Safe Environments

08-29-2021Nurse's LetterShannon David, RN, NCSN

In May of 2016, A World at School asked children, from all over the world, to draw pictures of what a safe school would look like. Though representing many different countries and cultures, the colorful drawings conveyed one unifying message: “that all children, no matter where they live or what their situation is, want to learn in a place that is safe and secure.” (Safe Schools in Drawings). The need for safety and security is so foundational that Maslow places it at the base of his Hierarchy of Needs.

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School has a long history of working to provide a safe environment in which children can learn, grow and be formed in our Faith. Every person who comes on to campus is asked to complete SET (Safe Environment Training) aimed at protecting children from exploitation and abuse. Throughout the years, changes have been made to the physical campus, improving security, and the procedures for visitors coming to campus have evolved as well. With the help of law enforcement, procedures for “lockdown”, fire, and evacuations have been established and are practiced. Our Smart, Healthy & Holy plan, for meeting the challenges brought on by the Pandemic, is another way that we are maintaining a safe environment for our children. Adhering to the current practices--increased hand hygiene, mask wearing when necessary, physical distancing, monitoring children for illness and staying home when sick, all lessen the chance of an outbreak of COVID on campus. Even our drop-off and pick-up of students was developed with student safety in mind. It is worth noting that, at its inception the SET program was titled “Called to Protect”. As members of the OLMC community, we all understand that we are “called to protect” the most vulnerable among us. When the adults take care of things that pose a potential threat around them, children are free to learn without anxiety. One other message that A World at School discovered--children from North America, South America, Asia, Africa and Australia all smile the same way! The smiles on our students’ faces each day bring joy to our environment!

Oh, Star of the Sea, help & protect us!