Dear CUSD Families, Teachers, Classified Staff, and Administrators,
We join the nation in mourning the tragic loss of life in the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. These are always the moments where we seek answers to indescribable pain and grief while re-evaluating our work to keep our students and staff safe.
Today, we wanted to share with you the plans and procedures CUSD has in place to safeguard our students, families and staff in emergency situations. We are also reaching out to provide resources for social-emotional support.
Every school site in our District has a safety plan that is specific to each campus and is reviewed annually. CUSD works directly with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in planning and security assessments of our schools. Whenever there is a threat, or even a perceived threat, the Sheriff’s Department’s School Mobile Assessment and Resource Team (SMART) performs an investigation. SMART is used in school situations or incidents related to violence, threats, possession and/or use of weapons, unstable behaviors and suicidal actions or tendencies.
CUSD, through the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, works with the Orange County Intelligence Assessment Center (OCIAC), an integrated, multi-disciplined information and intelligence sharing network that collects, analyzes, and disseminates information on all criminal risks and safety threats to law enforcement, fire, health, private sector and public sector stakeholders in order to protect the residents, visitors, and critical infrastructure.
We also conduct ongoing drills and simulated emergency exercises for our staff, and this training is reviewed and modified as needed. Lockdown drills are conducted twice per year at all CUSD schools.
CUSD has made substantial investments in social emotional support for our students by hiring counselors for every school site. This is a tremendous investment in early intervention for our young people that was put in place to support them today and throughout their educational careers here in CUSD and beyond. Our counselors work with our students in groups and individually, and they intervene when students are struggling with grades or attendance or showing other indicators that may indicate the need for stronger interventions. We also have intervention specialists who support students in crisis.
Ultimately, these efforts take the support of all of us and I am extremely thankful for your partnership. We want everyone on our campuses to be empowered to speak up about anything that looks out of place. Please reach out to your school principals or site administrators for guidance and questions and, in the event of an emergency, contact the Sheriff’s Department directly.
Together, we will continue to do everything possible to keep our students and staff safe in our classrooms and on our campuses.
Kirsten M. Vital Brulte
P.S. We utilize Say Something, a secure and anonymous reporting system. If you have concerns about someone hurting themselves or others, please make your report here. Any immediate threat should be reported to law enforcement.
P.P.S. You can find student and family resources in our Family Resource Center online or in person at the CUSD Education Center located at 33122 Valle Road in the city of San Juan Capistrano. Additionally, the following resources are helpful for supporting students and families: