January 23, 2013

...children need, first and foremost, to be safe.

Writing about visiting his granddaughter on her first day of kindergarten, Dr. Charles Patterson reflects "on the trust placed in all of us as educators.
... Just as Lauren is precious to our family, millions of the world's children are precious to their families and friends. Those adults are depending on us, as educators, to treat their children with respect, care, and concern, just as we want other adults to show kindness to the children we love so deeply.  Educators should never lose this perspective… children and their well-being as the focus of all we do."   (“Message from the President” in Education Update, ASCD, 1995.)
In an interview Dr. Patterson said that he was well aware of the New London School Disaster. 
“It is the most terrible example of the price to be paid when adults forget that children need, first and foremost, to be safe.  Protecting them from hazards is a primary duty. It is an area that urgently needs an infusion of advocacy.”
-- Dr. Charles Patterson is a former school superintendent of Killeen Independent School District (Texas) and former president of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).

Originally posted March 4, 2012
On March 18, 1937, a massive explosion destroyed the New London Junior Senior High School instantly killing an estimated 296 students and teachers. The subsequent deaths of victims from injuries sustained that day brought the final death count to 311.  The explosion was blamed on a naturl gas leak beneath the school building. Within weeks of the disaster the Texas Legislature passed a law requiring an odor to be added to natural gas which previously was odorless and therefore undetectable. This memorial to victims of that Explosion was erected in 1939.

January 19, 2013

Planning Guide for Maintaining School Facilities

Planning Guide for Maintaining School Facilities
The National Center for Education Statistics, the National Forum on Education Statistics, and the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO®) are pleased to provide this Planning Guide to education administrators, facilities staff, community members, and other individuals who are interested in the responsible management of our nation's school facilities. We believe that investing in the proper maintenance of school facilities is both a sound business and wise pedagogical decision. Download PDF File 

Chapter 1    Introduction to School Facilities Maintenance Planning     

Chapter 2    Planning for School Facilities Maintenance                 

Chapter 3   Facility Audits: Knowing What You Have          

Chapter 4  Providing a Safe Environment for Learning      

Chapter 5  Maintaining School Facilities and Grounds      

Chapter 6  Effectively Managing Staff and Contractors  

Chapter 7  Evaluating Facilities Maintenance Efforts  
Louisville's Carbide Industries ignored warnings, safety board says. The U.S. Chemical Safety Board Thursday night voted 3-0 to accept a report that put the blame of two Rubbertown workers’ deaths on a company culture that ignored repeated problems with a furnace until it was too late to fix them. Louisville Courier-Journal, Kentucky. http://cjky.it/WH2XTI

Five Years After Sugar Refinery Explosion, Work Remains to Prevent Such Tragedies  Five years ago this week the Port Wentworth, Georgia community was shaken by the catastrophic sugar dust explosions and fires at the Imperial Sugar Refinery. The blasts, ignited by combustible industrial dust, took the lives of 14 workers and injured dozens more, many severely. It was tragic -- and preventable. This anniversary is a somber reminder that there is much left to do to prevent industrial dust explosions.

January 18, 2013