On behalf of our Schuylerville Central School District Board of Education and our entire school community, our condolences go out to all the families facing unimaginable grief at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
I wanted to take this opportunity not only to share our sincerest sympathies with those impacted, but also to remind our students, staff, parents and community members about the precautions and procedures we have in place to prepare for and ultimately prevent emergency situations.
Over the past few years, our schools have received many physical and technological upgrades to make our buildings more secure. Each school has a secure entry vestibule, as well as windows and exterior doors that are impact resistant. The district has also increased the use of surveillance technology and has implemented identification protocols.
We have also built strong and supportive relationships with local and state law enforcement and other first responders. Our district communicates and collaborates regularly with the New York State Police and the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department. We have an officer presence in all school buildings and continue to work closely with both agencies in the ongoing development of our district safety plan.
Each year, our students and staff participate in more than a dozen safety drills, including lockout drills, lockdown drills and evacuations. These drills are often unannounced and are run in cooperation with local law enforcement. For more information about the safety drills, please click here.
Additionally, our staff regularly participate in meetings and trainings to prepare for various emergency scenarios. Along with the support of local law enforcement, the district participates in K-9 unit training, active shooter training, emergency incident training, monthly safety meetings and annual safety summit workshops.
Above all, the most effective and proactive safety plan for our district is a rich network of relationships between adults and students. While it is difficult to predict all possible scenarios, when students feel safe to talk to adults, it builds an early warning system to proactively address issues ahead of time.
Finally, we need your support in helping our students cope with the painful feelings that may be triggered by Wednesday’s tragedy in Florida. The National Association of School Psychologists has provided tips for parents. To review the suggestions, please click here. Please know that our school counselors and psychologists are always available to meet with students who may need to talk.
If you have any questions about safety practices in our schools, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office or your child’s building principal. Thank you for your continued support of our schools.
Superintendent Ryan Sherman