Sheriff John Root is pictured being interviewed by a Kentucky Safe Schools team member conducting a safe school assessment that was requested by East Bernstadt Independent School Superintendent Vicki Jones on Tuesday November 17, 2015. Sheriff Root was interviewed as a parent of a child enrolled in East Bernstadt School.
The Kentucky Safe Schools web site has the following information on their web page regarding these voluntary visits.
Kentucky Center for School Safety (KCSS), Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), and Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance (KEMI) are collaborating to provide safe school assessments to any school in Kentucky. These informational, independent assessments are not to be confused with an audit. The voluntary assessment can enhance the school's learning environment by examining climate and culture.
The safe school assessment provides the school with an independent look at the school’s climate and culture as it relates to enhancing the learning environment. The safe school assessment process involves many aspects, including an examination of the school and recommendations. This also provides the school with a needs assessment that can be used in developing a school safety component of the school’s Comprehensive School Improvement Plan.
Any local school or school district can request a safe school assessment. This is not to be confused with an audit. This assessment is strictly a voluntary activity that includes an external assessment team that meets with the school principal, staff, students, and parents in order to gain information about the school environment.
The visitation team can include representatives from three agencies: Kentucky Center for School Safety (KCSS), Kentucky Department of Education (KDE), and the Kentucky Employers’ Mutual Insurance (KEMI).). A typical team consists of six representatives.
Vicki Jones, Superintendent of the East Bernstadt School states that: The principal and staff always put safety first with the students. The safety assessment was requested to affirm that we have the best plan and procedures in place. We appreciate the support and partnership that we receive from our local law enforcement. Sheriff Root states that school safety is a priority of the Laurel County Sheriff's Office. Deputies routinely conduct walk through unannounced, unscheduled visits periodically at East Bernstadt School, and all other Laurel County Schools.