Safety & Security
Safety is our number one priority in Bloomfield Hills Schools. We work tirelessly to ensure the physical, emotional and social safety of our students and staff. We believe safety is a community effort and responsibility and thank you for your partnership.
What is possible with the replacement Sinking Fund on the May 8, 2018, ballot?
A sinking fund is a savings account into which a local school district can deposit voter-approved local millage revenue in order to pay cash for the most urgent building projects or repairs as they arise. Sinking funds provide districts with a cost-effective alternative to borrowing or bonding for some expenditures because they require none of the associated legal fees or incurred interest.
It used to be that funds generated through a sinking fund can only be used for renovation, repair, and construction of buildings, but recent legislation has allowed for expanded use. This expanded use now covers some expenses related to safety, security, and technology. Sinking fund dollars cannot be used for any operating expenses such as salaries, benefits, or routine maintenance. In addition, the money cannot be used for textbooks or bus replacement.
With the expansion of use to include safety, security, and technology, the district may seek to:
Install more security cameras inside and outside of each school:
Security cameras offer mostly forensic evidence, but they can also be a deterrent. In addition, they can serve as a valuable resource for responding officers if they are able to tap into a live feed of the building to see inside. With the Sinking Fund dollars, we may be able to install security cameras that would give police a window into the ongoing activity, shortening the time between response and results.
Install BluePoint Emergency Alert System in every school:
The BluePoint system provides pull stations (similar to fire alarm pulls) that anyone in the building can utilize to call a Lockdown. Once pulled, police are immediately notified, building occupants are notified via flashing strobe lights and an audio sound, and text/email/voice alerts are sent to district staff who can begin to respond to the crisis. In addition, the system can be tied to specific doors, closing off sections of the school building and preventing an intruder from quickly moving throughout the school. To learn more, visit:
Install security cameras on each school bus:
School bus camera systems are helpful in instances of bullying or unsafe behavior. The driver's main responsibility on the bus is to safely transport the students to and from school. Security cameras can offer an additional set of eyes without requiring additional staff onboard.
Provide a GPS bus tracking app for families to know the whereabouts of their child's bus and the approximate time of arrival:
In some cases, students may wait for a bus in the morning for longer than expected. In very cold temperatures or dark conditions, this may create a problematic situation. With a GPS app, students would be able to track the bus and head outside just prior to its arrival.
Install bullet-proof glass or glass film:
Glass doors and windows provide lines of sight that are critical for positive relationships and security visibility. That said, they may make the building more vulnerable in an active shooter situation. Strategic placement of film can deter unwanted individuals for up to two minutes, which is the approximate response time of Bloomfield Township Police. In addition, those critical two minutes would give occupants time to fully enact a Lockdown.
Place bollards outside of main school entrances:
A bollard is a fixed post or object that presents a clear, visible barrier for off-limit or sensitive areas. They are often designed to withstand high-impact vehicle collisions and are ideal for schools with vulnerable populations. The most common bollards are metal, stone, cement, or plastic. In the event of a collision near the school, a bollard may prevent a wayward vehicle from accidentally hitting a pedestrian.
To learn more, visit: www.bloomfield.org/sinkingfund
How can I help?
This is a great question! In times like these, we often feel helpless, but there's actually a lot you can do!
- Join the conversation - please complete the Safety & Security survey to give us your opinions and ideas. This survey will help us in our needs assessment, which will then be used to prioritize our path forward.
- Consider participating in our upcoming conversation regarding the appropriate investment to make in safety and security across the district - we will schedule focus groups soon so look for that information.
- Contact your legislators to let them know that this needs to be a top priority in their discussions in Lansing and Washington. To find your representative, visit www.house.mi.gov and enter your house address. To find your senator, visit www.senate.michigan.gov and enter your house address. Governor Snyder's information can be found on his website www.michigan.go/snyder.
- Continue to report issues of concern to our staff or via OK2SAY. To report a concern, please call 1-855-565-2729, text 652729, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their website www.mi.gov/ok2say.
- Do not hold the door open for the person behind you. It may feel rude, but it's the right thing to do for the safety of our students and staff.
- Help reassure your child of their safety in our schools. School is still statistically the safest place for children to be. Remind them that we care about them and we are committed to keeping them safe.
- What is the district’s position on firearms in schools? Do we plan to allow staff in schools to carry firearms?
- In the high school, how do students "hide"?
- Why can't you share your whole plan with us?
While there are many positions on this issue, the district’s position is that (excepting police authorities) schools should be weapon free zones. Our administrators have received training in the proper way to handle individuals choosing to open carry in our district.
The Board of Education passed a resolution at its February 15, 2018, board meeting opposing proposed Michigan legislation that would allow concealed carry of weapons in schools.
Staff and students are trained to observe what is happening around them and make a decision about the best course of action. For some students in some locations, the best answer may be to hide in a closed and locked location. For others, evacuation may be a better solution. In either case, drills occur during various times of day so students do not develop a pattern or one particular preference.
Just as airports, amusement parks, and other public locations don't publish their entire plan, we reserve some of our emergency processes for internal use only. This protects the integrity of our system and ensures that the "bad guys" can't make their plans based upon ours. Some of our equipment, protocols, etc. have components that are kept confidential to ensure they remain important components of our overall safety/security practices.
Bloomfield Hills Schools hosted an informational meeting on March 28, 2018, from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. regarding Safety & Security. The entire program was recorded and is available below for viewing.
Who is Officer Donberger?
- Bloomfield Township Police Officer for 21 years
- Served as Bloomfield Hills Schools Liaison Officer for six years
- Threat assessment training
- Emergency procedure development training
- FEMA Incident Command training
- TECIP and Crisis Response training (TECIP stands for Traumatic Event Crisis Intervention Plan and is a social/emotional crisis/aftercare process)
- Multiple assailant response classes such as ALICE, CRASE, and ALERRT
- Assists in coordination of Township Police drills in schools over summer months
- Received Bloomfield Hills Schools Global Education training
Dear Bloomfield Hills Schools Families, Staff, and Community,
We are deeply saddened by the tragic violence that occurred in Parkland, Florida yesterday. Our hearts are with their entire school community.
As a parent, I grieve for the parents who lost a child yesterday. As your superintendent, I am committed to our work in safety and security, ensuring our schools remain the safest places for our community's children.
To that end, I can assure you that safety and security is something we work on, consciously, every day.
Our partnership with our local police is unique with Officer Cory Donberger serving as our District Security Officer. This position was created shortly after the tragic Sandy Hook school shooting. Officer Donberger is a Bloomfield Township Police Officer, but the majority of his time is spent with us, reviewing our safety and security procedures, making recommendations, and overseeing critical changes to our operations and emergency protocols.
In addition, as a district, we believe that the physical safety measures in our schools are reinforced by social and emotional support. We strive to support all students and help them to understand that there is always "another option." We will continue to work with the broader community to discuss issues surrounding mental health and the support our students need.
That said, I need your help. Though we work diligently, every day, to ensure our schools are the safest places for children to be, we can't have eyes and ears all over the community, all the time. If you should become aware of someone in our community who is in need of help, please say something. A United States Secret Service and United States Department of Education study found that in 81% of violent school incidents, someone other than the attacker knew about the plan but didn't report it. Your voice could make all the difference.
If you feel uncomfortable approaching a member of our team, please consider using the OK2SAY app/website. Since inception in 2014, OK2SAY has received over 10,000 tips, preventing multiple tragedies, including planned school attacks and student suicide. OK2SAY is confidential and available 24/7. To report a concern, please call 1-855-565-2729, text 652729, email email@example.com, or visit their website www.mi.gov/ok2say.
Finally, we cannot address the issue of mental health alone and our efforts require legislative support and appropriate funding. Please consider reaching out to your legislator with the important concerns you've shared with me and my team. To find your representative, visit http://www.house.mi.gov/MHRPublic/frmFindARep.aspx and enter your house address. To find your senator, visit http://www.senate.michigan.gov/fysbyaddress.html and enter your house address. Governor Snyder's information can be found on his website http://www.michigan.gov/…/0,4668,7-277-70766-267869--,00.ht….
As a community, we are raising the next leaders of this country. Thank you for your ongoing partnership.
Dear Bloomfield Hills Schools Families,
The recent tragedy in Florida left an impact on all of us and have left many wondering what to do to influence change. Across the nation, students are organizing and mobilizing. Activities and events are being planned by students on school campuses, in state capitols, and online.
We applaud peaceful student activism and are proud that the conversation about school safety is being led by the students themselves. We encourage students to be civic leaders and participants and respect their right to free speech.
To that end, we encourage our families to have conversations with their children about participation in non-school sponsored activities, including walkouts. Bloomfield Hills Schools respects students' First Amendment right to peacefully assemble, and we will not discipline students for the act of protesting as long as the protest remains peaceful and does not present a material or substantial disruption to the learning environment. Bloomfield Hills Schools will respect the rights of all students, whether they choose to participate or not.
However, the best way for us to ensure student safety is to know their whereabouts. That's simply not possible once they leave school grounds. Therefore, we are asking all high school students who wish to participate in a planned walkout to remain on school grounds with designated staff, who will accompany students to ensure their safety. High school staff will not personally participate in the walkouts, but will be on-hand to help supervise and maintain the safety of the demonstration.
If a particular high school student remains outside for longer than the organized window, refuses to stay with a staff member, or leaves school property, our regular attendance policies will apply. If this is your family's plan, please consider utilizing the BHHS attendance office to call in the absence prior to the event. This will help us plan staff ratios accordingly and maintain the safety of these planned activities.
For students in kindergarten through 8th grade, we will not offer a supervised walkout opportunity. If students wish to participate, they must be properly signed out and escorted from the building by a parent or guardian. They may return to school after the planned activity. If they return to school, they must be signed in at the main office. All parents, guardians, and other visitors on school grounds during the school day are subject to the school's rules and regulations.
Bloomfield Hills Schools is a public entity and, as such, we do not engage in protests. The role of our staff during these events is to keep students safe.
Thank you for your partnership in our school safety efforts.
Dear Bloomfield Hills Middle School 8th Grade Families,
As you may know, our high school, along with high schools across the country, is preparing for a planned student walkout on the morning of Wednesday, March 14, 2018, to honor the victims of the Florida school shooting and to advocate for safer schools. As the district has progressed forward with the many organizational details associated with preparing to support this student-led event, emotional safety is one of the many elements that we have been continuing to prioritize.
Bloomfield Hills Schools has an uncompromising commitment to safety. Given the current dialogue around school safety, we often think of physical safety. While we are certainly making plans for the physical safety of students on Wednesday, we also must ensure their emotional well-being. It’s important for students to feel supported by those who know them best and our high school counselors are integral members of that team. Accordingly, it is important to maintain a strong counseling staff presence in Bloomfield Hills High School on the day of the walkout for the safety of all BHHS students.
Unfortunately, this will require the rescheduling of the counseling visits to BHMS on Wednesday. I know this may pose an inconvenience to some of you and I sincerely apologize for that, but I hope you will find it illustrative of the safety and security decisions we are making across the entire district.
I am sure the staff at BHHS and BHMS will be reaching out to you in the coming days with a new date for the counselor visits. I know they are trying to make these arrangements before Spring Break.
Thank you for your understanding and your support.
Dr. Rob Glass, Superintendent