CSDNR Open Letter To The New Rochelle Community on Post-Sandy Hook Safety Procedures

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The City School District of New Rochelle issued a statement on Saturday, the one-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy in Newtown, CT:

One year ago, on December 14, 2012, all of our lives were forever changed by the tragedy that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. As we mourned the loss of innocent victims, we were inspired by the courage, strength and resilience of the parents and educators. Through unfathomable adversity, they have never retreated in their mission to prevent other communities from experiencing something similar.

Over the course of this past year, with the support of our Board of Education, administrators and faculty, we have reviewed and strengthened district procedures in an effort to insure the safety of every student. The Board of Education has appointed a Safety Committee with representatives from the New Rochelle Police and Fire Departments, which has worked to strengthen the District Safety Plan and the School Building Emergency Response Plans.

The following specific measures have been taken throughout the school system to provide a safe environment for our students and staff:

-Hiring a District Safety Administrator to coordinate and supervise safety practices

-Installing a keyless entry and camera/buzzer system in our elementary schools

-Redesigning the arrival and dismissal procedures in all of our schools

-Reducing points of entry at New Rochelle High School

-Routine screening of all school visitors

-Adding police support to direct traffic at elementary schools during arrivals and dismissals

-Making use of automated systems to effectively communicate information

-Adopting and in the process of implementing the recommendations from an independent safety audit conducted by VRI Technologies, a highly respected security consultant firm

-Purchasing additional safety equipment

Keeping our children safe is our District’s foremost priority; one that is equal to our commitment to provide students with a quality education. We pledge to you that we will continue to work with our district leadership and Board of Education to strengthen our policies, procedures, physical safety measures, and communication in this vital area.

Sincerely,

Dr. Jeffrey Korostoff, Interim Superintendent
Dr. Diane Massimo, Associate Superintendent
Ellen Garcia, District Safety Administrator

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