The safety of our students and staff is the number one priority at Lakota Local Schools.
Student safety encompasses both the physical and mental well-being of our students, and includes ongoing safety training, mental health initiatives and trained staff at every school building.
Throughout the school year, our students participate in a variety of training exercises as mandated by the State of Ohio. All of our schools complete drills throughout the year in the event of a fire or tornado.
Staff and students also perform Lakota safety drills, teaching them how to respond to different scenarios in the event of an intruder in the building. Training is tailored for the different age groups, meaning a safety drill at an early childhood school looks very different than one at a high school.
Strong mental health plays a vital role in a student's growth and success. Lakota offers a variety of services and supports to meet the mental health needs of our students. Visit our Mental Wellness page for more information on these initiatives.
Through the district’s partnership with MindPeace, each Lakota school chooses a mental health provider that will best meet the needs of the students. Counseling is available during school hours, or additional hours may be added if necessary.
During the spring of 2017, through a partnership with greater Cincinnati’s Grant Us Hope, Hope Squads were introduced at both high schools and freshman campuses. Students are nominated by their classmates to be a part of this peer-to-peer suicide prevention program. In schools where Hope Squads have been formed, recent data analysis show that over 25 percent of all referrals to counselors have been from Hope Squad members. Of those referrals, 14 percent have been hospitalized for treatment.
Sources of Strength
Student leaders at Lakota's four junior schools promote a positive school climate, healthy decision making and suicide prevention while raising mental health awareness among their peers.
The students, nominated by their teachers, receive training to recognize risk factors and warning signs early on so that they can help those in need to help.
Social Emotional Learning
Life skills such as reasoning and problem-solving, communication and interpersonal skills, self-confidence, self-motivation, coping skills, responsible decision-making and goal setting are all a part of social emotional learning at Lakota and meet the Ohio Department of Education's standards on social emotional learning.
Lakota partners with non-profit Circle Tail to provide several therapy dogs throughout the district. These specially-trained dogs provide cognitive, social, emotional and physical support for both students and staff.
SAVE Students Act (Safety & Violence Education)
Ohio's 133rd General Assembly enacted House Bill 123, the "Safety and Violence Education (SAVE) Students Act" regarding school security and youth suicide awareness education and training. Read more about Lakota's implementation of this law.
Lakota buses travel about 10,000 miles every school day. Bus drivers have excellent safety records. Should an accident occur, though, drivers and staff are trained to make sure students are safe.
Each bus is equipped with a radio that provides instant communication with the Transportation Department and emergency services. In any accident involving students who might be injured, the Transportation Director and other staff members will immediately go to the accident scene.
Because students who have been involved in a traffic accident may be scared or in shock, teachers and staff from the students’ school will also go to the scene, where they will comfort and assist the students.
School buses in Ohio do not contain seat belts; studies have shown that it’s difficult to ensure that children wear the belts, and that the potential risk of injury from students who wear the belts improperly or of groups of students being strapped into a bus unable to free themselves outweigh the safety factors. Instead, buses are designed to “compartmentalize” students with higher seat backs and more padding.
Students are taught to approach, enter, and leave buses safely. All Lakota buses have a safety arm designed to prevent students from crossing in front of buses unnoticed.
Bus evacuation drills are held three times each year.
Every school has a registered nurse who can provide medical attention on the spot when needed.
Teachers and coaches who supervise students on field trips and other activities off-campus carry each student’s emergency medical form to ensure the proper treatment if a student becomes ill away from school.
Students who are required to take any medication during the school day must have signed parental permission on file.
Many Lakota employees are certified in CPR and are trained to use the Automated Electronic Defibrillators (AEDs) placed in Lakota buildings.