November 1, 2016
Dear Parents and Guardians,
On November 8, 2016, many schools in the district will serve as voting locations for our community. While we welcome community members into our schools as they engage in an important civic responsibility, we want you to know the process is being carefully managed to ensure the safety of our students and staff.
There has been media attention to some schools closing on election day due to safety concerns. We do not feel the need to close schools. We have reviewed the process and procedure in each facility that serves as a voting location and are working with the West Allis Police Department, the City of West Allis, and the New Berlin Police Department to be prepared to respond to any concerns. For years, voting has been conducted safely in our schools and we are confident that with careful planning the election day will go smoothly.
Each principal or department leader who manages a facility with voting has carefully reviewed the local procedures and made adjustments as needed. Some entrances have been changed to limit access only to the voting area. In other cases, poll workers will be provided with keys to restroom facilities so that the doors between the polling location and the rest of the school remain closed. The West Allis schools with voting include Central, Hale, Frank Lloyd Wright, Lane, Franklin Field House, Irving Field House, Longfellow, Madison, Mitchell, Wilson, and the Recreation Center. The New Berlin school with voting is Hoover.
The City of West Allis is requiring all poll workers wear identification badges and the West Allis Police Department is providing an expanded presence in and around voting locations during the school day. We are also adding supervisory staff at some of the larger and busier sites to ensure security.
We wanted to share our plan for voting in schools with you in case you were curious about how we prepare for an election day. We are confident that our plan in schools and our partnership with local police departments and municipalities will ensure student and staff safety while providing members of the community access to voting locations.
Dr. Marty Lexmond