The safety of our students and our staff always has been a top priority for our school district.

More than a year ago, the Upper Arlington Board of Education made a commitment to our community to take steps to improve safety in our schools.

Over the past year, we have honored this commitment by implementing many of the safety recommendations approved by the board during the summer of 2018.

We have expanded the school resource officer program to all Upper Arlington schools through our partnerships with the city of Upper Arlington and the Upper Arlington Police Division.

We have implemented a background check process for all contractors working on our school-construction projects and a new visitor-management system that will efficiently complete a background check for every visitor to our schools.

We remain committed to this focus by leading with a safety update at every school board meeting, and we continue to meet regularly with Upper Arlington safety officials.

We believe that safety is an area in which we should strive for continuous improvement -- we can and always must do more.

Our commitment to safety will continue to drive our focus as a district into the future.

The new 2019-22 strategic plan for our schools, approved by the school board in August, identifies the well-being of our students and our staff as a priority.

We believe that the well-being of both our students and staff is the cornerstone for fostering a safer learning environment in which Upper Arlington students can thrive.

I invite you to learn more about this priority area of our strategic plan on our website at uaschools.org/strategicplan.

If you have immediate concerns regarding school safety, we fully believe in the importance of "see something, say something."

In those cases, we urge you to reach out to the police or use the anonymous reporting system available on our website, uaschools.org/safety, or by calling 866-listen2me.

Master plan update

As you know, August is always a big month for our district.

Our students return to school and our staff members get back to the mission we love -- challenging and supporting every student every step of the way.

This year, August also marked a major milestone in the implementation of the first phase of our facilities master plan.

The school board finalized the guaranteed maximum price for all six projects.

We are on budget and on schedule.

I invite residents to follow along with the progress of these construction projects by visiting our website, uaschools.org/facilities, or following us on social media.

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