Superintendent's Letter: November 22, 2021
Dock Parents and Students,
We trust this Thanksgiving week will remind us of the many blessings we enjoy. During a time when we often hear what people are unhappy about, as people of faith we rejoice in our blessings! Be encouraged with these verses in Philippians 4:6-7.
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
We are well into our second marking period as the teacher and student relationships continue to grow and strengthen the learning process.
As we go into our Thanksgiving break we want to provide information to you regarding the various ways we work at Dock to provide a learning environment that is safe and minimizes stress. We have structures and policies that help keep your child safe both physically and emotionally.
- Emergency Preparedness Plan - In collaboration with the Montgomery County School Safety Coordinator, we updated the Emergency Preparedness Plan for each campus. The draft was circulated to the Dock Crisis Team and has been finalized. This plan covers emergency scenarios through four key areas - Prevention/Mitigation, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery. We review the plan annually. Due to safety considerations, this is not a public document.
- Technology Related Safety - Dock Mennonite Academy cares deeply about and is dedicated to ensuring a safe environment as our students learn about technology and use technology to learn about the world. We have several systems in place to protect students’ privacy and internet use. Additionally, Dock meets all Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requirements, and we regularly re-evaluate our policies to make sure our students are protected. There are several good websites that can provide parents with best practices for technology use at home, including Common Sense Media - Privacy and Internet Safety and The US Department of Justice - Keeping Children Safe Online. We encourage you to periodically review technology use at home and discuss safety concerns as developmentally appropriate with your children.
- Safe2Say - Safe2Say Something is a youth violence prevention program that teaches youth and adults to recognize warning signs and signals from individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others and say something before it is too late. Click here to view our website for more information.
- Title IX Policy - This policy describes how Dock would respond to a situation of sexual harassment. On our website at this link you will find the Grievance Procedures and Complaint Form. Mrs. Lori Leaman, Director of Guidance, serves as our Title IX Coordinator.
- Dock Harassment and Discrimination Policy - This policy would be used for any situation of harassment or discrimination that is not of a sexual nature. At Dock we follow the same process when dealing with either a Title IX or other harassment complaint. Click here to view our website for more information.
- Communication and Education:
- High School: Lori Leaman reviewed our Title IX, Safe2Say, and Harassment policies/procedures with our high school students on November 15.
- Middle School: Lori Leaman reviewed our Title IX, Safe2Say, and Harassment policies/procedures with our middle school students on November 19.
- Elementary and Early Childhood: Students receive age-appropriate training from their teachers and Mrs. Alissa Messina, EC8 School Counselor.
- Circle of Grace (EC-12 Curriculum) is part of our Encounter Bible Curriculum and provides age-appropriate awareness of child boundaries and safety.
- Teachers and staff maintain required background checks, training on the Title IX process and procedures, and mandated reporter training.
If you have any questions regarding our process and procedures designed to help keep your child safe at Dock, please let us know.
Blessings this special Thanksgiving season,
Dr. Conrad Swartzentruber
Read all of the Superintendent's Letters:
"I just want to take a moment to say thank you. It is obvious that Dock has spent time and prepared a plan that takes into account the many different thoughts, opinions, concerns, and frustrations of all families during this pandemic. While it is impossible to please everyone, it is clear the two options you have outlined have the biggest probability of satisfying the majority of your families. Providing two options is so refreshing and I realize this will be much extra work for your staff and teachers…thank you! This will be our oldest child's first year at the school, and we could not be more pleased with our choice of Dock!"
Dock Elementary Family
"I am confident in the decisions made by the administration, board and pandemic team. There are two options, on-campus learning or remote learning, for Early Childhood through 12th grade. Thank you, Dock administrators, for spending your summer planning for the fall. I know many families from other schools are concerned about the options available to them. Dock has a large facility with a smaller number of students, so safety, academics, and social interactions will not be compromised!"