Superintendent releases school safety letter

Ponca City Now - March 1, 2018 1:28 pm

Superintendent Shelley Arrott

The following letter was released Thursday afternoon by Ponca City Public Schools Superintendent Shelley Arrott.

March 1, 2018

Ponca City Parents/Guardians, Teachers, and Patrons,

Understandably, school safety and security concerns are heightened after the tragedy in Florida. In addition, state and local schools have faced a variety of safety issues since that tragic day. Obviously, safety is a shared concern for students, parents, staff, patrons, and the district. This letter is to assure you that we take the safety and security of our students and staff very seriously. Ponca City Public Schools reacts swiftly and diligently when a verbal or social media threat is made, and any and all threats are considered imminent and a potential act of terrorism. 

All of us are responsible for ensuring the safety of our students, so I would like to share some things you can do to help control rumors and appropriately report any issues related to school safety.

Anyone who has downloaded the Ponca City Public Schools App may, anonymously or otherwise, report potential safety issues through the Tip Line. On the home page of the app, swipe left and you will see a green Tip Line icon. Selections are Category, School, Anonymous, and Include Location. Users may type their message in the open field. This information goes directly to site principals, Bret Smith, our Executive Director of Operations and Risk Management, and me. It is imperative you always apply updates to your phone so the app is as efficient as possible. If you need to report a tip, you may also call any of our schools and ask to speak to a school official. The information below is for your convenience:

Central Administration: 580-767-8000 – Shelley Arrott or Bret Smith

East Middle School: 580-767-8010 – Denton Long or Stacey Sattre

Garfield Elementary: 580-767-8030 – Lori Cox

Liberty Elementary: 580-767-8040 – Jennifer Martinez

Lincoln Elementary: 580-767-8050 – Liz Hargraves or Dawn Mills

West Middle School: 580-767-8020 – Trenton Murner, Jennifer Dye, Kevin LaRue

Ponca City Senior High: 580-767-9500 – Thad Dilbeck, Dalana Hawkins, Bob Mellon, Krystina Muralt

Roosevelt Elementary: 580-767-8060 – Ronda Merrifield

Trout Elementary: 580-767-8070 – Carla Fry

Union Elementary: 580-767-8035 – Trina Resler

Washington PreK Center: 580-767-8080 – Barbara Davis

Wildcat Academy/Teen Pep: 580-718-3850 – Karla Streeter

Woodlands Elementary: 580-767-8025 – Tim Williams

The district has two, trained and armed School Resource Officers, and we work very closely with Chief Don Bohon and the Ponca City Police Department. Our SROs and the PCPD are prepared to eliminate a threat to our students and staff. In addition, our administrators meet regularly to discuss safety protocols and drills are conducted to perfection. Safe School Committee meetings are held regularly at each site, consisting of members who are parents, students, and staff. We have secure entrances at all of our sites and visitors are vetted through our lobby guards before they are allowed to enter. Most secure entrances are equipped with bullet resistant glass. With the exception of the main entrance, all outside doors remain locked and use a controlled entrance protocol. Additionally, classroom doors are kept locked throughout the day.

Thank you, patrons, for voting “yes” to our bond issues so that we not only have wonderful facilities, but are also able to equip our sites with secure entrances to help keep the safety of our students and staff a top priority.

Because we consider all threats to be imminent, please make time to talk with your children about properly reporting safety concerns and using social media responsibly. All reports will be turned over to the Ponca City Police Department, investigated at school, and there will be legal and school consequences even if the threat was only intended to cause disruption or fear.

In the unlikely event any site goes on FULL LOCKDOWN, parents will be notified via the PCPS App Alert. It will be important for parents to remain calm, stay informed, and allow law enforcement authorities to do the job they are trained to do. It is our job to keep your children safe, and we will follow the appropriate protocol to maximize safety and security.

Thank you for your attention to these issues, and feel free to call me with questions or concerns.


Shelley Arrott


Ponca City Public Schools


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