Dear Parents and Guardians;

Thank you very much to all who have reached out to us at this very sad and tragic time for students and families in Florida. We, at AMHS, want to assure you that we continuously refine our steps to ensure the safety of your children and our staff while they are on campus. At this time, there are two full-time school resource officers who serve the entire campus for AMHS and SOA. They are on site during regular school hours as well as school events. The campus building is virtually locked down between 8:30AM and 3:30PM with entrance only through Building 8 for any visitors. Access to campus requires a sign in procedure and identification. The perimeter campus gates are open during regular school hours, but locked between 9PM and 6AM. 

Counselors and teachers meet on a regular and routine basis to review any students that show signs of both academic and emotional difficulties.  Fellow students are encouraged to share any concerns and follow-up is confidential and timely. It is unfortunate that in most school shooting situations, the shooter is often a student or is known to students. We are very insistent on all of our students wearing their ID badges in a highly visible manner. Random weapon searches have been piloted at other CCSD schools.  I would certainly be amenable to that protocol, and will be reviewing the viability with school and district security experts.

Having very personal experience with taking over the principalship of a high school in Oregon in the aftermath of a school shooting, I am especially sensitive to this difficult topic of school security.  I welcome you to share your concerns and thoughts as a parent of an AMHS student.  Of course, the much greater issue of gun control is one that elicits a variety of personal responses, and all of us hold a responsibility to share those views with those who can make a difference. 

Finally, I quote from Dr. Cook at SOA, “I am asking that all of you spend time getting to know your “digital” son or daughter. The school has NO ACCESS to your child’s online profile- parents have the ability to read every message, scroll through every album, review browsing history, and see who their children “follow” and “like.”  If you’re not sure what to look for, or how to use the many social media platforms, please request help.”

Below is a link to an excellent document entitled, “A National Tragedy: Helping Children Cope.” This document, prepared by the National Association of School Psychologists, provides parents and school personnel with ideas and age-appropriate responses to recent events:

Kind regards,

Catherine Spencer, AMHS Principal


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