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Steinhaus Shares Letter On LAPS Follow-up From Tuesday Bank Robbery In White Rock

on November 22, 2017 - 4:02pm
By Superintendent Dr. Kurt Steinhaus
Los Alamos Public Schools

Dear Parents and LAPS Employees,

As follow-up to yesterday’s events following a bank robbery in White Rock, it is comforting to know that all students and staff are safe and there were no injuries.  Thanksgiving holiday has new meaning this year! 

Here is information from today’s debrief.  Please feel free to send any additional reflections or suggestions for improvement.

First, I extend sincere appreciation to parents for your patience and understanding.  Your students are to be commended for remaining calm, following instructions and adapting to changing circumstances.  For LAPS staff, thank you for making sure that everything went smoothly.  I extend special appreciation to the Principals, teachers, and staff at Chamisa & Pinon Elementary Schools and staff at the Central Office who managed the emergency.  We had to quickly make important safety decisions in real time, sometimes based upon incomplete information.  Sincere thanks also goes out to the Los Alamos Police Department and Chief Dino Sgambellone.  We had excellent communications with LAPD. It was truly a team effort.

Everyone worked well together and extended a caring hand, when needed.  Among many positive comments from parents, here is one example:  I would like to commend you, the teachers, and the entire staff for the way in which the lockout ordeal was conducted.  It demonstrates the efficiency, professionalism, and levelheadedness of the teachers and staff under potential danger for everyone at the school.  It is reassuring to know that our children’s safety and well-being is a priority for LAPS. 

Second, we have learned that most email addresses are up-to-date and fully functional. In contrast, our PowerSchool records with phone numbers that accept text messages is lacking accurate information. In the next several weeks, we will be sending instructions about how to update your personal information in order to receive text messages about emergencies or inclement weather delays.

Third, I want everyone to know that each LAPS school and the district have Safety Plans that follow new state requirements. In fact, yesterday morning before the bank robbery, we were working on the latest updates. Part of the plan includes our Standard Response Protocol: LOCKOUT, LOCKDOWN, EVACUATE, and SHELTER. 

Yesterday, we were on LOCKOUT which means everyone indoors, increase situational awareness, lock doors, take attendance, and work toward business as usual.

As one parent said: Thanks for all you did yesterday to keep our kids safe!