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Monday, February 19, 2018

Student and Staff Safety is a Priority!

Columbia School District puts the safety of our students and staff members first.  Our administrative team has been diligently working with local law enforcement to thwart violent actions in our schools.  As a community of learners, Columbia School District believes that student safety is paramount.

At each of our schools, Columbia School District principals and staff members schedule and conduct lockdown and evacuation drills in cooperation with the Columbia Township police and fire department.  This past summer, Columbia School District administration collaborated with our local law enforcement and fire department personnel to update and improve our district-wide emergency response plan.  During the professional development time the staff reviewed the procedures for various types of crisis should a threat transpire.  This emergency response design is a dynamic plan and is updated with up-to-date information and advice.

Over the past six years, the Columbia School District Family has collaborated on increasing the safety of our students and staff members.  The secure entry vestibules, the camera and buzz-in systems at our main entrances allowing us to keep the perimeter doors locked throughout the school day, the video system in all of the hallways, the upgrades and collaboration with our local law enforcement and fire departments are evidence of our commitment and focus on the safety of our students and staff members. 

The Columbia School District needs your help.  While our teachers, staff and administrators have worked diligently to keep our schools safe, your awareness of posts on social media, comments you or your children may hear in school or at events, should be reported to the police, and our school office immediately.  Please make sure your children are aware of OK2SAY, which is a website available at, or report through a text to 652729, or call their toll free number at 855.565.2729.  A tip could also be emailed to 

The repeated reports of high profile acts of violence may upset children or teens.  The websites for school counselors and school psychologists both have resources and tips to assist you as you help your children process the recent school violence (  You may want to contact your child’s school counselor for assistance with concern regarding your child: Mrs. Diefenthaler is the counselor at CCHS and may be reached by email at; Mrs. Phelps is the counselor at Columbia Elementary and may be contacted at; Mrs. Schatzle is the counselor at Columbia Central Junior High and Columbia Upper Elementary and may be emailed at .

Please continue to be vigilant, offer suggestions and work collaboratively together as the strong resilient Columbia community that we are.  As you process the recent events with your children and families, please keep the Florida in your thoughts and prayers.  As always, if you have questions or concerns, please email me at