Dear Parents/Guardians, Students and Friends of Herron High School,

My staff and I have daily reminders of the many responsibilities we have toward our students and the families who entrust their children into our care every day. Even more important than providing an exemplary education is the charge to protect our students and keep them safe while on campus and, to the best of our ability, while traveling to and from school.

Many of our processes directly support student safety. For example, Herron High School is a “closed campus.” What this means is that once students arrive on campus, they must remain on campus under supervision until dismissal time or an early parent or guardian pick-up. Students are not permitted to leave school to visit local businesses such as McDonalds, The Foundry or CVS. A closed campus also means that campus visitors must sign in at Student Services before proceeding to a meeting. We are fortunate to have the contracted services for door monitors who provide added security. Additionally, safety cameras are installed at our doors, stairways and hallways to help monitor student safety.

Another process we have in place is regular school wide safety drills that cover a variety of circumstances, whether the threat is from tornados, fire or intruders. Students practice safe responses to dangers so in the event of an actual emergency they will know what to do.

Parking lot safety is also a daily concern. Our teachers, staff, and administrators all direct traffic, police jaywalking, and provide supervision before and after school in order to keep your children as safe as possible. Parents can help by respecting and complying with traffic guards, driving slowly and carefully, instructing your student not to jaywalk, and following the prescribed traffic flow at all time. Never drop-off or pick up your student on Pennsylvania Street. A few extra minutes spent in the parking lot queue is a small price to pay to keep your student, and all of our students, safe.

Finally, snow covered streets and frigid temperatures present a serious danger. A person can start experiencing the onset of hypothermia or frostbite when temperatures dip below freezing. The risk of frostbite increases as air temperature falls below 5° F, even without the presence of wind. When subzero wind chills become a factor as they did last week, frostbite can occur on exposed skin in just minutes – in less than the time it takes for a bus to arrive. Many of our students depend on IndyGo or must walk a significant distance to school. Because of this, school closures will occur when temperatures exceed our threshold for student safety. Our Continued Learning Plan keeps students engaged in learning even during closures.

Please be sure your student is properly dressed in layered clothing that protects against cold, windy or wet weather, and that very little skin is exposed to the elements. If your student is in need of a warm coat, hat, scarf or gloves, please let us know.

We will continue to be vigilant about keeping our students safe and our campus a secure and welcoming place to learn.

All my best,

Janet H. McNeal, Head of School

Complete newsletter here:  2.21.2015 HHS