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Newtown Shooting 'Devastating Reminder' of Importance of School Safety in D181

Superintendent Renée Schuster sent a letter to the community, detailing the district's safety measures in the wake of the Newtown, CT, school shooting during which 20 students were killed.

The following is a statement Patch received from District 181 Superintendent Renée Schuster Monday morning:

Our thoughts are with the students, staff and families of Sandy Hook Elementary and the town of Newtown, CT. These incidents are a devastating reminder that we must continue to be mindful of the need for strong safety protocols in our schools.

  • We are fortunate to have a strong partnership with our area police and fire departments. We meet monthly to review our procedures and discuss how we can continually improve the security of our student learning environment.
  • Our front office secretaries utilize a buzz-in entry system in each school. Visitors sign in and wear ID badges to ensure that our staff members can quickly and easily note anyone who may be an intruder.
  • Our students and staff practice lockdown drills, just as they do fire and tornado drills. A lockdown drill includes specific messaging over the intercom, mapping for building locations that are deemed safest, procedures to ensure that all are accounted for, and means to alert emergency responders of the school’s status. The police department participates in the drills to ensure that we are making the drill as effective as possible.
  • We maintain crisis plans used by administrators for any number of situations so that in the event of an emergency, there are clear steps to follow.
  • We use a variety of communication tools to ensure that families and staff are informed about any incidents as we are able, including an automated phone notification system, e-mail, alerts on our website, and posts to Twitter (@CCSD181).  

Through these efforts and in partnership with our District families, we will continue to provide the safest learning environment we can for our students.

We encourage families to visit our website at www.d181.org to view Tips for Talking with Children about Tragic Events, a resource that can be helpful during this difficult time.

We wish our school community a safe and happy winter break.

See also:

  • What Have We BECOME?
  • Newtown School Shooting: How to Talk To Your Kids About It

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don c December 19, 2012 at 03:23 AM
As a parent of a third grader at Oak School it's nice to see the emergency plan that the district has in place but read about how the assailant entered the school in Newtown, Conn and i think our school district members need more discussion on how to prevent that from happening here. i think more thought needs to be had on the way the assailant entered Sandy Hook elementary school, of course without turning the schools into forts. D.C.

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