The T/E School District has an active Safety Committee that is made up of representatives from the TESD administration and school board, Tredyffrin Police, Easttown Police, Berwyn Fire Company, community organizations, and each school in the district. If you ever have a suggestion or concern regarding school safety, please feel free to let us know and we can bring it to the committee for consideration. Committee meetings take place every other month and are open to community members. Here is a link to the district’s safety webpage with additional resources: https://www.tesd.net/domain/15.
Since 2012, the district has made significant physical enhancements to make our buildings more secure. While some are confidential as part of our emergency operations, others are listed on our website at the following link: https://www.tesd.net/Page/15537.
TESD partners with law enforcement and first-responders regarding emergency planning. Both police departments have performed active threat trainings and practice exercises in district schools. Recently, local police and emergency responders performed a mass-casualty simulation at Conestoga High School to refine their procedures and communications in a crisis situation. Links to Campus Crimebusters and Tredyffrin Police anonymous tiplines can be found at this link: https://www.tesd.net/domain/15.
We have employed the research-based Olweus Bullying Prevention Program at TEMS. As part of that program we have class meetings that we call H.E.R.O. (Honesty, Empathy, Respect, Open-Minded) meetings. Every other Friday, students gather in their HERO groups to learn about important topics that are related to their lives as middle schoolers. School safety, personal safety, and reporting concerns are all covered through the meetings. Other topics include bullying, cyber-bullying, digital citizenship, character, sportsmanship, integrity, etc. The lessons evolve over time to address issues we are seeing in our school. Here is a link with more information about the bullying prevention program https://www.tesd.net/domain/997.
TESD dedicates curriculum time to mental health issues and concerns. Resiliency lessons are built into our advisory classes and other curricular areas. The LifeSkills Program is a research-based curriculum with demonstrated efficacy in decreasing the early use of drugs and alcohol. As part of our health curriculum, students learn about anxiety, depression, stress management and other mental health topics. Students in 7th grade participate in our S.O.S. (Signs of Suicide) program and are made of aware of how to A.C.T. (Acknowledge, Care, Tell) if they have any concerns about themselves or others. Our school employs one school counselor per grade level and a Mental Health Specialist. They meet weekly with teams of teachers to review student concerns and take appropriate actions. Please reach out to us at 610-240-1200 if you ever want to seek help for your child, speak to a counselor, or share information with us.
We have a CARE Team at TEMS made up of teachers, counselors, and an administrator. The CARE team meets weekly and accepts referrals from parents and teachers that have any kind of concern about one of our students. With parental permission, the CARE team evaluates concerns through an observation and information gathering process, and makes confidential suggestions to staff members and parents in order to help the student. As needed, the CARE team may contract with an outside provider to provide mental health assessments, grief and loss services, drug / alcohol counseling, and other services. If you ever feel the need to make a referral, please confidentially contact a counselor or administrator at TEMS, and we will pass it along to the CARE Team. Here is a link to more information about the CARE Team program: https://www.tesd.net/Page/2483.
TEMS also has a Concussion Management Team that meets regularly to assist students who are experiencing post-concussion symptoms. They work to facilitate communication between the nurse, counselor, teachers, parents, and medical professionals if necessary.
When a student’s behavior at TEMS presents a safety concern to the health and well-being of others, The student is disciplined by the school and reported to local law enforcement. Professional risk assessments are conducted by certified mental health professionals for students whose behavior appears to be a threat to themselves or others. The school and the student’s family follow recommendations that are provided by mental health professionals in order to determine if students are safe to return to school and ensure that they receive any professional services that are required. Here is a link to the school district regulation regarding student discipline: https://www.tesd.net/cms/lib/PA01001259/Centricity/Domain/14/R5401.pdf.
The school district has a procedure in place when a suspicious stranger is reported to any district staff member. The protocol results in coordinated communication with police, parents, students and school staff to make the community aware of any potential danger.
The District Safety Committee met recently and provided new guidelines regarding the timing and frequency of emergency drills. TEMS will now be practicing our lockdown procedures once per marking period (four per school year). The first lockdown will be an interior lockdown drill that will be conducted within the first two weeks of school. As students progress through their schedules after a lockdown procedure, all of their teachers will share emergency plans that are specific to their particular classroom settings. In addition, parents will be emailed on the day that all emergency procedures are practiced so they can be aware and have a conversation with their children regarding the procedure.
School unity and treating everyone with respect has been a priority at TEMS for the past several years. Student groups including the Multi-Cultural Club, the Bulldog Ambassadors, the African American Culture Club, and the Jr. Model United Nations Club have all organized activities aimed at helping our students learn about each other and how to treat everyone with respect and dignity. We have a committee of teachers as well that work towards this effort. Middle School is an important time for children to learn from their mistakes and build character. Each day, there are learning opportunities for our students to see how their actions and words impact others. By emphasizing an environment where everyone will be respected and supported, our school becomes a safer and more productive place.