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Safety is Always First

A very important aspect of planning for each school year is ensuring that we continue to look at our campus with new eyes with the aim of constantly updating our security measures. As always, the safety and well-being of your children and each constituent of The Cushman School is of the utmost importance, and we are grateful for the monthly work that is done by the Board of Trustees Security Committee, which is facilitated by our Risk Manager, Mrs. Jill Sevilla.

You may have seen the Herald online and Neighbors news write-ups prior to the start of school. During our faculty and staff pre-service week, we received personalized active shooter training by the City of Miami’s new Shield Department. Under the leadership of Mrs. Sevilla, we were asked to partner with this new department within the City of Miami Police to develop this workshop that will now be delivered to other schools and organizations; we are fortunate to have some of these officers give of their time to serve on Cushman’s Safety Committee. In addition to the proactive strategies we learn and practice which include monthly lockdown and fire drills, our three police officers and eight security guards aid in ensuring our safety. This summer, we upgraded our security cameras and secured additional ones, increased our order of two-way radios for all classrooms and offices, strengthened our security checkpoints on campus, and added additional fencing to enclose the campus. Additionally, the City of Miami Police installed a Shot Spotter which detect the exact location of a gunshot within a several mile radius.

As a generous gift to the School, ITContingency created and has begun to install an emergency warning system designed specifically for The Cushman School. Working in conjunction with our audible alarm, this system incorporates LED lights, cameras, and interactive tablets. A lockdown can be signaled from any administrative computer, immediately activating lights and cameras in each room. Faculty and staff, once locked down, can confirm their safety, and that of those in their care, via a tablet. Conversely, an emergency can be declared from any classroom equipped with the system, and an alert is immediately sent to security and administration with the location of the emergency. Lastly, the system includes two gun detectors, which can recognize a gun as it is being drawn and activate a lockdown within milliseconds.

While my heart weighs heavily on the fact that, as a school, we must think about these protections, we will continue to strengthen our systems so that we ensure the safety of your children!

– Arvi Balseiro

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