View a letter from the superintendent of schools about school safety

Dear Goshen Schools family,

This week, school communities in Denver and Nashville are dealing with the aftermath of senseless violence. Both communities are left reeling in confusion and despair.

This tragic news feels all too common. When horrific acts of violence take place in our nation’s schools, no matter how far from home, it breaks our hearts, evokes fear, and leaves us feeling helpless. If you or your child are struggling, please contact your child’s school so that our counselors and social workers can help and support you.

As a district, we will continually work to ensure that we are utilizing the most efficient safety protocols in our buildings in order to provide a learning environment that is safe, respectful, and engaging, as described in our district-wide strategic plan.

We continually utilize educational programs that promote acceptance, compassion, and courage. This includes the Choose Love program and additional educational programs from local mental health and substance abuse prevention agencies. All of our schools are staffed with school psychologists, school social workers and school counselors to best support our students, allowing for frequent monitoring and check ins.

We recently added six security guards to our schools, who work closely with our school resource officers to identify, address, and remediate any safety challenges within our schools. The district has a variety of safety precautions in its buildings that include:

  • Uniformed and armed School Resource Officers, stationed in each school building.
  • Locked school entrances, surveillance cameras, intercoms, and access control devices that require visitors to show identification before being “buzzed in.” Licenses are scanned and kept on file.
  • The continual practice of school lockdown and lockout drills in case of an intruder or outside threat.
  • A single point of entry for our schools. Students, staff and visitors must enter and exit through the front doors/greeter stations only.
  • Fingerprinting and background checks of all prospective employees. Identification badges are provided and required for all school employees, visitors and substitutes.
  • The availability for building administrators and the local police to view video surveillance by connecting to the district’s security camera system over our local area network.
  • The practice of “see something, say something” by all district employees and students to notify proper authorities if they feel an individual may pose a threat. If anyone should ever have concerns about a potential threat, they should please immediately report those concerns to administrators or local law enforcement.

District officials and the members of the Village of Goshen Police Department continually work together to identify how we can strengthen our practices for school and student safety. It is a continuous conversation, and we will continue to make every attempt to keep our students safe.

As a community, we must work together, lean on one another, take care of each other, and to do what we can to make sure our schools remain a place for learning, promise, and hope.

Dr. Kurtis Kotes
Superintendent of Schools