The news of recent school shootings across the nation bring to light Astoria School District’s own safety concerns within its schools. As a result of the latest events, the district sought assistance from local, trained individuals within the community to help identify and resolve potential safety issues within its school buildings.

The committee toured all district properties and met with school administrators. The members provided insight, awareness and procedural recommendations to support increased protection for Astoria students and staff.

The Astoria School Board will review the findings of the safety assessment and set a timeline to implement the necessary recommendations at their next regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. May 8 in the third-floor boardroom at Gray School. The discussion will include staff training, communications, emergency procedures and high-priority safety measures. In addition, the following members of the safety assessment team will be recognized for their time, commitment and dedication to increase student safety within our district:

• Astoria Police Department Officer Matt Clausen

• Parent Dave Fitch

• Lt. Col. Jim Mitchell of the Oregon Air National Guard; and

• Sgt. Matt Phillips of the Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office

“Undoubtedly, providing a safe environment for students and staff is imperative,” wrote Astoria Superintendent Craig Hoppes. “On behalf of the district, I would like to express our most sincere gratitude to these individuals.”