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Principal's Message

February 23, 2018

Puma Parents/Guardians:

Please forgive me as I have not directly addressed you since the horrific event of last week’s tragedy in Florida.  I promise you… When I see such things, my mind immediately reflects on the safety of the Pine Valley students and staff… and of course, the school campuses where I send my own boys each day.  Remember, I am a parent, too.

Though my first inclination last week was to send you an email assuring you of your child’s safety, I stopped as I was simply at a loss for words.  The fact is, Pine Valley and most schools across this country are just simply vulnerable. I think that is why school attacks impact us at our emotional core… because our vulnerabilities get exposed.

Over the past week, I have spent a great deal of time reflecting on Pine Valley’s safety. In addition, I have had multiple conversations with people who can positively impact your child’s safety.  Here is a list of things we have done or will do in the upcoming days;

  • The Pine Valley administrators reviewed our emergency lock down procedures.  Though we already had an “active shooter drill” in October, we will have another in March.  This time, perhaps during a passing period or during lunch to prepare students for any situation that may arise
  • We discussed with our San Ramon Police Department School Resource Officer, Marty Echelmeier, the latest safety procedures to better our emergency responses. Officer Echelmeier will also participate in our drill in March.
  • Met with the SRVUSD assistant superintendent of Facilities and Operations to discuss additional fencing/gates between the bike rack and gym, as well as fencing/gates between the gym and the backside of the C building.  I also want to discuss with Facilities and Operations the installation of surveillance cameras on campus that would allow SRPD access to the video feed in case of an emergency. I also want to discuss the option of a video camera with video monitors in the front office that would allow PV staff to keep our front gates shut at all times.  This way, as visitors try and enter campus, the front office would have to “buzz” them in.
  • At our staff meeting next week, Officer Echelmeier will lead a discussion with staff on how to best communicate during an emergency.
  • Continue to remind students and parents to come forward and report anything suspicious they may hear or see.  They can report concerns directly to the police, an adult on campus, or anonymously via the district’s Tip Line or the “Report It” link on the school’s website.

Even if the entire list above became a reality, please know that I am completely aware that more fences, cameras and drills will not guarantee complete campus safety.  However, treating the symptoms of a greater issue is all I can offer you at this time.  As the larger issues of gun control and mental illness are decided by others, the Pine Valley staff promises you that we will continue to do everything possible to provide your child with the safe campus they deserve and that you have the right to expect.

Thank you to the parents who have reached out over the last few days with questions and concerns. Although this tragic event occurred on the other side of the country; when a parent grieves the loss of a child, the world feels a little smaller and much more fragile.


Jason Law

Mr. Jason M. Law


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