Principal’s Safety and Security Message

August 28, 2018

Welcome to Windfern’s 2018-19 School Year!

Students and parents, my faculty and staff join me in extending our warmest welcome to you as we begin our new school year!  My name is Martha Strother, and it is my distinct pride to serve as your principal.  I look forward to getting to know you, our future graduate, and your parents who are supporting you in that pathway.  Windfern School of Choice is excited about the new opportunities we have to build relationships with students and to help them find their way to the graduation stage. 

Windfern’s Campus Culture of Cohesiveness

From Windfern’s beginning in 1995, our school was designed to be a small-size campus for the purpose of providing highly individualized attention for students.  Because of this, we are at a distinct advantage in keeping our school safe and secure.  With only 300 students, we are able to keep our finger on the pulse of our student population and to recognize concerns as they develop.  We routinely train our students in a safety pledge, asking them to be our eyes and ears in helping us to be proactive with any possible concerns.  We continuously guide our students with “If you see or hear something, say something.” 

Getting to know our students in meaningful ways is our most reliable way of ensuring that they will feel comfortable enough to share safety concerns with us.  From the first day of school, we work to create a sense of belonging for each student.  Our students need to know that they matter, and that they each have a meaningful place in our school learning community, and that more importantly, their time with us will leave a lasting memory.   Our students validate our efforts with them when they describe us as a family more than a school.  That makes it all worthwhile!

Bottom line, the campus culture we have built at Windfern is, in fact, the foundation of our safety and security.  However, there is so much more that we rely on to ensure that our students are safe and secure. 

Here Are the Security Measures We Have Had In Place All Along

  • All teachers lock their doors throughout the day and each classroom is equipped with an emergency two-way call button that is a direct line of communication to the front office in two areas.

  • More than half of our staff members are equipped with walkie-talkies so that our office staff is able to communicate fluidly and continuously with every hallway.  (Again, we are at a distinct advantage having only four hallways.)

  • Our CFISD police officer commands a strong visible presence and works to build relationships with our students.  He is backed up by an impressive CFISD patrol force that is very responsive to our support requests.

Here’s What We Must Put In Place In Today’s World Because We Love Our Students

In today’s world we must do more than we ever have.  Change is hard, but we must respond to our current reality with layers of diverse measures.  No single measure of security is enough.

  • Please know that all doors to Windfern are locked throughout the day from 8:20 until 2:40.  We do, however, have open campus lunch from 12:05-12:50 during which time our students may remain on campus to eat lunch in our café, or they may leave campus to pick up lunch from nearby restaurants.  Beginning this year, students will be allowed back on campus only through a single entrance and must be buzzed in by our security-trained receptionist.

  • An important change that we welcome in December is a security entrance vestibule with video camera, buzzer door releases, and bullet-resistant glass.  Please forgive our dust as our Facilities Department creates this additional measure of security for Windfern students and staff.

  • Every year, we have trained our staff in emergency operations procedures, but this year under the guidance of Superintendent Mark Henry and his team, we have provided an intensified focus with specialized trainings such as active shooter crisis procedures. 

  • In the past, we have not required Windfern students to wear ID badges, but we will be requiring them beginning this year.  Students, please make sure that you wear your badge on the lanyard that we provide you.  If you lose it, please see our receptionist who will replace it ($3.00 fee) or if you just forgot it at home, she can provide a temporary badge for the day ($1.00 fee).

  • Clear backpacks will be required at WSC this year just as they are at all other CFISD secondary campuses.  You may also carry two additional belongings, not larger than 6”x 9” such as a purse, pencil case, or lunch bag. This CFISD policy is now known as Clear Plus Two!

In closing, we look forward to many joyful moments with you, our students!  Believe it or not, we learn as much from you as you learn from us!  We have so much to be thankful for because you chose to apply to Windfern.   Just remember during your time with us, that you must keep the fighting spirit of “Whatever It Takes” in everything you do, especially safety, all day, every day!

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