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School Safety: Looking Back...

Dear School Community: 

As I approach my 22nd year in public education, and when I think about student achievement , other aspects come to mind. Yes, we are in the business of educating children, but being a former high, middle & elementary school principal as well as Director of Special Education Services over 12 years in the Dunmore School District, being an educator in general is so much more. In the past, there was a belief that if school wasn't safe, education could not take place. This same concept is even more real today. 

Schools across the United States, including us here at WA, participated in a nationwide "Walkout" by students calling for safer schools following the devasting school shootings in Parkland, FL. Unfortuantely, many students have been caught in the middle about the heated discussion of guns. Legislators across the country, along with the president, are grappling with the no-win argument. 

I don't know about you, but when I began my first principal's assignment in 2003, school security was not a consuming topic. Yes, school safety was important, but having a school resource officer involved the principal in dealing with smoking citations and attendance. Today, we are securing all of our doors, watching video surveillance, using metal detectors and holding our breath while doing all we can to keep students safe. 

I recently read an article that stated, "A school's best defense is a good offense in working with students. It is important to get to know as many of your students and families as possible. Being an educational leader means knowing your clients." 

High stake testing, curriculum, and assessment will all fall in place if one learns the culture of one's school while families are supporting the educational process by asking questions first . 


Robert Galella, Director of Curriculum 

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