Superintendent Updates

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COVID-19 2021-22 Reopening Information

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May 27, 2022

As we close out a difficult week and look forward to the long weekend and honoring our fallen military heroes, we want to provide more information and updates about district safety and security. Below are brief bullets most of you may likely be aware of through prior communications.

  • All school buildings have a single point of access during the school day. Before entering the building, all people are screened for purpose and demeanor through an intercom and camera system. Guests must then provide identification filtered through the Raptor Visitor Management System. For grades 7-12, this currently involves processing through a teller-style window before gaining entrance. Grades 4-6 will include a similar window within the following year.
  • During arrival and dismissal at all buildings, staff and administration are stationed at primary and secondary entrances/exits as an additional layer of security. They welcome students and watch for unauthorized people or other reasons for concern.
  • We currently employ 10 security staff members across the district and contract for two more to supplement. In the past few years, we've also added two youth assistants who work closely with the administration to support students in crisis and manage behaviors. Security is stationed at critical points, patrols buildings, and supervises common areas – youth assistants may fill some of these roles but primarily support student management. We also reinstated a district roving security guard to patrol all campuses during the day.
  • We currently have comprehensive security camera coverage for the interior and exterior of buildings monitored throughout the school day. Camera upgrades will happen in the coming year, including additional cameras.
  • Partnering with the Irondequoit Police Department, every school is paired with an officer through the Adopt-A-School program. Officers make regular school visits to foster relationships with students, staff and families and provide a resource for teaching and learning. This week and for the remainder of the year, these officers will increase their visits.
  • We launched a foundational threat assessment and behavior intervention structure in the past two years. It includes multidisciplinary teams, law enforcement and others at the building and district levels that investigate threats of violence. Threat level is determined, immediate action steps taken and intervention plans are formed. Early detection and reporting are vital. If we see something, we must say something.
  • Students, families, and staff may report threats through the Safe School Helpline on the district website. All alerts are immediately reported to the administration and are investigated. You also can call 1-800-418-6423 (ext. 359). Reports also may be texted. Text "TIPS" to 614-426-0240.
  • This year, we added Lightspeed Alert, artificial intelligence that monitors staff and student computers and our network via keywords for signs of self-harm, bullying and school violence.
  • A third-party consultant will conduct a comprehensive district safety and security analysis this summer and fall that will include a thorough critique of our physical security measures, routines, practices, staffing and distribution. Recommendations will drive a targeted plan.
  • This month, the Board of Education will act on a recommendation to fill the recently reinstated Director of Safety and Security position. This person will bring prior experience in law enforcement, community safety and partnering with schools. The individual, a proven leader with ties to Irondequoit and a network of relationships and knowledge, will formally begin in their role this fall.

We have experienced an increased number of incidents this year. This week, a public verbal confrontation happened during dismissal outside on the Dake/IHS campus. It has heightened concerns of our families. To help, we expect to have an Irondequoit Police officer stationed on campus during dismissal. IPD will be there to reinforce the orderliness through their presence, foster relationships and only be called into action by our staff if an incident breaches the criminal threshold. They remain officers of the law and not school employees.

Last, Webster CSD reported an unknown person around their campus this week. We just want to make you aware. Again, please always remember, if you see something, say something. If you feel unsafe or see/hear something concerning, report that to a safe adult or call 911.

This Memorial Day weekend, please join us in remembering our fallen military personnel and their families. We owe them a debt of gratitude.

In partnership,

 

Aaron Johnson signature

Aaron R. Johnson, Ed.D
Superintendent of Schools

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