Wimberley ISD Appoints Director of Safety and Director of Student Support Services
Wimberley ISD begins the school year with a new Director of Safety, Roz Simmons, and Director of Student Support Services, Amy Lyles, both District team members already very familiar to families and students.
Simmons previously served as Wimberley High School assistant principal for five years. She came to WISD following a 25-year career as a trauma nurse. Lyles, a licensed professional counselor and registered play therapist, has served as a counselor at WISD campuses for 2 years and in public education for 24 years in roles as a teacher and school counselor. She also has a background working in law enforcement directly with children caught up the court system because of neglect, abuse or abandonment.
The two directors partner with School Resource Officers, Ronnie Verette at Wimberley High School and Brian Bedingfield at Danforth Junior High to implement new safety initiatives with a holistic approach to students.
“During all stages of their life, it is important to teach our children to be aware of their surroundings, and it’s becoming even more critical now to remind our teenagers about putting their cell phone away when they need to engage and focus on the goals in front of them,” said Lyles. "When students are so fully engrossed on their devices, they are not fully present, missing important cues in class and with friends and the public," she added.
An important part of Simmons’ role is to remind students, teachers and all the staff that they have the best eyes on potential issues that may arise on their campus relative to safety. P3 is the anonymous tip line that the District continues to encourage students, families and community members to use if they see something.
“P3 is anonymous and is a safe, instant place for students to report any concern, from a student reporting that they are feeling bullied, or sharing concerns about a student with a weapon, social media posts that might scare them or conversations with students saying that they want to hurt themselves or others,” said Simmons.
Along with P3, WISD deploys the Raptor® Visitor Management System at each campus. Family members, volunteers, guardians and other visitors are required to produce an ID prior to entry into any WISD school. The system screens for sex offenders, alerts staff of custody violations, and provides districtwide reporting for all visitors. Once visitors are granted entry, they must wear the ID tag generated by the system.
These measures to secure the buildings and to make sure students have a safe place to share their concerns anonymously are also fortified with ongoing and daily conversations with students and teachers to keep any safety concerns from being lost in the busy school day.
“On a daily basis at Wimberley ISD, we prioritize building relationships with students, staff and the community, while promoting student well-being in a therapeutic sense and also in how they are managing their workload, peers and family-life,” said Lyles.
The District will continue staff training, ongoing audits, evaluations and surveys in conjunction with guidance from Texas State University Texas School Safety Center, The Hays County Sheriff’s Department and with support of the recently passed Senate Bill 11 and House Bill 18.
Senate Bill 11 expands school safety, calling for students to learn about domestic violence prevention, requires certain training for school resource officers and provides state funding for campus security measures and mental health initiatives. House Bill 18 brings more attention to mental health in Texas schools. The bill promotes training and education on signs of mental health conditions and substance abuse, strategies for maintaining student-to-student positive relations, conflict resolution, and information about how grief and trauma affect student learning.
The team at WISD encourages community members, families, staff and students to partner with the District in all efforts to assure it is a great place to go to school and work. For more information, visit wimberleyisd.net and if anyone in the community sees something, please say something through wimberleyisd.net/P3Tipline.