I wanted to take a moment to thank all of you who have shared your concerns and ideas about student safety in recent days and months. I believe we all received e-mails recently from the CPS Superintendent, Dr. Belcher, informing us of the district’s security plans and procedures as well as expressing its sensitivity to the concerns of parents after last week’s tragedy in Connecticut. (If you did not receive Dr. Belcher’s e-mails, let me know and I can forward them to you.) I also wanted to thank Lee parent, Candace Sall, for all of the work she has done over the last few days to gather information about plans and possibilities for security improvements for Lee and other downtown schools. Based upon her findings, it sounds like CPS is actively planning new security systems for schools and will likely be putting them in place sooner than they had originally planned.
I also wanted to provide an update on construction-related safety concerns. Many thanks to the parents who have shared their concerns and experiences relating to the construction on Locust adjacent to the school and who have contacted the city on behalf of the school. I shared these health-related concerns with the developer–emphasizing the problems associated with the dust that has sometimes billowed across the playground and its effects on our students and staff, particularly those with asthma. The developer was quick to respond and he shared the following plan to address the concerns:
We are going to try to limit heavy dust activities to late afternoon hours when possible. As always, a water truck is available to spray water on large dirt work operations and the excavation contractor has been asked to have it on-site at all times during such operations so we are ready to react more quickly if we do get into a heavier dust situation. The field supervisors have been asked to monitor the situation carefully and be ready to react if they can see visible dust in the air leaving the project site.
If you have continued concerns or problems, please let me know and I can pass them along to the developer–or help in any way that you think would be best.
It is truly remarkable to be part of such a wonderful and strong group of parents who do so much to advocate for the children at our school. Endless thanks to you all.