Safety is Top Priority for District Schools
Dear Parents and Caregivers,
As the President and others have said, our hearts are, indeed, broken in the aftermath of the tragedy at Sandy Hook. There are no easy answers and, as hard as it may seem to believe at this moment, schools remain the safest places for children in Groton-Dunstable and across the country.
We take student safety very seriously- frankly, it is the highest priority for us. When parents send their children to school, they expect that the school is a safe environment. In our district our schools implement locked doors with buzzer entry, crisis management plans, evacuation and lock down drills, and fire drills on a regular basis. Additionally, we enjoy a very strong working relationship with the police department and benefit from frequent officer presence in the schools.
During the weekend, I was in contact with each of the chiefs of police and with the four principals, and we decided to do the following:
1. Faculty meetings this morning at the elementary schools in order to give guidance to staff about protocols for the day and week. Middle school principal Steve Silverman met with his crisis intervention team to develop an action plan to enable teachers and students the opportunity to meet with counselors if needed. Principal Silverman put on his weekly bulletin a short paragraph reminding teachers to be vigilant regarding building safety and to send students to their guidance counselor if they feel the need.
2. Officers present for the opening of school on the Swallow Union and Florence Roche/Middle School campus.
3. Communications to parents from each of the schools.
4. A meeting later in the week with the two chiefs of police and the principals to review all of our safety procedures and to consider possible improvements going forward.
In general, our approach will be to provide students with normal school routines today, and for the balance of the week, being vigilant when any student exhibits the need for support. When faculty members notice such an occurrence, school professionals will be notified to help.
Anthony J. Bent, Ed.D.
Acting Superintendent of Groton-Dunstable School District