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Wayne County Schools welcome students back to school

Wayne County Schools welcome students back to school

Approximately 3,000 students will be welcomed back to the Wayne County Schools
campus on the first day of classes on Wednesday, August 14.

Orientation activities are underway at each of the five school buildings. Kindergarteners
through seniors and their families are learning everything from codes of conduct to bus routes
to meal plans as general expectations are shared for the 2019-2020 school year.

Instruction continues to be the focus for the Wayne County School system. Kentucky has
new standards for reading, writing, math, health/PE and computer science. Teachers have been
preparing for implementation of these standards since the spring. High quality reading
instruction, with a special emphasis on meeting individual student needs will continue to be the
goal. 

This year, school security will be emphasized with the assistance of two school resource
officers already in place that monitor hallways and patrol the campus. With the recent
enactment of KRS 158.162, Wayne County Schools will be implementing some new required
procedures for visitors to the schools.

All entrances into the schools will be locked at all times, with the main entrance to have an
electronic system to buzz visitors into the main offices. Along with the enactment of this new
Kentucky law, schools will have a common protocol to go over with visitors before they enter
the building and common signage as listed below will be posted at all main entrances.

Welcome to the Wayne County Schools! Keeping our students and staff safe is our top
priority. Therefore, we screen all visitors to enter our building. Please comply with the
following steps:
-Press button to call school secretary.
-When asked, state your name and the reason for your visit.
-Upon entering the building, please report directly to the main office.
-Please be ready to show identification.
-If you will be staying in the building, you will be asked to wear a visitor badge.

“While it is not always required to have an appointment, we strongly urge visitors to call in
advance and set up an appointment. Visitors will be asked if they have an appointment, as part
of the protocol before they enter the school. If a visitor does not have an appointment, it may
be necessary to have the secretary make an appointment. We do not want to disrupt
instructional time for our students,” explained Wayne County School Superintendent Wayne
Roberts.

“We want our schools to be welcoming and we encourage parent involvement; however,
the times we are living in dictate a stronger focus on security,” said Roberts. “We are
implementing this new mandate and adding more resources and trainings in order to be
prepared for as many scenarios as possible, in hopes that they never occur.”
If visitors arrive to pick up their child, they will be asked to show their Identification and
must be on the approved parental parent pick up list.

“While some of our schools had already implemented the controlled entrance concept,
visitors can expect a more thorough process of vetting prior to being admitted, and this will
include visitors who are already known to front office staff,” noted Wayne County Safe Schools
Coordinator Stewart York. “In addition, classroom doors will remain closed and locked during
instructional time in the near future.”

York said a threat assessment team has been appointed at each school as a proactive
measure. They will be participating in training later this week concerning the Comprehensive
School Threat Assessment Guidelines, formerly known as the Virginia Threat Assessment. This training will consist of procedures for these school-based teams to recognize and analyze a
wide range of potentially violent situations, and to assess and respond effectively to those
threats. Multiple student and staff trainings will follow after classes begin, as well as continuing
valuable ties with local law enforcement.

“We will also be training on a trauma informed approach that includes recognizing
symptoms and trauma in students, and utilizing interventions and strategies to support the
learning needs of those students. School counselors and school based mental health services
providers will be trained first, and then other staff will receive training from them as time
progresses,” explained York.

While most students have been off for the summer, numerous professional staff
development trainings have been held in-house on all kinds of instructional and special service
topics. For instance, on Tuesday, August 6, the annual eight-hour update training was held for
transportation employees. Safety, first aid, and practical driving tips and classroom instruction
were on the agenda. A fleet of close to 70 school buses have been inspected that travel 2,600
miles a day transporting students. Five new buses will be on the road, along with eight newly
purchased used buses that have all been upgraded.

“We will hold bus evacuation drills during the school day during the first couple weeks of
school so every student can be reached regardless of whether they are transported by bus on a
daily basis, or merely ride our buses on field trips or to extra-curricular events,” said Wayne
County Transportation Director Don Neal.

Motorist need to be cautious when the three different loads of students are on the roads,
especially between the hours of 6:00-8:00 a.m. and 3:30-4:30 p.m. Preschool buses with
monitors also travel during mid-day routes between 10:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Drivers are asked to always be conscious of stops the buses make along their routes, where
stop arms and blinking lights signal motorists to stop going either direction.





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