Principal's Message

February 22, 2018


Dear Alta Loma Family,

As it has been one full week since the horrific events in Parkland Florida, as our school leader, I would like to reach out to everyone with an update of how we as a Ram school community are addressing the issues emanating from the current spate of school shootings across the United States.

Our number one priority is the safety and wellbeing of our students, staff, family, and community members. We will do everything in our power to help our school community remain calm, prepared and conscientious of the various implications that these incidences produce. 

At the beginning of the year, we had scheduled trainings for our staff to take place in coordination with a series of school wide drills.  Coincidentally, a lockdown and secure campus drill had already been scheduled for next week months ago.  New teachers were trained last month in an individualized session  in order inform them of many details for our main emergency drills (The Big 5) for which they may have needed a reminder or had questions.  We spent almost the entire faculty meeting this week processing the thoughts, feelings and insights of our wonderful staff members to deepen our commitment to improving our preparation and safety awareness.  We have reached out to our local law enforcement and our SROs (Student Resource Officers) for a request to assist with Active Shooter training and drills in the immediate future as well.

We have also spoken together as a middle school division and we are planning activities for all the students that will help them process their thoughts, feelings and understanding as well.  We hope to elicit student voice and agency with an educational advisory lesson that addresses the issues of mental, emotional and social well-being, the alienation and social strife in the age of social media, and the need for empathy and a caring student culture that advocates for their friends and fellow classmates. This has been an ongoing effort of our two year implementation of PBIS (Positive Behavior/Intervention & Support).   We are practicing the articulation of kindness, respect and inclusion in all of our splendid diversity.  Our leadership team began going to 6th grade classes to debunk the “snitch” stigma and rebrand it as having concern and seeking assistance for others rather than “get them in trouble” when signs of problems may be detected among the students themselves.  We also hope to take the opportunity during the upcoming national movement days on March 14th and April 20th to symbolically participate in a school wide assembly or activity to stand in solidarity with other students across the country.  We do not advocate for students to perform a walkout from campus, as this is the contrary of safety for a middle school student.

As responsible adults, we can all act in unity for the good of our kids by talking with them about trusting in us and knowing that it is perfectly acceptable and appropriate to confide in us and share any concerns, misgivings, fears or suspicions they may have about themselves, their friends or anyone in their environment.  Confidentiality will always be respected and protected!  We wish for students to know that they could perform the greatest good for others when they discuss problems and uncertainties with others and by helping those who are struggling by advocating for them when there may not be anyone else to do so.  Please implore them to trust the caring adults and implore them to speak up for the sake of their community and their fellow students.  It’s simply the right thing to do.

We must be the change that we wish to see.  I believe in preventative medicine, so with a fresh vigor we will redouble our efforts to practice, model and teach a way of being as a school community that helps every single student feel valued, embraced and comfortable at Alta Loma.  Do not despair, be crippled by fear or give in to cynicism.  Let us rather be a beacon of hope and a positive force to send ripples of friendly community out into the greater social order.  Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this endeavor.


Michael Reichle