Diamondbacks Stay Safe!

With much focus being directed on school safety and security, I’d like to let parents know all of the strategies we are applying to keep their children and our staff safe.

1. First and foremost, is the presence of our school resource officers from the City of Mission Police Department. Our officers have many years of school safety experience. They know our students and staff, and they are very familiar with our campus. I have my own child here at school and I feel like they would do everything to ensure he is always safe, including putting themselves in harm’s way to protect him. I know they would do it for all 1800 of us who are here every day. The City of Mission holds regular training sessions with them and they are certified in multiple ways with this training.

2. We have 5 security officers who are always visible and present in school and along the entrances. If you have come to school during the day, you have had to go through multiple checks to access your children. Inside the school they enforce hall passes, check restrooms, check parking lots and make sure no unauthorized individuals are on campus without permission. Ask your children if they are frequently checked for passes when they are outside the rooms during instructional time.

3. We are lucky to have one full time video monitoring staff member assigned to only watch Pioneer H.S. They are connected to us by direct contact on our main radio channel. We frequently communicate with him throughout the day and he lets us know when he sees something that we may not. We are able to have video clips sent to us for a variety of reasons and the camera coverage is very good. We are purchasing new cameras every year for additional coverage.

4. Our staff has been trained to look for unauthorized visitors in our schools and on grounds. Our system to check all visitors is very good. Everyone has to be checked for their ability to be on school grounds through the DPS data base. If you have had meetings with staff, you have been checked by Raptor and worn the tag. Our substitute teachers also have tags identifying them as subs.

5. We have drug and firearm sniffing dogs on campus for random sweeps, two times weekly. We check classrooms, locker rooms, vehicles in the parking lots, and classroom spaces, even gyms and the theatre.

6. We have a fantastic administrative team. There aren’t better investigators anywhere then what we have right here in the AP office. They listen to students, staff, parents, and community members for tips and other information as it comes in from various sources. They have a fantastic ability to filter information as it comes in and they can determine what’s real and what’s noise. They take every tip serious until we can prove otherwise.

7. We have lockdown drills twice yearly, evacuation drills monthly, and shelter in place drills frequently. Our students know what to do in each classroom they are in.

8. …and finally and most importantly, we have a fantastic student body that isn’t afraid to say something. Social media has changed our world. It will continue to evolve and we must evolve with it. Students must continue to speak up when they see something that they know is wrong or threatening. We will take care of business once the information comes in.

How can parents help:

1. Continue to encourage your children to speak up when they see or hear something. Not to their friends or on social media but to you or directly with us. Students are connected to the world like never before. It’s not going away and we need to find ways to take advantage of it.

2. Monitor your child’s social media presence. If you haven’t, you’re probably going to be surprised by what you see. I see things frequently that I can’t believe and I’ve been doing this for 34 years.

3. Notify my admin team when you have concerns or have seen/heard something that you believe we need to know. Email them if you can’t speak to them by phone. Leave messages in their office or with their secretary. All of the contact information is readily available.

4. Continue to work with us on our campus entry security measures. They are put in place to ensure safety for all. It may take a little longer then you think it should to get in or to drop something off but in the end, there’s a reason why we do it. We certainly don’t want to inconvenience you but we are making sure we follow protocol for campus access. 

The bottom line is that we cannot 100% guarantee that something will not happen that’s out of our control. We are doing everything we know how to do and are allowed to do. We will continue to seek out best practices and research based solutions. Together, we can continue to ensure Pioneer H.S. has a fantastic learning environment that is also safe and secure.

Thank You,
PHS Administration