Committee strives to make schools safe | SierraSun.com

Committee strives to make schools safe

Guest Column, Chris Cooper

The TTUSD (Tahoe Truckee Unified School District) considers safety, one of the most important aspects of the educational process. Safety comes in many forms, and a group of very dedicated people, including community agency and district staff work on every aspect that not only comes to their attention, but also is an issue at schools across the nation.This group is the District Safety Committee. Group members include Laurie Martin – TTUSD – director community & youth programs; Nanette Rondeau – TTUSD – transportation coordinator; Roy Richner – Truckee Police Department; Eileen Fahrner – TTUSD North Tahoe Middle School assistant principal; Jeanette Albrecht – TTUSD director food services; Deborah Chase – TTUSD transportation / school bus driver instructor; Liz Ewing – TTUSD school nurse; Bill Branca – TTUSD Tahoe Truckee High School assistant principal; Mike Bowdish – TTUSD director special education; Dan Ingals – Placer County Sheriff; Marti Reedy – TTUSD student counselor; Milan Slikkerveer – TTUSD administrative assistant to assistant superintendent business services; Ed Turner – TTUSD North Tahoe High School assistant principal, and Chris Cooper – TTUSD director of risk management, workers’ compensation, district safety, ADA, M&O and committee chair.The committee meets monthly on a variety of safety topics that include, but are not limited to, physical, emotional, awareness, drugs, alcohol, traffic and transportation, national issues that may affect local schools, regulations, codes and programs that are in the legislative process, school site safety plans, disaster preparation, crisis prevention and safety issues that are sent to the committee through both a straight-forward reporting process and a secure confidential process. Safety considerations are geared to deal with issues related to students, staff and visitors.Committee members work to provide support for site counselors and many other items that are in need of funding, such as communications systems and equipment that may fall under criteria of the funding source the committee is in charge of.The committee chair regulates safety training programs at school sites for staff and promotes training in other departments. A system of school site safety coordinators works in conjunction with school safety committees and school site councils to provide information to the district committee and provide training material for school site staff.Online training is available for refresher instruction and missed training sessions. The committee makes recommendations to the superintendent of schools for process and policy additions and changes to forward to the board of trustees as necessary. It also reviews and makes modifications to the district Occupational Health and Safety Illness and Injury Prevention Program document annually.In addition, the committee regulates and administers the District-wide Safety Award Program, designed to provide competition among school sites to reduce injuries, provide for continued safety inspections, promote record keeping and paperwork necessary for remaining in compliance, and keep communication between the sites and district committee flowing.Other community agencies and organizations, such as the Mountain Prevention Coalition, Women’s Community Services and more, are collaboratively worked with through Community and Youth Development Director Laurie Martin. The committee welcomes other interested individuals and organizations to attend meetings by first contacting the committee chair prior to a scheduled meeting.Meeting agendas and minutes are posted on the Web at http://www.ccpub.com/ttusd/RiskManagement/Safety/meetingmain.htm, along with other safety information. Minutes are also available at each school site and the district office. Meetings are normally held on the second Thursday of each month during the school year.For more information about the committee, online access at the above address is available, or call the committee chair at 582-2575.Chris Cooper is TTUSD Director of Risk Management, Workers’ Comp., District Safety, ADA, M&O and Committee Chair.