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School Safety Information

Dear Parent/Guardian:

We all share a deep sadness over the events in Newtown, CT. It is certainly an unspeakable act, and a senseless tragedy. We can’t even imagine the pain and suffering the Newtown community has experienced.

I know it has crossed your mind and you have probably asked yourself the question. What action does my son/daughters’ school have in place in case the unspeakable happens?

Old Colony has been practicing lockdown drills with local police for many years. We have an outstanding relationship with the Rochester Police Department and meet on a monthly basis with the Chief to discuss many issues that will keep our school safe. This too has been an ongoing practice.

Also, Mrs. Foskett and I were awarded a school safety grant from the federal government back in 2009 and have been to trainings in Texas, Washington, DC, and Boston. These trainings included schools all over the United States, and the training sessions included topics from school shootings to chemical spills, and anything in between. This grant also allowed us to install cameras in and outside of the school building and a new buzzer system at the front door. Both the local police and the fire department have electronic door keys to enter the building at any time, and all of our doors have large number on them for a quicker response system. We have other safety plans in place with the local police and fire officials that I am unable to reveal for safety issues.

Although we know that we cannot prevent all tragedies, we have prepared ourselves to at least minimize them. I would welcome any questions or comments you may have concerning our policies and procedures that pertain to the safety of your child.

Sincerely,

Gary Brown

Superintendent-Director

Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers

NEA Health Information Network, School Crisis Guide

PBS Kids, Strategies for Talking and Listening

American Psychological Association, Helping Your Children Manage Stress in the Aftermath of a Shooting

National Association of School Psychologists, Talking to Children about Violence

The Child Mind Institute, Caring for Kids After a School Shooting

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association, Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event

Staff: National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement, Guidelines for Responding to the Death of a Student or School

Parent Tips for Connecticut School Shooting: National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement, Guidelines for Responding to the Death of a Student or School

The New York Times, Tips for Talking to Children about the Shooting

The U.S. Department of Education, Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center

Creating and Updating School Emergency Management

Resources for schools to prepare for and recover from crisis

Resources for parents following traumatic events