February 21, Update on District Safety & Security

Dear Oxford Schools Community,

As we return from winter break tomorrow, I want to provide you with an update of the District’s Safety and Security portion of our recovery plan.   At the start of 2022, the district sought to add an additional layer of building security personnel in each of our district schools. Eternal Security Service (ESS) was able to meet our immediate need and they have had a constant presence in keeping our schools secure over the past year.

As we continue to strengthen our current practices, we have identified and determined a required set of standards for the external security company the district employs.  Last month, the district posted a request for proposals (RFP) from security companies to meet the determined standards of experience and training desired by our security company employees. Eight companies responded to the RFP, including ESS.  After an extensive process of review of all eight submitted proposals, we have selected the Fortis Group to become the new outside security provider for Oxford Community Schools.

Fortis Group’s training for their employees aligns with our higher standard of expectations such as training in de-escalation and use of force, policy, training that supports the school atmosphere including but not limited to CPR, First Aid, and AED certifications.  All Fortis Group employees who will work in our district will have prior law enforcement, first responder, or military experience. Additionally, Oxford Schools’ security staff will train with contracted staff on crisis response. Furthermore, the Fortis Group has experience in being contracted with school districts of our size and make-up.

Working together with ESS, the transition to the Fortis Group in buildings will begin tomorrow Feb. 21, 2023. Your student may not necessarily see a new face in this position in their building as ESS staff who meet the requirements and wish to change employers have had the opportunity to interview with the Fortis Group.  If the experience and training requirements are met, they will be hired to stay on at Oxford Schools.

Our priority remains to provide the safest environment we can for our students and staff.  We greatly appreciate the work of the ESS employees and are thankful for how they stepped in so quickly to help keep our campuses safe over the last year. 

Best Regards,
Vickie L. Markavitch