I want to thank our families and community for partnering with us and trusting us as we addressed a safety threat in our school district. I understand the heightened sense of concern around a safety incident when there are limited details about the

I want to thank our families and community for partnering with us and trusting us as we addressed a safety threat in our school district. I understand the heightened sense of concern around a safety incident when there are limited details about the situation. In instances of this nature, it is critical that we protect the integrity of the investigation, which oftentimes doesn’t afford us to share. The district did hold a press conference earlier today with the Cedar Rapids Police Department and local media outlets. To watch the video and learn more about the ongoing investigation, click here.

I want to reassure you that the safety of our students and staff is our top priority. Thank you for allowing us to suspend classes on Monday. This allowed us to continue to work with the police department to gain more information and for our administration and staff to prepare a plan that allowed us to resume classes in a safe manner. In addition, I want to thank our district staff for being present and prepared today. 

The situation has given the district the opportunity to reevaluate our everyday safety procedures in our buildings. We are committed to maintaining a safe and secure learning environment where our teachers can teach, and our students can learn without fear. At CRCSD, fighting, violence, and any other forms of misconduct that may jeopardize the safety of our students, staff, and community are unacceptable. Know that we take all threats seriously.  

I created and shared a video with our students this morning that outlines these same expectations. I have included links to the videos below. Please review the video so you can discuss and reinforce the information at home. Counselors and other crisis support teams are available at our schools for students who have concerns about this incident. Also, monitor your student’s social media accounts for any suspicious or concerning material and remind them about the importance of reporting anything that threatens their well-being. 

Here is the vital information for the remainder of the week as we continue our precautionary safety measures.

  • Early bird classes and AM activities/practices will resume. Coaches and staff will be examining all student bags brought to the buildings.
  • School bus transportation will run as normal.
  • Champions before and after school daycare will operate on regular hours. No student backpacks, bags, or purses will be allowed, unless using a clear, see-through bag. Lunch boxes are allowed but will be examined by Champions staff.
  • Students and staff must access each school building using only one or two designated entrance points before, during, and after the school day. The designated entrances will be indicated with signage. 
  • No student backpacks, bags, or purses of any kind will be allowed at any CRCSD school. Students should only bring their Chromebook and school supplies needed for the day. Students may use a clear, see-through bag to help carry these items. 
  • If a student comes to school with a backpack, purse, or non-clear bag, school staff will ask them to remove the items they need for the day and then place the bag in the school office until the end of the day. Students will not be allowed to access the bag during the school day.
  • Students may bring lunch boxes, but school staff will examine them when the student arrives at school.
  • All adult visitors to school buildings will have their bags or purses examined by school staff.
  • If a student leaves the building during the school day for any reason, they will be required to enter through the main entrance of the school and be checked in through the office.
  • Feminine hygiene products will be available from the school nurse’s office should students need them and they don’t want to carry them in their pockets or in a clear bag.
  • Adult spectators at all CRCSD-hosted sporting events are asked to use clear, see-through bags, or to leave bags in their car. All bags are subject to examination.  Student spectators will not be allowed to bring bags, backpacks, or purses to an event. This is similar to the new Kingston policy.

While we have resumed classes with our return to learn plan, our work toward creating a safe and secure learning environment does not stop here. With the Board of Education’s support, we have hired a Safe and Secure Learning Coordinator who has been instrumental in being a point of contact with the police department and providing support directly to our school. We have also formed a dedicated task force, comprised of members from our community, to review and analyze our code of conduct, progressive discipline matrix, and alternative and restorative practices, as we are committed to providing our students with high-quality learning experiences in a safe environment with caring adults.

Thank you for your understanding and your cooperation as we work together to ensure the safety of our school community.  If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to our school administration or counseling staff. I would like to thank the Cedar Rapids Police Department for their hard work and the resources they have extended to us. With this type of collaboration, we know that our students and staff can be safe in our schools and in our city.

-Superintendent Dr. Tawana Grover