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A major goal of the Katonah-Lewisboro School District is to provide a safe environment in which students are able to optimize their learning. Over the past several years, we have learned that preparedness is a key component to managing unexpected events in a school setting.
In New York State, Project SAVE legislation dictates many of our procedures and protocols. An important component of our safety plan is making sure that parents are aware of and understand terminology used in our safety procedures. The following information is provided to increase understanding of the security measures that have been instituted by KLSD, describe the emergency response procedures, and recommended desired parent responses to various types of emergencies. Working together will help us to provide the safest possible school environment for your children.
Listed below are standardized security procedures and protocols we have in place:
Standardized Security Procedures in the Katonah-Lewisboro School District
We use a single point of entry system wherever feasible in which all exterior doors are locked. Please use the main entrance when visiting our schools.
Surveillance equipment is used in all of our schools.
Exterior doors are checked throughout the day by school personnel to insure that they are closed and locked. If you are visiting our schools, please do not ask students to open doors.
All staff wear visible identification badges during the day.
Standardized Visitor Protocols
All visitors are required to sign in upon entering the building either with the staff member at the reception desk or in the main office.
You may be asked to show picture ID when signing in.
You will be asked to let us know who you are visiting at the school.
You will be asked to wear a visible ID badge during your stay and will be required to return the visitor’s pass to the main office or reception desk and sign-out before departing.
You may be asked to wait for an escort and limit your movements to designated areas.
Standardized Student Sign-Out Procedures
A request to sign out a student is made at the office or with the staff member at the reception desk.
An ID is checked if the parent or designee is not known by school staff.
Emergency Response Procedures
We will be conducting unannounced drills. Please speak with your child regarding the drills and be mindful that drills may be taking place when you arrive at schools. We understand that this may create difficulty, but again, safety and security must be the priority.
Please carefully review the following procedures which may be in effect during the school year and the desired parent response:
Unscheduled Early Closings
Schools may close early due to a weather related or building facility malfunction. The automated phone system will be activated to call the four numbers that you provided to us on the Student Emergency Contact Information form. Bus notes will not be honored in our schools.
Desired Parent Response – Please make sure that your telephone contact numbers are up-to-date with your child’s school. You should have a plan in place with your child so that s/he feels comfortable if sent home early.
When students and staff are in immediate danger (for example – intruder in building), all students and staff will take cover in locked rooms. This procedure requires immediate police response and will stay in effect until police determine that the school is safe.
Desired Parent Response – If you arrive at school and hear a continually sounding pulsating tone – please leave the school grounds immediately. If you are not at school, please do not come to pick up your child(ren). The lockdown tone will continue to sound until the police deem the threat to be over. You will receive updated information via radio, cable TV, e-mail or through the automated phone system. The police will be in control of the school and will keep parents away from the building until an all clear is signaled. If you are in the school, please follow directions from staff.
When a danger exists in the vicinity of the schools – all exterior doors will be locked. Deliveries will be controlled, there will be increased supervision at arrival and dismissal, there will be no outdoor recess or PE, and extra-curricular activities may be postponed or cancelled.
Desired Parent Response – If parents come to school to pick up their child(ren), we would ask them to be patient with the increased security. During the initial stage of the lockout, no one will be allowed to enter or leave the building. Limited entry may be imposed throughout the day. If you are in the school, please follow directions from staff.
A school will shelter off-site if they are unable to return to a building following a building evacuation but also cannot be dismissed. The off-site location for the high school is the middle school and the off-site location for the middle school is the high school. Meadow Pond shelter off-site at John Jay High School. Increase Miller and Katonah shelter off-site at John Jay Middle School. Parents will be notified via the automated phone system if a school cannot return to its building and must dismiss from the off-site location earlier than normal. Further information may also be posted on the District’s web site and provided to radio stations.
Desired Parent Response – Please have a plan in place with your child if the school needs to dismiss earlier from its off-site location.
Sheltering in Place
Sheltering inside the school is implemented under conditions when it is safer for students and staff to remain inside the building than to evacuate or be dismissed early. The decision to shelter students is make in accordance with the Building Crisis Plan. Where to shelter students and staff on-site will depend upon the nature of the emergency. If the sheltering period is extended for more than a few hours, arrangements to meet basic human needs (toilet facilities, water and food) will be arranged.
Desired Parent Response – Parents should not attempt to enter a building during a crisis situation. If you are in the school, please remain quiet and follow directions from staff. Updated information will be provided via radio, cable TV, e-mail or through the automated phone system.
In the event of fire or severe facility malfunction, the building will be evacuated. No vehicles will be allowed to enter or exit school property during an evacuation. If the building cannot be re-entered, students will be brought to their offsite sheltering location. Parents will be notified via the automated phone system if a school cannot return to its building and must dismiss from the off-site location earlier than normal.
Desired Parent Response – The police will be in control of the school and will keep parents away from the building until an all clear is signaled. If you are in the school, please remain quiet and follow directions from staff. Updated information will be provided via radio, cable TV, e-mail or through the automated phone system.
Parents/guardians should NOT attempt to pick up children during crisis situations. By doing so they could be exposing themselves and all children and staff to further risk.
The automated phone communication system will be activated for unscheduled early closings and other emergency or unplanned situations. This system is only as effective as the accuracy of the information provided. If any of your contact information should change during the school year, please notify your school so that they may update the records accordingly. It is vital that you have a plan in place with your child(ren) in the event that there is an unplanned early dismissal and we are unable to contact you