Community Survey FAQ
Will virtual learning be available when the individual is released?
No. In-person learning will continue with additional safety and security measures in place.
Additional Safety Measures
- There will be an increased presence of safety officers on campus during arrival, dismissal, and other times throughout the day.
- The gate on the southside of the Multipurpose Room is locked. Students and staff will no longer enter or exit through this entrance. The front entrance is the point of entry moving forward for drop-off/pick-up, walkers, and preschool students.
- Students who ride the bus use the north entrance to enter and exit quickly and safely.
- Outdoor activities are reduced while still allowing students to get exercise.
- Classrooms in portables 7 and 8 on the southside of the school building have moved to portables on the eastside of the building.
- The track and playground on the southside of the building is closed. Students are limited to the blacktop area, the big toy, basketball/wall ball area, and the field along 256th street on the northside of the school property.
- The district installed screening on current fencing on the southside of the school building in front of the playground and track area as an extra measure of safety.
How long will the increased security presence last?
KSD Safety Services and Kent PD are monitoring the situation and will determine the best course of action if/when the person is released. We will continue working together to keep our community safe. If you see something, please call 911 if there is an emergency, Kent PD to report unusual activity at (253) 856-5800, or KSD Safety Services at 253-373-7256.
Will we be notified immediately if things change?
Communication will be sent as soon as possible if things change, or new information is available.
Are kids going to avoid the area by the houses during recess?
- Outdoor activities have been reduced while still allowing students to get exercise.
- Classrooms in portables 7 and 8 on the south side of the school building have been moved to portables on the east side of the building.
- The track and playground on the south side of the building is closed. Students have been limited to the blacktop area, the big toy, basketball/wall ball area, and the field along 256th street on the northside of the school property.
Will there be an adult back by the field at all times?
Yes. During regular school days/hours our playground monitor(s) will be with students at all times when they are outside.
What processes will change?
After the community listening session and conversations with Kent PD, we will work more closely with law enforcement on communications and what can be done inside the building in a prolonged situation such as the one that occurred at our school on November 14.
We are adding a second location, Kentwood High School, to our reunification plan as another option should an event occur in the future and if it is safe to evacuate the school.
We will implement additional communications should there be another incident in the future. Please know, this type of prolonged incident has not occurred in the Kent School District in the last 10 years.
We are researching a new drop-off and pick-up procedure for additional parent communication and safety. We will let our families know if/when it is available.
With what has taken place, is there a way to have an emergency early release system in place so that students, families, and staff can vacate the area as immediately as possible to ensure their utmost safety?
There is an emergency release plan and we have learned from this situation. We are adding Kentwood High School, in addition to Faith Church, as one of our reunification locations. We would release students to families at one of these locations in the event the school needs to be evacuated. If it is determined that it is safe to evacuate, this plan will be implemented. We would communicate all reunification information as soon as possible via email, phone, and text in the event of a future situation involving a school evacuation.
These types of situations are fluid, and the safety of students and staff is our priority. In the incident on Monday, November 14, the suspect had access to a rifle from a second story window facing the school property. It was not recommended to evacuate the school.
Will the school be notified when the suspect is released?
Yes, Kent PD has assured us notification will be sent if the suspect is released.
Will police be in contact if they visit the house during non-school hours or before school starts in the future?
Yes. Kent Police Chief Padilla indicated at the community listening session they will notify the district or school.
Will the school be obtaining a restraining order or no contact order against the suspect?
Individuals can obtain a protection order and yes, the staff member who was threatened has been issued a protection order. This means the individual cannot come within 1,000 feet of the person named in the protection order or the school grounds.
If this were to happen again, will there be maps emailed to parents of safe evacuation and rally points to escort their children off the premises to expedite the process for all staff members to safely leave the area as well?
There are safety evacuation measures in place for students and staff. If it is determined that students need to be reunified with families at another location, information would be provided.
If the threat happened with a school staff member at around 8:00 a.m., why wasn’t school cancelled?
The incident with the staff member was still being reported and investigated and at that time not connected to the incident at the residence bordering school property.
If the Kent police was there at the suspect’s house at 5:30 a.m., why didn’t Kent police share that information to Kent School District to cancel school on that day?
Kent Police Padilla indicated at the community listening session the police will notify the district or school in the event of any future situations.
Why did it take four days to arrest the person?
The judge did not grant an order to enter the suspect’s house and with the new non-pursuit law in place, it has become more complex to pursue and arrest suspects. On the day the individual was taken into custody, the police used a helicopter and police vehicles to track the person and were eventually able to take him into custody. Please consider contacting your legislators to let your opinion be heard on current legislation that prohibits police from pursuing and arresting suspects quickly.
Why didn’t we get updates throughout the day regarding the lockdown that was implemented?
One of our key takeaways will be to implement additional communications should there be another incident in the future. Please know, this type of prolonged incident has not occurred in the Kent School District in the last 10 years.
On Monday, November 14, there were four communications sent to families. The first communication was sent soon after the school was placed in lockdown at 10:00 a.m., another in the afternoon with a situation update and preparing for alternate dismissal plans, and the third was regarding dismissal plan details. The last communication was sent later that evening.