Dear Saugus School District Families,
Welcome back from a well deserved break. As our students return and you are thinking about safety and security, I have some thoughts to share with you. Schools are safe places for you and for our children; yet senseless acts of violence such as the one at Sandy Hook Elementary cause us all concern. Each of us must remain vigilant and do everything we can to promote and ensure safety in and around our schools.
Safety and security must be a collaborative effort amongst all stakeholders and should never be compromised for the sake of convenience. Administrative controls and procedures are in place and it is our expectation that every employee, parent, student and visitor at our schools consistently adheres to and enforces these procedures to ensure the safety of others.
Each school site has an Emergency Action Plan that outlines specific safety procedures for both natural and man-made emergencies and/or disasters. Plans are reviewed and updated on a regular basis to assure effectiveness. Staff members have been trained on safety procedures and to immediately report any unusual or suspicious activity to the local authorities whenever it is observed in and around our schools.
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We work closely with local law enforcement agencies on crime prevention and response strategies. Fostering and maintaining effective partnerships and open lines of communication are crucial when dealing with emergencies and/or criminal activity that may occur on our campuses.
The following additional safety/security measures will be implemented:
• All administrative controls and procedures associated with safety and security continue to be reviewed and bolstered at each of our schools where needed.
• Lockdown drills will be conducted at least monthly to assure staff, students and parents are familiar with the procedures.
• School employees and visitors are being asked to wear their required identification badges when on campus and to always follow check-in/out procedures. Anyone without proper ID will be questioned by staff.
• Supplemental entry gates will be closed and secured during school hours and shall only be opened during arrival and dismissal times. The goal is to provide a single point of entry so staff can effectively monitor who is coming and going.
• Window blinds shall remain open in offices and classrooms so staff can monitor who is approaching the buildings.
• Security assessments at each of our 18 facilities throughout the district are underway.
• The Sheriff’s Department has increased patrols and will provide specialized training for staff members on crime prevention/response strategies for schools.
• Emotional support and resources for students and families are available from school personnel. A list of resources is available at each school site upon request.
Student safety is a top priority and we will continue to do everything in our power to protect our students, staff, and school site communities. Please get involved with site councils, parent organizations and district committees to share your ideas about safety and security.