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Safety First

Dear Rivermont Families, Students, and Friends,
 
There is nothing more important to us than the safety of our students; our children. Having three boys enrolled, I am appealing to you today as a school leader and fellow parent. Our children are our inspiration, our lives' work, our greatest challenges, and our most important teachers. Despite having much to teach us, our responsibility to keep them safe can seem daunting. I'm writing today to call to your attention a few safety issues that have been on my mind lately.
 
I worry about safety in the drop-off and pick-up carlines. I've received several complaints from parents and faculty about parent's speed during drop off and pick up. I think the feedback is well-intentioned and worth your careful consideration. Daily, I see parents driving onto campus too quickly - some because they might be running late, some because they are overly comfortable with the curves of our campus roads, etc. I've also occasionally seen parents behaving rudely to our faculty and each other during carline. Our campus is no place to be in a hurry. No matter the circumstance, please slow down and encourage others to do so as well. If someone behind you is tailgating and seems in a hurry, breath, don't be rushed, and by all means, take your time. If you're the hurried tailgater and the person in front of you isn't moving fast enough, take it as a caring and gentle reminder, from a fellow parent or guardian, of what is most important: the people in our lives.
 
When dropping off or picking up students in the circle, please pull off to the right when stopping, so that others may pass you on the left. This will help traffic move smoothly and improve safety.
 
In other traffic news, a neighbor (who was walking her dog) was almost hit by one of our cars at the bottom of the hill, where our campus road exits onto Mississippi Boulevard. I must confess that I have not always made a complete stop when exiting campus, myself. I am redoubling my commitment to driving slowly through campus and stop completely at the stop signs. I hope you'll join me.
 
If you have not noticed, we have installed several security cameras at various locations around campus. They are placed in both visible and hidden locations. Signs have also been posted saying that there should be no trespassing, the campus is private property, and that surveillance cameras are in use. Video footage is automatically recorded and we have the ability to record at night. The system allows us to go back and look at the footage to see who was here and when an event took place. In addition to deterring trespassers and curious teenagers who want to explore the grounds after hours, these cameras are an effective deterrent for student misbehavior. Please speak with your child and let them know that when they are in public areas on campus, they are on camera. Thankfully, it appears we do not have a problem with the types of issues that are pervasive in other schools without a selective admissions process. Nevertheless, this aspect of safety is worth speaking with your child about. When problems occur, and they always do, know that our team is here to help and committed to maintaining a culture of honor and excellence.
 
Finally, I have a few notes about upcoming events:
  • An evening with the Headmaster is scheduled for Tuesday, September 20th, at 6:00 PM. I will be giving a very brief introduction to some of the goals I have for this year. I've asked my administrative team to join me in sharing what they will be working on this year. The presentation will be brief and afterward, we will have time to connect socially. Light refreshments will be served.
  • I will be sending out a few surveys this year, as part of my review of how the school runs and exploring what we can do to make your experience great. School communication is a very tricky topic. Often we receive complaints that people didn't receive communication about something when we know emails were sent with the information. This is a good opportunity to reflect on what we communicate and how we communicate it. Knowing that people consume information and media in a variety of ways, we would like your input on how we can best communicate with you. Look for a survey from our Communications Department in the coming days. Your participation is greatly appreciated.  
In closing, I encourage all families, regardless of what grade your child is in, to attend our athletic events. I watched a girls' volleyball home game this week and it was so much fun! The food was excellent, the fans were great, and the athletes were inspiring. Come on out, cheer our student athletes, and join me in shouting, "go Lions!"

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