Safety remains a top priority for our schools and we are continuing the important conversation about school safety with our staff, Upper Arlington safety officials and the families and residents in our community.

On April 24, we hosted our second annual School Safety Town Hall meeting, honoring a commitment we made to the community last year. The meeting was an opportunity for families and residents to learn more and ask questions about our work to implement the safety recommendations approved by the board of education last summer.

Joining me for the town hall were police Chief Steven Farmer and fire Chief Lyn Nofzinger, who are great partners for our district and are committed to the safety of our schools. We reviewed safety improvements that have been implemented over the past year, including an expansion of the school resource officer program to all Upper Arlington schools and a background-check process for all contractors working on our school construction projects.

We also outlined improvements coming for the 2019-20 school year, including a new visitor-management system that will efficiently complete a background check for every visitor to our schools.

As a district, we also believe that the well-being of our students and staff is at the heart of school safety.

At the town hall meeting, Director of Academic Affairs Andy Hatton and Associate Director of Student Services Jaclyn Angle shared more about the work surrounding this focus for our next iteration of the strategic plan.

Following our presentation, we answered questions from parents and community members in attendance.

To see the presentation and a video of the full meeting, visit uaschools.org/safety.

Groundbreakings at elementary schools

Over the next few weeks, fencing and equipment will begin appearing on the sites of Barrington, Greensview, Tremont and Wickliffe elementary schools in preparation for the start of construction as the school year comes to an end.

Please join us on the afternoon of May 19 as our students lead us in breaking ground for these first four elementary school projects:

* Greensview, at 12:30 p.m.

* Wickliffe, at 1:45 p.m.

* Tremont, at 3 p.m.

* Barrington, at 4:15 p.m.

Windermere's groundbreaking ceremony will follow in spring 2020.

Visit our website, uaschools.org, for more details and further updates about these special community events.

Paul Imhoff is superintendent of Upper Arlington Schools. His office provides this column to ThisWeek Upper Arlington News.