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Street Smarts

Dan Fishbein 10.08

The Ridgewood News Superintendent’s Corner April 2013
by Daniel Fishbein, Ed.D.

Street Smarts

The following column appeared in The Ridgewood News on April 26, 2013

As I often do in April, this month I’m taking the topic of safety back to the streets.
A simple message that I often use when communicating important information to parents and guardians is this: The safety of our children is my utmost concern  It’s a phrase that I’ve written in letters responding to difficult events that have impacted our community both directly and peripherally, from the acute events of Super Storm Sandy to the Sandy shootings, for example.

These words, as much as they are intended to reassure, go beyond sincere intentions to the heart of our operating system. This phrase is a grounding expression that serves as the foundation for all that we do in the Ridgewood Public Schools, providing an essential framework for the pursuit of our mission of excellence. Safety is the first question we ask when exploring any changes in our district, when we plan new protocols and adopt new policies, when we design renovations to our facilities. It’s a phrase that cannot be repeated too often.

Unfortunately, our security was once again questioned when earlier this month we all witnessed the senseless bombings at the Boston Marathon and then the tragic fertilizer explosion in Texas. Horrific events like these make a deep and lasting impact on us . Since I am a runner and know people who ran in Boston, these events have particularly strengthened my resolve not only to serve as a school administrator but also to make sure our facilities and our events are as safe as possible, while remaining friendly and welcoming.

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