- Friends of Ingraham
FOI and The District - Update
Updated: 6 days ago
The District's Response
Dear Ingraham Families and Staff,
I know school safety and student wellness are top of mind for you. Both are on my mind every day.
June 2 is the 9th annual National Gun Violence Awareness Day, a day to unite in a call to end gun violence. The long and tragic list of school communities - including our own – affected by violence is a public safety and mental health issue that affects all of us.
The Seattle Public Schools community suffered a profound loss last fall when an act of gun violence took place in one of our schools, leading to the death of an Ingraham student. Gun and community violence takes a toll on our students, educators, and families.
The violence we are seeing in and around our schools is heartbreaking and unacceptable. While I am proud of the progress made since launching our safety initiative last fall, I acknowledge this update took more time than anticipated. Rebounding from tragedy and ensuring the safety of our school community is not easy. We have too much at stake to not be diligent in this work.
Our district is making considerable progress in strengthening school safety through improvements and partnerships. My goal is to create an ecosystem of safety for our schools SPS is committed to strengthening community partnerships and continuing facility updates in our buildings.
The SPS safety initiative includes:
Conducting a safety review of SPS campuses
Inviting safety leaders to the table to create community action teams
Establishing a council comprised of mental health and wellness leaders from our community
SPS is taking immediate and tangible action on safety improvements.
Our work to review the safety and security of SPS campuses continues. The system-wide review is providing beneficial insights to help us improve school community safety.
Our school and district teams are working to use these recommendations to improve safety. Because of the nature of the report, SPS will provide an overview of the findings but will not release the full report. This is to protect sensitive safety information that could be used by someone intending to cause harm at our schools.
We have received the report that highlights opportunities for safety and security improvements in Ingraham High School. Reviews of all our schools are underway. Because we are a large district, this process will take time. This work is a continuation of our facility, safety, and security reviews already conducted in our buildings.
The Ingraham safety review included the following security-related topics. SPS is currently reviewing and acting on these items.
Campus signage. This fall, the district will be rolling out new consistent safety and emergency signage to all our secondary schools that help students and staff easily remember and follow safety procedures.
School entry and classroom locks. SPS is updating building locks to be sure they can be activated from inside classrooms. The lock replacement project is underway, and we are making progress on this update in our buildings.
Training on emergency situations. The report recommended additional training for school leaders to ensure that everyone knows their roles in an emergency. SPS Safety and Security provides training and plans are in place to add additional staff training on emergency procedures.
Internal and external communications capabilities. The report presented recommendations concerning the addition of communications infrastructure, to supplement the existing public address system, around the campus, in the parking lots, and on the athletic fields. These recommendations are being carefully studied.
Camera and video systems. The report recommended upgrades to security camera systems. These recommendations are being carefully reviewed.
The role and visibility of campus security personnel. The report presented recommendations to increase the visibility and presence of security personnel, including specific areas of the school that should be toured more frequently by security. These recommendations will be implemented.
Alterations to external landscaping to ensure clear lines of camera and visual surveillance. The report made several area-specific recommendations for landscaping. In some areas, camera views were blocked, interfering with security surveillance, and possibly hiding undesirable behavior. These recommendations will be implemented.
Community-based Student Supports
I am thankful our city partners at the Department of Education and Early Learning (DEEL) were able to contribute funding to support several additional resources at Ingraham High School for student wellness in the wake of the tragedy last fall.
School Social Worker
Siri Quigley has been hired to the full-time school social worker position at Ingraham. Siri helps the school address mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders while providing an integral link between school, home, and community in supporting students’ academic and social success. School social workers provide wrap-around support services that include positive behavioral support, academic, and classroom support, individual, and group counseling/therapy, consultation with educators, school counselors, administrators, parents and community-based partners.
Community Passageways provides safety team presence, healing circles, one-on-one mentoring for impacted students, case management services for families of highly impacted students.
Therapeutic Health Services provides services of a mental health therapist on-site to students who self-refer or are referred by staff, families, and partners. Services include outreach, assessment, individual therapy, case management, family engagement and staff collaboration.
Center for Human Services provides substance use services to students who self-refer or are referred by staff, families, partners, or behavioral health screening.
Hallowell Todaro provides individual therapy by a therapist; DBT groups or other mental health support groups. The group helps connect students and families to resources (food, housing, school supplies etc). Attends school-family meetings to provide support in creating tiered interventions. Provide parent support and education to discuss mental health warning signs in teens, what parents can do, and what resources are in the community.
Huayruro continues to provide the ongoing trauma support of building connection and capacity within the Ingraham community for restorative practices and community grieving and healing.
The Restorative Support Coordinator Role will support the Ingraham community by building stronger connections for student and families. Their responsibilities will include coordinating mental health and restorative practices, monthly community circles, and outreach services to families and students.
Community Action Teams, Student Wellness, and Neighborhood Safety
Collaboration with the greater Seattle community is fundamental to reducing violence that affects our students, families, and staff.
We are working with community partners— including first responders, City of Seattle, and organizations that operate in our buildings— to increase safety in and around our schools.
SPS senior staff are active participants in Seattle’s interdepartmental groups that are addressing public safety in our city. These groups review data and assess shared experiences across the district, the city, and community partners.
This spring, this partnership helped spark a pilot program in five schools funded by the city to expand mental health resources for students. The funding is enabling the district to hire additional staff and mental health clinicians. The city funding is also paying for trauma-informed training for SPS staff. Rainier Beach, Chief Sealth International, and Ingraham high schools and Denny and Aki Kurose middle schools have been identified as the pilot schools.
The wellness council has evolved into a group of physicians, clinicians, and first responders who are developing a set of recommendations to introduce a mental health awareness campaign for Seattle.
Across the district, the School Traffic Safety Committee and Safe Routes to Schools partnerships are helping SPS improve neighborhood and before and after school safety. These programs seek to improve safety in areas around schools and strengthen community connections. Read more about the city’s Safe Routes to School program.
Operations to Support Safe and Welcoming Schools
While we never want to experience emergencies in schools, it is vital we take the necessary precautions. The district’s security response takes a multifaceted approach – fostering safety systems, increased interventions for students, and emergency response for reported incidents.
SPS strategies to build and expand support for our students and staff include:
Strengthen case management collaboration between Coordinated School Health and Safety and Security teams to help identify and address behaviors before they lead to violence
Continue to deliver safety and security training and support for school staff
Sustain consistent building safety standards
Expand community partnerships to improve neighborhood safety around our schools and before or after school hours
Please remember, we all play a role in school safety. There are many ways to report school safety concerns. If you or your student sees something that seems wrong, or if they know someone who needs help, please report it right away.
Reports of suspicious or threatening activity are most helpful when they include key observations such as who or what you saw, when you saw it, where it occurred, and why it is a concern.
Call 911 to report or request assistance during an emergency.
Use our Safe Schools Hotline 206-252-0510 to report any threats to SPS schools. This phone number is managed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
High school students, families, and community may submit anonymous safety tips on our high school smart phone apps.
To download the School Info App, open your phone’s app store and search Ingraham High School.
How SPS Responds to Reported Incidents
When we receive an urgent incident report at one of our schools, an on-call specialized group of SPS staff quickly gathers. The team works directly with school staff to evaluate the information and determine the best response.
Our priority is to secure the campus and manage the safety of our students and staff. For some safety concerns, we work with city first responders for additional public safety support. As we work to dispatch support and monitor the situation, we notify the school community to keep our families and staff informed and engaged. We understand the desire to receive immediate notification. We do our best to provide timely and accurate information.
Our district is making considerable progress in strengthening school safety through improvements and partnerships.
I am grateful for the dedication and commitment of our safety professionals, our operations, and school health teams for the ways they are collaborating to support our students and staff.
Dr. Brent Jones Superintendent Seattle Public Schools
FOI Meeting with Superintendent Jones
On Thursday May 18, representatives of Friends of Ingraham were invited to meet with the senior executive team at Seattle Public Schools. The district was represented by: Martin Floe – Principal Brent Jones – Superintendent SPS Ted Howard – Assistant Superintendent Strategy & Climate Fred Podesta – Interim Deputy Superintendent Beverly Redmond – Interim Chief of Staff Benjamin Coulter – Assistant Manager of Safety and Security Pat Sander – Executive Director of Coordinated School Health Stephanie Edler – Mental Health Program Manager Marni Campbell – Executive Director of Operations
Friends of Ingraham was represented by the executive board as well as 2 parents who have been leading safety advocacy and recently testified at the school board meeting. At the meeting, the district confirmed its commitment to continually working to improve safety. The district attendees were able to outline a tremendous number of efforts that are currently underway in response to the tragic shooting in November. We strongly encouraged the district to start informing the Ingraham community now through a series of emails outlining their efforts, and urged them to not wait until the end of the school year to provide one large update as is their plan. We made it very clear to SPS leadership that every parent in our community deserves to understand how SPS is working to create an ecosystem in which mental health supports, safety improvements, and accountability work in concert to prevent violence in our school. Given the complexity and variety of efforts that are occurring, we will allow the district to describe their work. There is no way for a group of volunteer parents to accurately relay this information to parents or the public.
Thank you for trusting us to advocate on your behalf. Please keep your questions and comments coming so we can be aware of your concerns. Please send any comments or questions to email@example.com FOI Exec Board Trina Nonis, Vice President Kathleen Zagers, Treasurer and incoming Board President Shelby Ehren Meengs, Secretary