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School district proposes 2023-24 school safety plan | Columbia County | #schoolsaftey

HUDSON — Coming off the 2022-23 school year where fighting between students at Hudson Junior and Senior High Schools was reported and captured on video a number of times at the schools, the Hudson Board of Education continued its discussion at a special meeting Monday regarding the future of the district’s school safety plan.

Questar Director of Safety Craig Hansen provided the board with a PowerPoint presentation at the meeting that covered a proposed school safety plan for the district for the 2023-24 school year.

The proposed plan reflects district policies and procedures for appropriate prevention and intervention strategies, adherence to the Dignity for All Students Act and code of conduct requirements, ensuring effective communication with parents and/or guardians, assistance requests to local governments and emergency responders, school building security, and the review of drills and other exercises.

The board is required to adopt a school safety plan by Sept. 1. Members of the public have until Aug. 29 to submit questions and comments regarding the proposed plan to the district. The board will meet Aug. 29 when it will make any needed changes to the proposed plan, then will vote to adopt it.

The plan proposes school staff be trained annually in school safety protocols by Sept. 15 of each year, school staff receives annual training on the emergency response plan, and the school safety training will include violence prevention and components on mental health, according to the plan.

In addition, new employees hired after the start of the school year will receive training within 30 days of hire or as part of a district’s existing new hire training program.

The proposal also includes the district implementing several policies and procedures to protect students and teachers by identifying early detection of possible violent behaviors. Each school year, each building principal will be responsible for disseminating informative materials regarding early detection of potentially violent behaviors to staff and parents. Incidents of violence, include threats of violence, will require notification of parents or guardians.

Any school incidents will prompt a districtwide support team to assist the building-level emergency response team and the post-incident response team in the school. In the case of an incident involving mental health issues in the schools, school district officials will assist in coordinating disaster mental health resources to support post-incident response teams in the affected schools. Then, the superintendent of schools can call on the Questar III crisis intervention team or gain additional support through the Columbia County Department of Mental Health, if needed, according to the proposed plan.

Other highlights of the plan include an emergency remote instruction plan, which became a necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic. The remote instruction plan was put into place to address the instruction of students should circumstances prevent them from attending classes. Under the provision of New York State law and the district emergency remote instruction plan, any instruction sessions provided during the closure of the school facilities are counted toward the annual hour requirement for meeting 180 days that are needed for state financial aid provisions. A district remote instructional day is the same number of hours as an in-person instructional day.

The school district will provide students in grades pre-kindergarten through 12 access to a personal computing device in the event of a school closure. Any virtual day will follow the same schedule framework as the school to which the student is assigned. Breaks will be included in the daily schedule for students and faculty.

To comment or submit questions about the proposed plan to the school district, email Board Clerk Tracey Gaffney at gaffneyt@hudsoncsd.org,

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