The Raymore-Peculiar School District prepares for another school year focused on its mission of preparing each student for a successful and meaningful life. Student success is the top priority of the district, as identified in the Strategic Plan.
The back-to-school checklist also includes many important logistics: hiring and training teachers and support staff, cleaning schools and classrooms, ordering supplies and food, routing buses, enrolling students, and planning lessons.
But interwoven throughout all preparations is an emphasis on safety.
“The district values the safety and well-being of each student and staff member,” said Superintendent Kari Monsees.
This year, for the first time, all Ray-Pec staff will participate in Active Shooter and Intruder Response Training. The Board of Education in March approved a contract with Strategos International of Grandview to provide the training, which will train staff about preventing and responding to a situation involving a violent intruder in a school.
The training began Aug. 7 and included both a lecture session and simulated drills. Local law enforcement agencies participated in the simulation.
“We appreciate the collaboration with the local law enforcement agencies,” Monsees said. “Leaders from the Raymore and Peculiar police departments and Cass County Sheriff’s Department worked with us to select a company to provide the training. In addition, the local agencies are committing many staff hours to have officers participate in this training jointly with our staff. We believe we will all benefit from this training – a training that we hope we never have to implement.”
With the completion of secured vestibule entrance projects at Peculiar Elementary School, Raymore Elementary School, Shull Elementary School, and the Ray-Pec High School south building, all Ray-Pec schools are now capable of monitoring access at the school’s front entrance. This final phase of secured entry projects was approved by the Board of Education in May to support ongoing safety improvement efforts.
“Secured entrances are designed to provide another layer of school security to our existing efforts,” said Jay Harris, Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services. “They allow our school staff to monitor and control access to our schools in a more proactive manner. These facility upgrades represent one component of our overall school safety plan, and help us support our belief in a safe environment for all students and staff.”
During the 2013-2014 school year, the district implemented Quick Tip, an online method of reporting a school safety or bullying concern. Users could click on the link https://asp.schoolmessenger.com/raypec/quicktip/ and complete the information requested. Tip reporters have the option to enter personal contact information or remain anonymous. The link to Quick Tip is posted on the home page of the district web site. Of course concerns can be reported directly to district staff members as they arise.
Ongoing safety measures include the following:
• Crisis plans, procedures, and safety drills are designed and rehearsed to ensure the safety of students, staff and visitors in the event of a fire, tornado, utility failure, disaster, or violent intruder.
• A School Resource Officer is stationed on the main campus when school is in session as part of an agreement with the City of Peculiar.
• The Raymore Police Department has a School/Community Liaison Officer who partners with the School District to provide school safety support.
• The district contracts with a private security company to provide additional security at Ray-Pec High School and Ray-Pec East Middle School during the day and district-wide at night.
• A School Security Task Force, which includes district leaders and representatives from the Cass County Sheriff’s Department, Peculiar Police Department and Raymore Police Department, meets monthly to review and discuss safety issues.
• District-issued identification badges for all Ray-Pec staff.
Please remember that School Road is now closed between Hubach Hill Road and 195th Street. You may use Route J, the west outer road (Peculiar Drive) or I-49 as alternate routes to reach the main campus from the north. The district encourages all to follow safe driving habits. Please watch driving speed in school zones and yield to buses as they load and unload students. Also watch for students walking or riding bikes to and from school.