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Springfield Public Schools

Jennifer Gill, Superintendent
1900 West Monroe Street
Springfield, IL 62704
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Letter from Superintendent Gill on Oct. 5 Emergency Response

October 6, 2017

Dear District 186 Families,

Over the past seven weeks, Springfield Public School District 186 has received several threats that have disrupted the school environment.  The latest of these occurred yesterday at Lanphier, Southeast and Springfield High Schools and Franklin Middle School.  

The District immediately evacuated the affected schools as is our protocol for threats of this nature. Springfield Police were immediately notified and coordinated search efforts. We then began the process to notify parents via automated calls. We are aware of some phone communication preference issues that may have prevented some families from receiving those calls.  We are working with our technology department and vendor to improve our mass notification process and to give families additional control over communication preferences. We expect to communicate with all families soon with a fix. We did our best to alert local media, as well as blanket all of our communication channels including our website, Facebook and Twitter.

We understand the apprehension that these occurrences have caused many District 186 students and their families. Please know we are committed to providing a safe and productive learning environment every day for all students. We have social workers and psychologists on hand at our schools for students who need support in the coming days. We are extremely concerned about this continued disruption of the educational environment, but have to take each of these threats seriously.  The impact on school culture, instructional time and overall operations cannot be overstated. These disruptions distract us from our core mission and divert untold District and community resources. We are doing everything within our power, along with the Springfield Police Department, to bring resolution to these threats.

Every building has detailed emergency response plans that are followed for various situations. Staff have been trained in where to go and how to organize students for the evacuation and reunification process. We thank our teachers and administrators for executing these plans competently and swiftly.

We thank our families for their continued support and understanding in these trying and stressful situations. Please be assured that we are always looking out for the best interest of our students and wish to maintain complete transparency and open communication with all District 186 families. Thank you for the privilege of educating your children each day.



Jennifer E. Gill