August 26, 2019
Dear Families and Friends of Meridian Early College High School:
Thank you for choosing Meridian Early College High School to foster the academic growth of your child. The safety of your child is our top priority. We employ a variety of security measures in our daily efforts to provide a safe and secure learning environment. These measures reflect our community’s high expectations for school safety and are regularly reviewed to ensure efforts remain aligned with effective security practices.
STUDENT ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE:
Given ongoing construction, the following student arrival and departure procedures have been designed to ensure the safety of our students:
Student drivers and parent/family drop off will enter/exit through the Meridian Early College High School main entrance. Student parking lot will be open for use.
Bus drop offs will occur in the back drive, near the football practice field. Students will enter through the Northwest gym entrance, C-7. This door is located in the same hallway as the West gym entrance and Community Room.
Students and families are asked to enter using M-30. With the ongoing construction and lack of turn lane near Barden Road, use of the M-30 entrance is strongly recommended to promote safety.
It is also important to recognize the established security measures used to promote safety throughout our school community:
All Michigan public schools are required to conduct safety drills throughout the school year to ensure students and staff are well-prepared in the event of an emergency. Per Michigan Public Act 12 of 2014, schools must conduct the following safety drills annually:
FIRE SAFETY DRILLS: A minimum of 5 fire safety drills per school year, with three occurring by December 1.
TORNADO SAFETY DRILLS: 2 tornado safety drills per school year, with at least one taking place in March.
LOCKDOWN/SECURE DRILLS: At least 3 lockdown drills, with at least one drill conducted during a lunch-passing period. At least one drill must take place by December 1 and at least one drill must be held after January 1.
All School safety drills are available on the website after they are conducted.
Promoting a positive and tolerant school community: Tolerance classroom activities and assemblies are scheduled throughout the year to foster a community of acceptance and respect. Bystander education, empathy, character education, and conflict resolution are examples of topics discussed.
MECHS Security Committee: This committee focuses on evaluating and updating crisis planning and management for MECHS, as well as developing proactive community partnerships that assist with overall school safety.
Critical Incident Management Plan: MECHS has a crisis incident management plan in place at each school. This plan is developed through collaboration with local and state law enforcement.
Critical Incident Training: All staff and students receive annual training on their specific roles to understand how to respond in the case of an emergency. Staff receive guidance and updates prior to each safety drill and specific training in responses to violence, securing against threats, bomb threats, shelter in place for hazardous materials, and hostage survival. Our regularly scheduled safety drills in the areas of fire, tornado, secure mode, and lockdown, exceed requirements established by the state of Michigan. Drills occur during both structured classroom time and passing time to ensure students are able to respond effectively during a real event. A copy of these drills can be found on our school website at www.merps.org.
Physical Security Improvements: Our buildings have many security and safety features including: automatic locking doors, vape detectors, interior and exterior cameras, and security boots in each classroom. Future upgrades include an entry system that requires visitors to buzz into the building.
School Safety Tip Line: OK2SAY is a State of Michigan program that ensures every student, parent, teacher, and community member has access to a safe and confidential way to report any concerns about their safety, or the safety of others. OK2Say is a confidential way to report a safety threat 24 hours a day. Submit a tip using email, mobile app, telephone, text message, or through the OK2SAY website.
Crisis Intervention Team: Each building has a team of staff members who have been certified in crisis response (CPI), CPR, and positive behavior intervention support. If a safety or medical issue arises within the school, these individuals have the training to take the necessary steps until first responders arrive.
We welcome the opportunity to discuss any additional safety questions or concerns you may have. I can be reached via email at email@example.com or via phone at 989.687.3300.
Tara Mager, MA, LPC, LBSW
You can view a printable version of this letter HERE.