The safety and security of the students and staff of our school system is a paramount concern for the Board of Education and the Administration of our schools.
Since the tragedy at Columbine High School in 1999, our school system has continued to make physical building improvements as well as implementing procedures and practices to ensure the security of all buildings. Certainly the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School led us to a complete a comprehensive reevaluation of our school facilities, procedures and protocols for emergency situations. That review included representatives from the Cheshire Police Department and the Cheshire Fire Department.
As I am sure you can understand, for security reasons, the below information is intended to serve as a general overview and is not all inclusive of the measures in place or initiatives under way:
- The school system has enhanced the electronic access systems for entry doors at all schools. Interior doors and hardware on all instructional spaces (classrooms) has been reviewed and updated as needed to assure that all can be secured in case of an emergency. All classrooms doors have locks.
- Security cameras have been in place in our schools for over a decade. Camera locations were reassessed last year and cameras were added to increase security. Live feeds from our cameras are accessible to the Cheshire Police Department and the Cheshire Fire Department 24×7.
- Each school conducts safety drills on a regular basis. This includes not only fire drills, but also other safety drills such as lockdown and shelter in place drills.
- A very important aspect of security for our children is an excellent relationship with our Police and Fire Departments. Regular safety and security reviews are conducted with these departments.
- The Cheshire Police has two School Resource Officers who is assigned to our schools.
- Cheshire Public Schools has adopted the ALICE safety response protocols
As a general statement, we believe that we have the necessary and reasonable safeguards in place to assure the security of our buildings and safety of our students. We will continue to be diligent working to ensure their safety and security needs and striking a balance which is not overly restrictive so that our students can enjoy a healthy, productive environment in which they can learn without feeling threatened.
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