PD officers come to lockdown drills to assist in pointing out weaknesses?
● SJH - my daughter tell me the classroom doors are not closed and locked during school, On 2-21-18, only one class had the door shut/locked. (teacher name not added here)

● If you recognize the vulnerability as stated by Dr. McNulty, why are you not spending more (back to the budget) in protecting and being proactive?
● Will you allow citizens to give voluntary donations to pay for a school resource officer?
○ A monthly duration of $10 from 500 parents and citizens would help.
● With new security entrances being (most likely) a long-term wait to install, how realistic would it be, budget-wise, to equip each classroom with a door-jammer? A device that expands and latches beneath the door which would prevent it from opening in the case of lock-failure?
● What is the protocol for notifying parents of a threat or lockdown or lockout?
● Substitutes need to attend faculty meetings for safety training.
● Can we do something about bringing backpacks to class?
● Is there a standardized and anonymous way for students/teachers/citizens to report concerns? If so, who is taking care of those concerns?
● Can a permanent police presence be established on the high school side of the tracks?
● Aside from communication, how can we, as parents contribute to the safety and security of our children on campus?
● If funding is an issue, what can we (as parents) do to raise/help raise funds for security upgrades?
○ Who is in charge of organizing fundraisers?
● How often are active shooter drills performed?
○ How are the drills performed?
● Is there an extra signal or precaution now to make sure a fire alarm is legitimate?
● Can you describe the training the counselors have had to deal with any mental health issues or behavioral issues?
● How much training do teachers get in identifying students with mental or emotional health issues?
● How are unstructured times and places being protected? (cafeteria, recess, gym, stadium, bus lines, car drop-off/pick-up)
● Are all doors in the building easily lockable from inside the classrooms?
● Are there going to be metal detectors installed at campus entrance doors?
● Are there going to be guards at the campus entrance doors?
● Can a maintenance worker become a campus Marshall?
● How can we help students to understand the seriousness and importance of safety drills?
● Is the Smithville School Board prepared to increase the amount budgeted for security right now?
● What is the school doing to improve communication with parents during an emergency?
● What resources do teachers have as the first line of defense in dealing with students who display signs of mental distress?
● What new security related procedural changes have been implemented on campuses in the last 3 or 4 years?
● What incidents have happened at Smithville High School in the past few years?
● How do you identify persons of risk?
● Can a fundraising effort be made in the community to help with the cost of more secure campus entrances?
● Is there a policy in the district to protect teachers from aggressive parents?
● Can teachers request security for questionable parent conferences?
○ If so, is it a requirement that the request be honored?

● What are students instructed to do if they hear gunfire and they are out in the open? (between classes, lunch or recess)
● How much documentation is required before an aggressive student is considered a threat to security?
● Can School Resource Officers be added back to Smithville ISD schools?
● Aside from the School Marshalls as allowed by the 2013 Protection of Texas Children’s Act, is it also possible for our school board to allow firearms to be carried by authorized personnel under Texas Penal Code 46.03(a)(1)?
○ Wouldn’t this be faster than the Marshall plan?
○ Has the school board been presented these options?
● Is it under consideration to arm teachers with either lethal or non-lethal weapons?
● How can SISD and SPD guarantee that an armed teacher would properly evaluate when deadly force is necessary against an intruder or a student?
● How can SISD and SPD guarantee the mental and emotional fitness of each armed teacher on campus?
● How can SISD and SPD guarantee a processed, logical response to a crisis situation by armed staff rather than an emotional, knee-jerk reaction?
● How would Smithville ISD keep armed teachers from taking matters into their own hands, causing a deadly situation where there may not have been one?
● Would having armed staff on campus allow for easier access to deadly weapons by students or people who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to access such weapons?
● What protocols would armed staff need to follow regarding their weapons?
● How are bus routes and bus students being protected?
● In case of an emergency, what do you want parents to do?
○ Where do we call?
○ Where will we find updates?
● Is it possible to change the plans for the new facilities (in the 2017 bond) to plan for security upgrades?
 
 
******************************************************************************************
 
Smithville ISD will provide online access to the District Parent Meeting regarding Safety and Security on Thursday, February 22, 2018 from 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm.
 
Online Options:
 
 
Login is at the top right hand of the screen.
 
Username: smithville
Password: smithville
Once logged in, choose Live Videos in the top toolbar, then select District Parent Meeting.
 
  
Facebook Live via the SmithvilleISD page.
 
 
 
 
Published Print