A Message From Our Principal

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    Feb. 22, 2018

     

    Dear Denton High School Families:

     

    Like many of you, I am often at a loss for words when it comes to describing the tragic events that unfolded in Parkland, Fla. last week. It is heartbreaking to see so many families affected by a senseless act of violence that has become too common across our country. This tragedy has shed light on the safety and security of thousands of students across the country and I can safely say that as the parent of two DISD students and principal of a school to more than 2000 children, it definitely has hit close to home here at Denton High School.

     

    Our superintendent, Dr. Jamie Wilson, reached out to you earlier this week in an effort to let you know that we take the safety of our students and staff very seriously and are always looking at ways to improve these measures. I am following up with you today to inform you that we have taken this task to heart and are reviewing our processes and procedures on a daily basis.

     

    Please know that we follow the guidelines set by the Texas School Safety Center and meet the requirements set by the Texas Education Code which can be found here: https://txssc.texstate.edu/pubs/dar-2017/  

    All of our school buildings are equipped with security cameras around the perimeter - which are monitored daily - and restricted keycard access to exterior doors. All deliveries to our buildings must come through a secure entrance outside the front office or directly to service personnel at specific points during low student traffic times. The unique design and location of Denton High School (in a neighborhood with city streets on all sides) poses challenges to constant monitoring of traffic flow. You may have noticed increased traffic signage around the campus – this is an on-going collaboration with the City of Denton too address pedestrian and vehicle flow around DHS.

    Denton High School has a full-time Student Resource Officer (SRO) on campus. This is a veteran Denton Police Department officer with specific training in school security issues. Officer Black works in conjunction with campus administration to define and implement the campus security plan. We are in the process of an annual review of this security plan and additional assets and training are being evaluated.  Some of these additions include higher resolution security cameras and monitoring equipment for administrators and the SRO (to address the traffic flow issue above and better monitor access points).

    The district has received inquiries on safety measures, lockdown processes and evacuation procedures from parents in the community. I want to reassure you that we have these in place and our staff is well versed in how to handle these situations, however, we cannot share these details because we do not want to compromise the safety and security of our campus during these instances. As I mentioned above, we are currently reviewing the campus security plan to ensure that it is as up-to-date as possible.

    The reality today is that no place is 100 percent safe from acts of terror; tragedies across the country constantly remind us of this fact. Yet our administrators, teachers and staff are committed to making Denton High School as safe as it can be and we welcome you helping us in this effort. If at any time you see something that causes some concern regarding school safety or security please contact me directly at jhays@dentonisd.org

    Again, as a principal and father of two DISD students, I want you to understand that school safety and security is a primary concern – students cannot excel if they are uncomfortable in their surroundings. Thank you for your trust in me and the administration of Denton High School.

     

    Sincerely,

     

    Joel H. Hays

    Principal