By Brian Wharton

Later this month our district will lead an ongoing conversation about safety within our community.  I am really excited about the collaborations involved in working to educate our families on a wide variety of topics that concern us all.  We are calling this program a “Community Safety Series.”

During the school year we will host four events around the district.  Each event will explore a different topic of concern.  The format of each event will be a panel discussion by experts on the topic, followed by a vendor fair where citizens can explore the topic in more detail and engage with community resources.

The first event will be held Nov. 28 at Yelm High School.  The topic will be “Making Schools Safer.” Our strong partnership with Yelm Police allows us to demonstrate how we work together to identify safety needs and plan together on safety procedures.  

The second event in this series will be held on Jan. 16 at Yelm Middle School.  Our panel and vendors will explore the issues of harassment, cyber safety and human trafficking in our community.  Regional experts will present information, ideas, and school prevention programs will be highlighted.

We will hold our third event on March 20 at Ridgeline Middle School.  The focus will be on mental and physical health resources in our community along with education on suicide prevention.  

Our last event will be on May 1 hosted by Fort Stevens Elementary.  Our focus will be on Positive Parenting strategies and community supports for people dealing with drug and alcohol issues.  

Community safety is an important issue for everyone in Yelm.  Our hope with the Community Safety Series is to increase awareness about far reaching topics that impact schools, families and Yelm.  Community safety is also enhanced through partnerships and by access to area resources.  I strongly encourage everyone to access our website at www.ycs.wednet.edu to learn more about these four programs.  Flyers are available at all our schools and throughout Yelm.  On each date, the doors will open at 5:30 p.m. with the panel presentation starting at 6:00.  There will be activities in the vendor areas and door prizes provided by local businesses. 

Please join us in helping to make our schools and community safer.

Brian Wharton is superintendent for Yelm Community Schools.

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