Safety Update from the Superintendent

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Dear Parents and Community Members,

First, a heartfelt  thank you to the community for coming out to vote. The community has spoken and approved our bond referendum 484 yes votes to 323 no votes. I also want to let you know that we have been working very hard to strengthen our security at Springs School.

I would like to  bring you up-to-date on several important issues concerning the safety and well-being of our students that were discussed at Monday’s Board of Education work session meeting held on February 26th, 2018.

At that meeting, Mr. Casale shared the results a climate survey that both staff and students took before the Parkland, Florida tragic shooting. Following the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida, several parents reached out to me with questions and concerns. On March 26th  Board of Education meeting, I updated the community on steps we have taken over the last two weeks to tighten our existing school security protocols, as well as information related to new equipment ordered.

New York Schools Insurance Reciprocal  (NYSIR) refers to them as the 6 Items for sound security footprint and include:

Reaffirm Your Relationship with local Enforcement Agency.  I spoke with Chief Sarlo at East Hampton Police Dept. Any new officers are given tours of our building to be familiar with it. Officer Notel continues to be our School Resource Officer (SRO), several days a week. We have spoken with a retired Suffolk County Detective who completed two walk-throughs of our school, one in December and another in February at no cost to the district. These results have been shared with district administration and many of those suggestions have already been put in place. The administration is recommending a security presence in our school five days a week starting this year. We need to work closely with local law enforcement, our insurance company, and NYSED in order to make recommendations for personnel that are sound and appropriate.

Revisit Your Access Control System We are reinforcing Single Point of Entry, through the front. We have all classroom doors locked. We have doors monitored by individuals most of the day. We have moved Project Most check-out to the front of the school.

Recommit to Knowing Visitors We have reinforced with all staff to wear ID badges which are visible, including substitute teachers, teacher assistants, and custodians. We have circulated pictures of all substitutes and new staff to all staff.  All contractors must be accompanied by staff. The school will be placing bookshelves in the front vestibule for drop-off of lunches and instruments. We will tighten up procedures for delivery personnel including food and flowers. We have already seen a presence of yellow jackets at sporting events as well as students unaccompanied by parents having to sign in and having limited access to the rest of the building.

Review/Revise Safety & Security Related Policies

On March 1, at our faculty meeting, all staff were present for a faculty presentation similar to the one presented during the BOE work session on school safety. Building-Wide Emergency and Security plans were reviewed. Policies are being reviewed by the BOE and policy committee. School monitors and bus drivers met with administration to review safety procedures. Administrators will Review of Code of Conduct for any recommendations to the BOE for next year.

Revisit Your Security Systems Video Surveillance: The district utilizes cameras in key locations throughout the school.  East Hampton Town has access to outside cameras and continually monitors activities outside the building. In addition,  it has been recommended all district buses will have video surveillance capabilities. Security consultant, BOE member and school IT personnel walked building identifying additional sites for new digital cameras. Video screen will be provided to greeter to watch cameras.The school has already an placed order for additional cameras and a driver license reader for the vestibule. All visitors will  be required to show a government issued photo ID that is scanned and checked against the sex offender database in 50 states and district programmed alerts. This web-based visitor management system is trusted by 18,000 K-12 schools nationwide to protect their students, staff and faculty. Additional signage will also be posted indicating our surveillance.

I encourage you to have meaningful conversations with your children regarding these important topics. Please keep in mind that building administrators and school counseling teams are available to you and your students. As always, my door is open.

Together We Make A Difference!

Deb Winter

Proud Superintendent of Springs School