Head of School's Message: January 14

Student safety is the highest priority of everyone who works at Chandler. Five years ago this month Chandler contracted with Chameleon Associates, a school security consultant, to prepare a report on threats, risks and vulnerabilities that might impact the school.
The report concluded that Chandler’s camera surveillance and monitoring system, secluded, elevated site, and protective walls, gates and locked entrances provided a safe environment. The consultants credited Chandler’s close knit community and high faculty-staff ratio for being able to identify suspicious behavior. Adults are always present around the courtyards, and video monitors in the Lower and Middle School offices allow staff to keep a close eye on people entering through the gates.
 
Using the report as a basis for further review of our security procedures, Chandler’s board of trustees and administration concluded that the measures we had in place did not require the addition of a full-time security guard.
 
The report noted, “Lockdown procedures and other emergency procedures are well drafted in the school’s response plan.” On October 10 last year, we conducted an earthquake drill with the students. We do that annually. The steel container in the Lower School parking lot contains earthquake supplies. It is filled with medical equipment, canopies, blankets and food to get us through an emergency. Emergency procedures are included in the parent-student handbook. Here’s a link to them.
 
I asked the mostly K-3 parents who attended last week’s coffee to comment on campus security. Apart from one concern that Middle School students gather unsupervised outside school on Armada Drive after 3:30 p.m. to wait for their rides, they had no security issues. We need to address the concern they raised. We conduct monthly fire drills and hold periodic faculty and staff training sessions to make sure that everyone on campus knows what to do in the event of an emergency. Chandler is a safe place, but if you have any concerns, please let me know.
 
As part of a recently completed ‘business continuity plan,’ arrangements have been made with other local schools to continue holding Chandler classes if our buildings are severely damaged. Notifications of any emergency and details of continuity plans would be delivered to you via texts and voicemails using Alertcast. Your cell phone numbers are stored in Chandler’s Alertcast database. In early February we will be testing the system to verify that we have your up to date information. I will let you know the specific day and time of the test a few days beforehand.
 
Everyone is encouraged to add the ShakeAlertLA app to their smartphones. On January 3, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti unveiled the app which uses a network of ground sensors operated by the US Geological Survey to warn users about earthquakes with a magnitude 5.0 or higher a few seconds before shaking arrives. Garcetti said, “We created the app because getting a few seconds’ heads-up can make a big difference if you need to pull to the side of the road, get out of an elevator, or drop, cover and hold on.”
 
On an unrelated note, please join us this Wednesday in the gym at 3:15 p.m. The WASC / CAIS accreditation visiting committee members will be presenting an oral summary of their report before they leave at 3:45 p.m. Following their departure, we will celebrate with cake – Chandler’s fourth ‘C’!
 
Most sincerely,
John Finch
Head of School
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