CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Since a state-wide swatting hoax locked down schools for hours March 30, many districts have gone back to the drawing board refining their safety techniques.
East Greenbush Central School District Superintendent Jeff Simons says even though the active shooter calls weren’t real, it was a very real learning experience.
“The timing of it. The notification from law-enforcement that we needed to move into a lockdown occurred right at the same time that kids were being bussed onto our elementary school campuses,” he explains to NEWS10’s Mikhaela Singleton.
He says the district has a strong notification system in and out of the schools, cameras on every corner to catch intruders, and a password-protected digital system that can lockdown all seven district schools in seconds.
The safety plan for the coming school year is open for public comment over the summer break. It now also includes mixing up lockdown drills.
“It’s not always going to be at a convenient time that we have to respond to an emergency. One of the things we are doing within our district is we practice lockdown drills during very unstructured times, during lunch, during recess, when kids are transitioning through the hallway of a high school with 1200 students,” Simons says.
Over at City of Albany, Interim Superintendent John Yagielski hit the ground running in his new position, approving a safety audit by the district’s insurance company.
“They’re really good at finding all the details, so they have produced a whole series of what they call recommendations. These are additional steps that we should consider, and take care of to see if we can improve even beyond where we are,” Yagielski says.
He says the audit findings will be formally announced during Thursday night’s board meeting.
“There are a number of things that we’re going to use this summer time to take care of, particularly at the high school,” he explains.