Safety and Security are Priorities EVERY Day
Allison Brown, Superintendent of Schools
As we continue to absorb the shock of the Parkland, Florida tragedy, I have spent much of the last two days focused on issues of safety and security in our buildings. Please know that over the last few years we have put in place strong emergency protocols and practice them regularly. Every one of our schools tests these protocols
in coordination with local police, who have given us high marks for preparedness. Nonetheless, circumstances are always changing, and I have been meeting with building principals, key administrators and other members of the staff to consider what lessons we can learn from Wednesday’s terrible events.
I’m sure everyone understands that we cannot discuss in public the details of our emergency protocols, as that could potentially compromise safety. In broad outline, though, I would like to mention a few measures we have taken to enhance building security. First, our new construction has included much more secure entrances, which has enabled us to improve our procedures for handling the daily flow of students, staff and visitors. We make comprehensive use of technology to enhance safety, and are constantly looking for new ways to make the buildings even safer. We conduct several different kinds of emergency drills -- such as lock-down, lock-out, shelter-in place and evacuation -- throughout the year to prepare for a variety of situations.
Parents can help by observing procedures and cooperating with staff whenever visiting the buildings. Please make an appointment if you need to see the principal, a guidance counselor or any other member of staff. Provide your identification when asked. If you have something to drop off for your child during the day, leave it in the vestibule where staff will retrieve it. At the high school, students must have their identications cards with them at all times.
One more thing that parents can do is to follow the now-familiar saying: If you see something, say something. Whenever school staff learns about students who are at risk, or about any situations that might escalate into something more serious, they intervene immediately. All information about students remains confidential, but confidentiality does not mean we cannot act to help a student in trouble.
As positive as I am about the steps we've taken, we are constantly working to tighten our procedures. We know from our extensive discussions with law enforcement and security professionals that strong emergency protocols that are practiced regularly can and do save lives.
As a parent and educator, I understand everyone's concerns, and I take all of your comments and suggestions very seriously. Keep in mind that, though it may not feel like it right now, our schools are safe places for our children. You have my pledge that we are working all the time to make sure it stays that way. We are committed to school safety, not only today, but every day.
I wish everyone a restful break next week with family and friends.
February 16, 2018
Contact the Superintendent of Schools:
Mail: Roslyn Public Schools
Roslyn, NY 11576
Photo: Superintendent Allison Brown with former East Hills School students at the Senior Walk on June 22, 2017.