School Safety

The Monroe-Woodbury Central School District is committed to providing a safe, secure environment in which students may grow and learn. There is nothing more important than the safety of students, staff and school visitors. From the time our students enter kindergarten to the moment they are awarded their diploma, they are encouraged by administrators, faculty and all support staff that if you “See Something/Say Something.” These open lines of communication throughout the district are critical.

Frank Squillante, director of security and emergency preparedness, leads a team of 15 full-time school resource officers, supplemented by more than 25 retired police officers, correction officers and military service members. The team works closely with federal, state, county and local police and fire agencies, municipal officials and community organizations to as part of Community Awareness Emergency Response (CAER) initiative, which is organized by the school district. This group meets routinely to maintain open lines of communication and share best practices. Members of the CAER team frequently utilize M-W buildings for their training purposes.

Awareness and preparedness are an essential part of the district’s effort to keep everyone safe. The district has implemented a series of custom drills, in addition those required by law, including relocation, evacuation and secure building drills, which each school participates in at various times throughout the school year. Local and state law enforcement play an active role in these drills and maintain a strong presence in and around our school buildings on a daily basis.

Safety Plan: The Safe School Against Violence in Education (SAVE) and Section 100.2(1) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education require that each school district adopt a written policy on school conduct and discipline “designed to promote responsible student behavior.”

According to state law, the confidential school safety plan must include:

  • building plan
  • evacuation of students
  • emergency response team
  • coordination of plan
  • security crime scenes
  • prevention and intervention
  • building security procedures
  • protocol for bomb threats, hostage and kidnapping
  • response to threats and violence

The plan is reviewed annually, approved by the Board of Education, and is filed with the Commissioner of Education and law enforcement officials.

Drills/Emergency Preparedness: In addition to the state 8 mandated fire drills and 4 lockdown drills, the Monroe-Woodbury Central School District conducts several emergency preparedness drills throughout the school year, which include, but are not limited to:

  • Lockout – a threat is identified outside the building; all students are brought inside from playgrounds. The building remains secured and awareness is heightened, but it is business as usual in the buildings. All students and staff remain inside until local authorities deem the campus safe.
  • Evacuation – moving students and staff away from general perimeter of a building to a safe site while first responders respond to an emergency situation
  • Shelter – all students and staff go to a part of the building that is structurally sound in case of extreme, unexpected inclement weather
  • Relocation/Rapid Bus Recall – occurs when the ability to return to the building is not possible and school buses must be called to relocate students to another safe site

Standard Response Protocol (SRP): The school district follows the Standard Response Protocol (SRP), which has been adopted by thousands of school districts, college campuses, department and agencies across the United States and Canada. This emergency action protocol conforms to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) guidance regarding “plain language and simplicity” as it relates to the district’s practices. Law enforcement are present at every drill to provide professional observations and input.

Building Emergency Response Team (BERT): All members of the Building Emergency Response Team play a critical role in all drills. These include: monitors, clerical staff, greeters, teachers, custodial team, food service staff, etc. The district team debriefs after each drill to critique and take notes on how to strengthen and improve our practices.

Staff Development: In addition to reinforcing the “See Something/Say Something” protocol, all members of the M-W district team are trained in verbal de escalation and conflict management.

Independent Security Audit: The district recently participated in a district-wide security audit conducted by an independent service to evaluate our current standing. We are currently reviewing the results, evaluating our strategic goals and prioritizing the district’s next steps.

Video Surveillance: The district utilizes cameras in key locations throughout the district. Local law enforcement has access to these cameras to allow them to continually monitor happenings within district buildings. All school buses also have video surveillance as of March 2018.

Crisis Teams: There are district team members trained in crisis management, supported by social workers, psychologists, nurses, counselors, guidance staff and members of the Orange County crisis team, as needed

Anonymous Alerts: This mobile app and web-based reporting system allows parents, staff and students to anonymously report urgent information to school officials through private messages. Message topics may include bullying, cyber bullying, family difficulties, drug and alcohol abuse, depression, etc. The report system will be piloted in the high school and middle school in March 2018.

RAPTOR Visitor Management System: The district will be piloting this visitor monitoring system in March 2018. All visitors in the buildings will be required to show a government issued photo ID that is scanned. This web-based program is trusted by more K-12 schools to protect their students, staff and faculty than every other system combined. The program checks IDs against the sex offender database in 50 states and alerts officials of unauthorized attempts to enter schools.