Dear Cushman Community,
As we resume our educational journey in the New Year, I wanted to take an important moment to inform you of the many steps we continue to take to maintain the emotional and physical safety of your children. The safety and security of our Cushman community remains our top priority.
Since the onset of school shootings within the past decade, we have secured three City of Miami police officers, who protect us during school hours. Our security guards accompanied by the police officers on campus provide us with immediate knowledge of any violent activity in our surrounding neighborhood, while contributing care and support to each member of our School community. This allows us to swiftly take action and in the case of an emergency, go into a lock-down mode. When this occurs, we send out a ‘One-Call-Now’ notification to our families. Additionally, Mrs. Jill Sevilla (Cushman’s Risk Manager), in partnership with the City of Miami Police, has provided active shooter training sessions to Cushman’s employees. Our employees also take online Safe Schools refresher courses to ensure that we keep abreast of the most current safety strategies. Buildings on our campus have ‘shot spotters’ which, in the case of an incident, would detect and identify the location of a gunshot. This knowledge also provides the police with specific information that allows them to mitigate an issue quickly. Our monthly lock down drills provide consistent practice of safety protocols for our faculty, staff and students. The best protection, however, is our unwavering effort to know who belongs and who does not belong on campus, and to remain alert at all times.
Another critically important piece to ensuring the safety of each student and employee is to maintain a loving environment in which kindness and inclusiveness of our individual differences permeate the campus. We continue to place very strong efforts toward instilling in your children the compassion, empathy and desire to positively lead others by paying close attention to those who may appear lonely or disconnected to their peers and to only act in a courteous, kind manner. As you know, the negative impact of inappropriate media continues to knock at our doors; please know that children and teens do not have the full development of their executive function skills to manage the 24/7 bombardment of these forces in their lives. Due to these technological, influencing forces, there is a continued increase in self-absorption, isolationism, rigidity, anti-social behavior, and unkindness to others. We have a growing concern for our students and I invite you to engage in my call-to-action below:
As we move through 2022, please do the following that promotes a healthy mindset:
- Ensure there are parent controls on your child’s devices. If you need help, please reach out to us!
- Limit your child’s computer screen time, cell phone and video game use, YouTube viewing, and social media engagement. A healthier mind and body comes from a more active body.
- Monitor the video games, movies or YouTube videos your child watches for excessive, inappropriate violence, which may lead to increases in aggressive thoughts, feelings, and actions in some.
- Set appropriate boundaries in your home and settings on any devices your child(ren) use and remain in very close communication with your child. Their devices are your devices, so feel free to be nosey.
- When you go out to dinner or social events with your child, make it a family rule that all cell phones and devices be put away. This will increase everyone’s interpersonal engagement.
- Get to know the parents of your children’s friends. It is important to be like-minded. You will support one another and raise your children together.
- Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the many wonderful experiences you will share with your child. If you do so, there will be no doubt that your child will have a much stronger opportunity to develop healthier and wholesome habits and dispositions.
If we join together as a community to accomplish this goal and act as a village to our and each other’s children, we will strengthen as a united Cushman family. We will maintain the Cushman Promise and help students display a strong, positive sense of self and character.
Dr. Arvi Balseiro