United for Safe Schools



Hello, everyone. I am Randy O’Brien, your superintendent of schools. I wanted to personally reach out to our Goose Creek families as well as our faculty today. This has been a week of celebration in our district, as we finish the school year and host five commencements for our local high schools. Impact Early College High School and Stuart Career Tech High School graduations were held last night, and as I walked into the building I received word, as many of you did, that there was an active shooter at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Throughout the graduation ceremony, I could not help but think of the pandemonium, chaos, and utter sadness that the families, students, and staff are currently experiencing within that community. Our hearts go out to those who lost a precious child, teacher, or family member in a senseless act of terror.


I am reaching out to you for several reasons. One, I want to thank you for a successful school year. We have overcome so much over the last few years, and I want to thank you for partnering with us and doing what you do, primarily because you believe that our teachers and school leaders are making a positive impact in your child’s life. We are honored to serve the families within Goose Creek, including Highlands, Baytown and all of the surrounding areas.


I also want to offer you some sense of assurance that Goose Creek is very aware of the safety and security concerns that can potentially impact our children and schools. Since my arrival almost a decade ago, we have passed two bonds which allowed us to implement security measures that have strengthened the safety of our schools. We have established a district standard for perimeter fencing, which has been installed at all of our schools. We have also constructed safety vestibules and cameras at all campuses, which help protect the front entry point at every campus. Our primary focus continues to be the safety of our students and staff while they are in our care. Nothing is more important to me than providing this essential foundation for which all learning may occur.


I can tell you that we have grown our police department staff from a handful to 20 police officers and have also doubled the size of our security officers force as well. We have taken these measures because we know they will help keep students and staff safe.


Another area that is important to me is how we continue to address mental health. Our Social Emotional Learning department, which has grown from two staff members to almost 15 social emotional mental health workers over the last two years, provide resources and assistance for students and faculty who need support in the areas of mental health and wellbeing.


While we have added, and will continue to add, additional safety measures for our students and staff, what it often comes down to, is how each and every one of us approach our level of awareness in our everyday life, and how we actively choose to communicate potential threats and concerns. It is critical that we are aware of our surroundings and what is happening in the lives of our friends, loved ones, and co-workers. It is imperative that we serve as role models and guides for our children in our diligence with safety centric dialogue. Also, if a situation feels wrong in your gut, it is important to say something to a leader. Our students and staff have been taught to communicate when they have a concern to ensure the safety of our schools, but we must all take part in this conversation.


Our hearts are hurting right now for the families in Uvalde who will not be able to kiss their children and tuck them in tonight, and this should not be happening in our world. As we grieve with Uvalde, let us continue to make the necessary changes in our community to ensure a message of love and acceptance for all, and that our students have a place of safety and belonging.


Again, we cannot thank our families and staff enough for going above and beyond for our students. To our families, I hope you have a wonderful summer, and we look forward to seeing your beautiful children next school year. To all of our staff, please take some time this summer to enjoy your family and friends. Laugh much. Reflect when you can, and come back rejuvenated in order that we may grow into the educational GIANTS that our community deserves.


God Bless each one of you and again, Thank you.