As President of the Lowell Parent Teacher Student Association (LPTSA), I would like to respond on behalf of the LPTSA to Principal Jones’ letter of April 6, 2023, closing the campus for the near term. Thank you to all who have offered opinions and feedback on this important issue. We have discussed your concerns with Dr. Jones and wanted to share our understanding of the key points from his letter:
- Between incidents locally and nationwide, the security situation at all schools is an evolving one. Individual states, cities, and schools are making decisions that are right for their specific situations, with the hope that students and staff will be more safe. That is the driver of the action being taken — safety of the campus population. School safety at Lowell is one of Dr. Jones’ highest priorities right now.
- The focus of this specific safety action is on threat identification and deterrence. To that end, lanyards/ID need to be worn to identify students and staff on campus — lanyards paid for in-part by the LPTSA, with your (the parent community’s) donations. While this school policy has been on the books since fall 2022 (see Lowell Student & Family Handbook 22-23, Identification Badges policy page 25), it has been seen as optional rather than a requirement. It is a requirement, and quite an easy one to follow.
- The Lowell campus closure is temporary. We have asked Dr Jones to elaborate further on the tiered metrics mentioned in his letter. But our understanding is that once the Administration sees significant adherence to the ID policy, the Administration will be able to "re-open” the school in a way that they feel is appropriate.
A safety-related question that came up in the email discussion was around the Columbine lock installation, and was answered by Dr Jones at the recent Town Hall — installation is underway, and about 70% complete, which is very good news. We ALL want our children, and the Lowell staff working with them during the school day to be safe. We sincerely hope this effort increases safety on our campus.
22-23 LPTSA President