Safety & Security at ACA

Dear ACA parents and friends,

Over the past week since the February 14 Florida school shooting, there has been a firestorm of controversy over appropriate solutions. Though school shootings are tragically common, there is now the sense of a potential legislative tipping point. That may or may not occur; but these controversies are good, given the horrific nature and increasing frequency of school shootings. We love our children, and they desperately need protection.

Gun laws aside, you need to know a few basics about where ACA stands and what we are doing to protect your children now and in the future.

1) We take all verbal threats seriously. If a student or staff member makes a suspicious or threatening comment about violence, ACA has a policy to immediately notify law enforcement. While administration has a right to exercise reasonable discretion, our policy is to report in all situations with any uncertainty. This is not to deny the rights of free speech, or to create an environment of fear, but to love and protect our school by setting high standards for safety.

2) In the past 12 months, ACA has partnered with a professional security firm, the Makhaira Group, to perform a comprehensive safety assessment on our Lakewood campus. ACA is underway prioritizing and implementing updates and protocols based on the Makhaira Group's recommendations.

3) Part of ACA's systematic security updates involves active shooter training, which will take place for all staff in the coming months. While we do not expect to be confronted with a shooter situation in our future, we are committed to being fully prepared.

4) ACA participates in the Edgewater and Lakewood police departments' emergency notification system. Whenever there is danger in the vicinity of our campuses, we receive immediate notification from the police. Additionally, ACA has recently purchased a new emergency 2-way radio system for all staff and is in the process of updating lock mechanisms on all its Lakewood campus doors.

5) ACA fully believes in the real protective power of Jesus Christ, and that he watches over us and cares for us in a physical way. ACA, and each of its students, is in the palm of Christ's loving hand. Therefore, though we're commanded to be wise and protective of our families and children, we are also assured that we need not live in a spirit of fear. Our Father loves us, and he knows the plans he has for us -- plans to prosper us and not to harm us.

Grace and peace,
Nate Ahern
Head of School