As the school year begins, students, parents and faculty want to ensure everyone is safe when heading back to school. The Glen Cove Record Pilot spoke to the officials from the Glen Cove School District about the upcoming school year and how the district plans to keep everyone safe.
Last October, a districtwide school safety plan was established to ensure the safety, health and security of all the students. A team was appointed by the board of education to create and update the safety plan. Members of the school safety team include teachers, school board members, administrators as well as principals and the Glen Cove Police and Fire departments.
The job of the safety team is to assess the vulnerability of the school district to violence and recommend preventive actions that they feel are necessary. The team meets on a regular basis to discuss any possible threats of violence, stated Dr. Maria Rianna, superintendent for the Glen Cove City School District.
Elements of the district’s school safety plan include the identification of potential emergencies, planned responses to emergencies, such as school cancellations, early dismissals, evacuations and sheltering, as well as responses to an implied or direct threats of violence.
Students in the district also take part in drills throughout the school year to prepare them for a variety of emergency situations.
“Our students are our utmost priority and we are committed to providing a safe and secure environment for them, each and every day,” Rianna said. “These matters are taken seriously, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to keeping all of our children safe.”
The school district has had a security audit and assessment of all school buildings, which was conducted by the Nassau County BOCE, the Glen Cove Police Department in conjunction with the building-level emergency response team.
Anyone visiting the building will be questioned prior to entering the building and will need to provide photo identification. Each school is also equipped with video surveillance via a closed-circuit television, and New York State-certified security guards are also on duty throughout the school day.
According to the district, all the security guards receive eight hours of pre-assignment, 16 hours of training and an additional eight hours of annual refresher training to ensure that the proper drills can be carried out in the event of an emergency.
Along with a school safety plan, the district has also implemented procedures to communicate with local authorities, as well as parents, to share pertinent information.
In the event of an emergency, parents would be sent a phone call. Information would also be posted to the Glen Cove School District website (www.glencove.k12.ny.us) as well as any and all social media accounts owned by the district.
The Nassau County Police Department (NCPD) also implemented the RAVE app, which helps to reduce response time in an active shooter situation. This year, the NCPD also implemented two new tools to every single police car.
The first will be a tourniquet in case an artery is cut in an active shooter situation. The second tool that the NCPD added is a breaching tool, which stops the police from having to wait on emergency services to get there.
—Additional reporting by Anthony Murray