Evanston/Skokie School District 65 Superintendent Hardy Murphy sent a letter to parents today reaffirming that each school in the district has a emergency response plan and holds drills to practice for a crisis event.

Here’s the text of his letter:

Dear District 65 Families,

In light of the recent events at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, I feel that it is important to make you aware that each District 65 school has a safety/crisis plan. Our emergency response plans originally were developed with input from professional safety consultants, school principals, central office administrators, and local area first responders, including representatives from the Evanston and Skokie fire and police departments. The plans are updated annually after a review meeting with local first responders and representatives from each school, and several District 65 departments.

Throughout the year schools practice emergency response drills to help staff and students become more familiar with how to respond depending on the type of concern that is being experienced. Responses to conditions that may exist are defined by code and available on the district’s website. Also, local first responders participate in at least some of the drills at each school as a way to review and improve school response to prepare.

I know that our hearts are heavy as we think about the many families in mourning today. Please know that we will do what we can to help keep your children safe at school. In addition to the safety plans that I described, school social workers and others involved in ensuring the social emotional health of our students spoke over the weekend to make plans to address concerns that might have come up today at school.

Thank you to the families who have so thoughtfully written to express their appreciation for my communication to you last Friday.

Hardy Murphy, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Lincolnwood security?

    What is Hardy Murphy and the D65 school board doing about security at Lincolnwood?

    D65 sends all of it's special needs students with behavioral problems to Lincolnwood in a newly untested inclusion program. Lincolwood was suppose to get a reconfigured front office to create a secure entrance and an addition but the D65 board said no.

    With all the guns and gangs in Evanston what assurance do Lincolnwood parents have that none of these districtwide kids with behavioral problems, some from neighborhoods with gangs, don't come to school with a loaded gun in their backpack? These kids are probably all good and need help but how do we know? 

    No secure entrance. Special needs students with behavioral problems in mainstream classes at Lincolnwood that has had overcrowding issues. D65 has cut the number of aides. Anyone see a problem here?

  2. Mixing Apples, Oranges and Kumquats

    Are you concerned about safety or overcrowding or inclusion?

    How will a secure entrance keep kids from bringing guns in their backpacks? Or are you proposing metal detectors?

    Seems like you have a problem with inclusion and kids from other neighborhoods ("some from neighborhoods with gangs") coming into your school.

    This isn't a safety issue – it's a NIMBY issue.

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