The last few weeks have been full of significant achievements for the Legacy community. Topping this list of achievements is the announcement that our Lower School was one of only 50 private schools nationwide to be selected by the Department of Education as a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School. If you have not clicked on the link to learn more about this prestigious honor, I encourage you to do so. This is a big deal. In fact, as soon as the list was released, my inbox flooded with congratulatory remarks from other private school leaders from around the country. These administrators know that the criteria for selection is rigorous; each year, hundreds of schools apply, but only a few are selected. I am proud to be associated with a school community that strives for excellence, and I am overjoyed that the efforts of our teachers, administrators, students, and parents have been recognized in this tangible way.
Additionally, I am pleased to announce that the 2015-16 Legacy yearbook has been recognized as one the best in Texas. Awarded by Jostens, the National Yearbook Program of Excellence honors engaging yearbooks that reflect a broad representation of the student body while helping students develop 21st Century skills such as communication, collaboration, and information technology literacy. This is another example of what can be achieved when a talented and creative group of students, led by a gifted and inspirational teacher, is given the resources necessary to achieve excellence. Congratulations to the yearbook staff for reflecting the glory of Our Creator through the medium of the yearbook.
Here's an update on our efforts to create a safer, more secure campus. The Security Task Force has twice convened in the last month to review the recommendations made in the Security Assessment conducted by an outside security firm last spring. In our most recent meeting, we prioritized the recommendations and are now in the process of securing cost estimates for each. You'll be pleased to know that almost half of the recommendations have already been implemented or are in the process of implementation. Of course, some of the more costly recommendations will require special funding. The goal of the task force is to present a plan at the board's November meeting. As recommendations are finalized, we will inform you of the changes that may affect you. Please understand, however, there are some recommendations that are confidential in nature. Publicly revealing these measures could compromise our security.
There are two areas in which we need your cooperation. I have noticed that increasingly parents are parking their vehicles in fire lanes instead of designated parking spaces. It's easy to justify by thinking that, “I'll only be in the building for a few minutes, so I'll just park next to the entrance.” However, fire lanes are designated so that emergency vehicles (fire trucks and ambulances) will have unimpeded access to our buildings. Plus, vehicles parked in fire lanes can obstruct the vision of other passing vehicles and put our pedestrians in harm's way. Please don't sacrifice the safety of our students for your convenience. Furthermore, please don't be offended when we ask you to move your vehicle. By complying with civil laws, we are modeling for our children that Christians are good citizens who respect civil authority and place the needs of others before their own.
The other area in which we need your help is following our protocol for entering the building. One of the major recommendations of the security audit is to better control access to the buildings. That is why we have created “man-traps” at our main entrances that require all visitors to enter the office before being granted access to the rest of the building. They also require a visitor to use the intercom to announce their desire to enter the building. Our receptionists have been instructed to disallow access if they cannot verify the identity of the visitor. That means there may be a delay in granting access. Please be patient and allow our protocols to be followed, and, again, please don't take offense if we do not grant you immediate access. When you are inconvenienced, remind yourself that this is for the safety of your children. Thank you for your cooperation and support in our efforts to make Legacy a safe place to learn and live.