Dunkirk City School District discuss safety upgrades | News, Sports, Jobs | #schoolsaftey

Recently installed security measures at the Dunkirk City School District were detailed in an update to the city Board of Education this week.

Tim Abbey, district buildings and grounds director, offered a presentation. “A while back, we put a lot of physical work into a lot of improvements we’ve done around here,” he said. ”We’ve kind of captured that, but over the course of the last year, some things have transpired that made it seem like there was more work to do.”

Abbey said a district wide safety team “put in a year’s worth of work– troubleshooting, diagnosing, reading lots of things, working through problems.”

A major initiative was to standardize response protocol among all schools. The district is using the state’s suggested emergency response, called “S.H.E.L.L.” It assigns the terms “shelter in place,” “hold in place,” “evacuate,” “lockout” and “lockdown” to dangerous situations and clearly defines actions for students and teachers to take.

Abbey said a new district wide card access system is fully operational. There is also safety film on all ground-level windows and entryways, and district-wide wireless communications and security alarm systems, he added.

Also, a secure entryway was completed at School 7. All district schools now have secure entryways, with ballistic-rated glass for staff signing in people at the entrances.

There are now “lockdown” alarms in the schools and Abbey had a story about one.

“We got a false alarm (earlier) at School 3,” he said. “A student hit his head on it … and the custodian was trying to reset it and the button was pushed in. That’s the bad news. The good news is, within two minutes to be exact, there were Dunkirk police officers inside the school.”

He said the blue lockdown alarms should be pushed by anyone who sees, in their judgment, a threat to life.

The district enacted the “Say Something Anonymous Reporting System” last year. “It’s an anonymous way for (secondary school students) to report a tip… to a watch center that’s on duty 24-7, who’s negotiating these tips,” Abbey said. “At some point in the night, one of us could get a phone call, because there is 24-7 (coverage). These people provide the triage to the police department or a counselor.”

He said “thankfully,” only “three or four tips” came from the online system last school year.

Finally, the district is working with Don Shomette, who specializes in school violence prevention. He was a guest speaker to district staff during their second in-service day before classes started.

“Don will come into schools, announced or unannounced, and basically go through the course of a school day and evaluate from an outside perspective where we can improve,” Abbey said.

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