A message for the community was released by the Newtown Public Schools Security Committee this week. In the message the committee stressed it continues to engage in conversations about the enhancement of safety and security in the school community.
“Our collective goal is to provide the highest level of security while still fostering a positive and productive learning environment for students and faculty,” the message read.
According to the committee, several recommendations meant to enhance security in facilities and provide the manpower needed to carry out implementations were made to the Board of Education, Board of Finance, and Legislative Council.
The message continues, “On April 3, 2013, the Legislative Council voted to move this year’s adjusted budget request to an April 23 referendum. The total Newtown budget addresses the Security Committee’s request to continue with Newtown Police Officers at each of the schools. Besides police presence, there was a request to have BOE Security Personnel continue at each school to assist administrators and provide coverage before, during and after school hours.
“Currently, exterior perimeters, and building exterior and interior security measures are being implemented. Secure areas in each building have been identified, and evacuation routes have been reviewed. We are also in the testing phase of a visitor management system and future changes to district policies will be communicated prior to its implementation.
“Furthermore, key personnel have been identified in each building to be trained as Emergency Response Team members. These members will work in conjunction with administrators and first responders to ensure that proper procedures are followed during drills and crisis situations. They will also help in the training of secretaries, custodians, substitutes, food service personnel, and faculty during drills. We are also recommending that each building principal reviews security measures periodically with students, faculty, and staff in order to familiarize all stakeholders with standard operating procedures that will strengthen our level of safety and security.”
The Newtown School District in conjunction with the town offices has also applied for two federal grants, according to the message, that address short and long-term issues pertaining to school safety and mental health support services.
“The Committee will be working next on the District Comprehensive Security Plan that will address crisis prevention, detection, control and intervention. Therefore, we encourage parents, students, and all staff to provide feedback via their building principals,” the message read.