Nanuet Superintendent of Schools Mark McNeill wrote a letter to parents outlining the steps the district took in reaction to the .
McNeill wrote that The Nanuet building-level Emergency Response teams met before the start of school on Monday to go over how to prepare and handle questions students may have.
In the neighboring Pearl River School District, one significant change is the decision to lock the main doors into Pearl River Middle School and Evans Park, Franklin Avenue and Lincoln Avenue Elementary Schools through at least the end of this week.
A copy of McNeill's full letter is below, including Procedures for School Lockdown (Code Red) and Keep Out (same as Lock Out):
We are all very saddened by the events in Newtown, Connecticut. It gives us pause to be certain that when children arrive Monday morning we will be prepared and able to handle any questions they may have and to reassure them of their safety. Our Building-level Emergency Response Teams will be meeting in anticipation of the start of the school day.
The following is a summary of school security measures in place to ensure the safety of your children. These measures are an extension of our effort each and every day to provide a safe and secure environment. They are reflective of our communitys high expectations for school safety and include the following:
School Security Personnel: In addition to Clarkstown Police Officer Arbuco, the Districts full-time School Resource Officer who is stationed at the High School, private security personnel are stationed inside the entranceway of each building and at strategic places outside. We require that all visitors sign-in and wear visitors tags in all buildings. The perimeter doors at Miller, Highview, and Barr Middle School are locked and checked regularly.
Security Cameras: Security cameras are located at strategic locations both within (excluding bathrooms and locker rooms) and select areas outside each building.
Emergency Response Plans and Teams: With the assistance of the Clarkstown Police Department, the Rockland BOCES Office of Safety and Risk Management and local emergency officials, the District has a school emergency plan in place for each school as well as a district-wide safety plan. These plans, reviewed annually, contain operating procedures for responding to a wide range of emergencies. Our Building-level Crisis Teams review and update Emergency Response Plans regularly, conduct evacuation, lockdown (formerly "Code Red") and keep out (lock out) drills. Additionally, we utilize the Clarkstown Police and BOCES Office of Safety and Risk Management to observe and critique our procedures.
Clarkstown Police Department Parent Notification System: The Town of Clarkstown has in place a notification system that when activated alerts parents of an emergency, the nature of the incident, and the location where students are being taken.
Please note: It is important to notify your childrens schools of any change to the Emergency Authorization Form. This includes numbers at home as well as back-up phone numbers at work. When notification of an emergency is necessary, the system will not leave a message on answering machines. Therefore, numbers you provide on the Emergency Authorization Form must be numbers where a "live answer" will occur.
Nanuet School District K-12 Alert Notification System: Through our K-12 Alert notification program, the District is able to notify parents via email, text and voice mail messages of non-police related situations, including activation of a lockdown, early dismissals and emergency relocation of children (e.g., temporary breakdown of electricity or heat).
Please note: This system also relies on up-to-date emergency phone numbers in order to leave a recorded voice mail message.
Procedures for School Lockdown (Code Red) and Keep Out (same as Lock Out): A Lockdown alert refers to a set of school procedures to protect children and staff from a potential violent incident (e.g., hostage or intruder situation) by locking all exterior doors of the building and keeping all students and staff within the nearest locked classrooms or offices. These procedures are practiced in each building annually and are always under review. In the event of a Lockdown alert, police are immediately called to the school. The alert condition then remains in force until the police determine that an emergency situation no longer exists. Occasionally we are asked by the police to engage in a "modified" Lock Out wherein all perimeter doors are locked but movement within the building(s) is permitted. Whether or not people are allowed in and out of the building during this situation is dependent upon the emergency and the advice of the police.
Evacuation: The Districts evacuation procedures including fire drills are practiced regularly. In the event of an emergency in which students must be evacuated and transferred to a nearby site, parents will be notified through the Police Departments Emergency Notification System.
Protecting the safety of our students and staff continues to be our first priority.