Approximately 3,000 students will be welcomed back to the Wayne County Schools campus on the first day of classes on Wednesday, August 14.

    Orientation activities are underway at each of the five school 
buildings. Kindergarteners through seniors and their families are 
learning everything from codes of conduct to bus routes to meal plans 
as general expectations are shared for the 2019-2020 school year.
    Instruction continues to be the focus for the Wayne County School 
system. Kentucky has  new standards for reading, writing, math, 
health/PE and computer science. Teachers have been preparing for 
implementation of these standards since the spring. High quality 
reading instruction, with a special emphasis on meeting individual 
student needs will continue to be the  goal.
    This year, school security will be emphasized with the assistance of 
two school resource officers already in place that monitor hallways 
and patrol the campus. With the recent enactment of KRS 158.162, 
Wayne County Schools will be implementing some new required 
procedures for visitors to the schools.
    All entrances into the schools will be locked at all times, with the 
main entrance to have an electronic system to buzz visitors into the 
main offices.  Along with the enactment of this new Kentucky law, 
schools will have a common protocol to go over with visitors before 
they enter the building and common signage as listed below will be 
posted at all main entrances.
      Welcome to the Wayne County Schools!  Keeping our students and 
staff safe is our top priority.  Therefore, we screen all visitors to 
enter our building.  Please comply with the following steps:
    • Press button to call school secretary.
    • When asked, state your name and the reason for your visit.
    • Upon entering the building, please report directly to the main 
office.
    • Please be ready to show identification.
    • If you will be staying in the building, you will be asked to wear 
a visitor badge.
    "While it is not always required to have an appointment, we strongly 
urge visitors to call in advance and set up an appointment.  Visitors 
will be asked if they have an appointment, as part of the protocol 
before they enter the school.  If a visitor does not have an 
appointment, it may be necessary to have the secretary make an 
appointment.  We do not want to disrupt instructional time for our 
students," explained Wayne County School Superintendent Wayne Roberts.
    "We want our schools to be welcoming and we encourage parent 
involvement; however, the times we are living in dictate a stronger 
focus on security," said Roberts. "We are implementing this new 
mandate and adding more resources and trainings in order to be 
prepared for as many scenarios as possible, in hopes that they never 
occur."
    If visitors arrive to pick up their child, they will be asked to 
show their Identification and must be on the approved parental parent 
pick up list.
    "While some of our schools had already implemented the controlled 
entrance concept, visitors can expect a more thorough process of 
vetting prior to being admitted, and this will include visitors who 
are already known to front office staff," noted Wayne County Safe 
Schools Coordinator Stewart York. "In addition, classroom doors will 
remain closed and locked during instructional time in the near future."
    York said a threat assessment team has been appointed at each 
school as a proactive measure. They will be participating in training 
later this week concerning the Comprehensive School Threat Assessment 
Guidelines, formerly known as the Virginia Threat Assessment. This 
training will consist of procedures for these school-based teams to 
recognize and analyze a wide range of potentially violent situations, 
and to assess and respond effectively to those threats. Multiple 
student and staff trainings will follow after classes begin, as well 
as continuing valuable ties with local law enforcement.
    "We will also be training on a trauma informed approach that 
includes recognizing symptoms and trauma in students, and utilizing 
interventions and strategies to support the learning needs of those 
students. School counselors and school based mental health services 
providers will be trained first, and then other staff will receive 
training from them as time progresses," explained York.
    While most students have been off for the summer, numerous 
professional staff development trainings have been held in-house on 
all kinds of instructional and special service topics. For instance, 
on Tuesday, August 6, the annual eight-hour update training was held 
for transportation employees. Safety, first aid, and practical 
driving tips and classroom instruction were on the agenda. A fleet of 
close to 70 school buses have been inspected that travel 2,600 miles 
a day transporting students. Five new buses will be on the road, 
along with eight newly purchased used buses that have all been upgraded.
    "We will hold bus evacuation drills during the school day during the 
first couple weeks of school so every student can be reached 
regardless of whether they are transported by bus on a daily basis, 
or merely ride our buses on field trips or to extra-curricular 
events," said Wayne County Transportation Director Don Neal.        
    Motorists need to be cautious when the three different loads of 
students are on the roads, especially between the hours of 6:00-8:00 
a.m. and 3:30-4:30 p.m. Preschool buses with monitors also travel 
during mid-day routes between 10:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
    Drivers are asked to always be conscious of stops the buses make 
along their routes, where stop arms and blinking lights signal 
motorists to stop going either direction.
 

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