Our children are our most important resource, and ensuring that they are safe and secure is our single most important task. As a school, we have plans in place that have been formulated along with the advice and input of the School Board, Nassau County Police Department, the Diocese of Rockville Centre, other school principals, Grace Day School, and friends within the police department.
The approach is twofold, safety and security. Safety refers to prevention measures that affect a school’s social climate, such as conflict resolution programs, zero tolerance policies, bullying prevention programs, visitor policies and Stranger Danger, formal instruction mandated by the Diocese of Rockville Centre that continues to be taught at all grade levels throughout the school year. Security refers to the reinforcement of the school facility with physical hardware like cameras, locks, lighting and with a clear and consistent operating procedure and a communications plan.
That said, we highlight the following:
- Recess and lunch, held outdoors whenever the weather permits, is more fully supervised than any other school in the area thanks to parent volunteers and the lunch coordinators (K-3 is supervised by 10 adults - 8 lunch supervisors, a teacher and a lunch coordinator while grades 4-8 are supervised by 8 adults – 6 lunch supervisors, a teacher and lunch coordinator). The lunch parents wear red tags identifying themselves. They are instructed to be vigilant in supervising the children and in being aware of people entering the parking lot. In order to allow them to do this efficiently, we ask that parents do not visit the school during this hour (11:30-12:30). In addition, teachers, custodians and lunch coordinators have been shown a picture of the level 2 sex offender currently residing in Massapequa.
- Gym class, held outdoors when possible in September, October, May and June, is always led by Miss Roveto, who carries a cell phone, walkie talkie to contact the office, if needed and a master key to enter the building immediately through the doors closest to Outreach.
- School doors are ALWAYS locked with persons designated to insure that they are routinely locked. Anyone entering through the main doors must be buzzed in and identified. We remain vigilant to dismiss students only to those authorized.
- Security cameras, first installed after the fire in 2007, have been upgraded most recently as of the summer of 2015, with substantial surveillance coverage and the ability to retrieve tapes. Specific locations to note include the front doors, path near Outreach, the rear of the building and the doors of the gym facing Merrick Rd.
- Public Address System, long in place, has now been upgraded to allow for 2-way contact between the classrooms and the office. In addition, a speaker has been installed that can communicate with students/teachers when they are outside of the building or in the auditorium.
- Inter-building communication-We are able to contact any of the buildings on the complex through our pager phone system. Additionally, important security information on the complex is transmitted through pager phone system or email.
- Lockdown, Lockout and Evacuation Plans are in place and are reviewed and practiced on a regular basis. Lockdown is initiated by the police when there is police activity in the area. It is not our policy to notify parents of such as it precautionary in nature. In the event of concern in our immediate area, you would be notified via School Reach. It is for that reason that we continue to request that you remain steadfast when informing us when your phone number or email address has changed.
- The speaker system in the auditorium was replaced during the 2015-2016 school year.
Acknowledging that we can never do enough and that not all measures are practical, we welcome your suggestions as it relates to the above. We pledge to you our best efforts and trust that you will continue to pray that God’s peaceful presence and protection will surround us all.