The Edgemont community will vote on the 2018-2019 school budget and board members on Tuesday, May 15, at the EHS gymnasium between 6:00 am and 9:00 pm. As you prepare to vote, I’d like to share some highlights of the budget specifically related to safety and security.
As a school community, it has been our practice to support the personal, social-emotional, academic and physical well-being of our students. In regard to this last area of focus, we have enhanced our safety and security practices, procedures and building-entry design over the past few years. We recently held two parent forums on the topic of student safety in each of the three Edgemont schools.
We have a District Safety Plan in place; it is available on the district website. Each school has a more specific, detailed building-level safety plan, which is and will remain confidential. All plans are updated at least annually. These plans are shared with both the Greenburgh Police and the New York State Education Department.
We are currently working with the police and fire departments to make Edgemont schools even safer, and recently the GPD completed their audit of our schools’ safety protocols. We are grateful on a daily basis for the positive working relationship we have with the Greenburgh Police Department as they work with us to practice and improve. We will continue to conduct drills throughout the year and update emergency response plans.
Additional funds have been budgeted to address potential additions to our safety plans at all three schools, and some of this work has already been completed or is currently in progress. At the elementary schools, lunch room doors have or will be soon been replaced for more security. Seely Place will also have a newer, safer door at the Loading Area. The PA system has been expanded at Greenville.
At EHS, the classroom doors in Building C have already been replaced with safer models. Card readers have been installed and activated for the gym doors, limiting access to those who have ID cards. The vestibule doors leading to the E-Lab in the E-Building have been converted to enable locking, and a new card activation/video monitor/buzzer system is to soon be installed at the administrative building.
We are currently in the process of gathering bids for the construction of a secure, inner vestibule at the entrance to Greenville School. We will follow suit with the same type of security feature at both Seely Place and EHS. These vestibules will provide a safe zone for early student pick-ups, and a drop-off area for lunches, materials, etc., without having to permit entry into the building. If someone is requesting to enter the the building for a meeting or other reasons, these vestibules provide a place for additional screening by security personnel.
In addition to practice, preparedness, and physical improvements to our schools’ security, we seek to protect our students’ emotional well-being. We aim to provide relevant, meaningful services for students in the social emotional areas. Early intervention, collaboration with outside agencies, and effective risk assessments are all elements that are already utilized by our professionals, and we are committed to continual review and improvements as needed. A future email will highlight our progress and plans in this area. More information about the many resources available to Edgemont parents, students, and staff can be found here.
As parents and community members, you are our partners in creating safe school environments and we welcome your ideas, suggestions, and questions. As has happened with air travel, please recognize, too, that increased security requires that all of us - including parents - tolerate the minor inconveniences of leaving packages at the front office, showing ID when requested, and so forth.
We understand that school safety has never been more critical - nor as complicated - than it is today. Thank you to those parents who came to the forums and/or shared ideas with me. As always, I am grateful for your input and for your support as we all work together to keep our children safe.
P.S. - Don’t miss out on these upcoming fun and exciting Edgemont community events!
Colors Against Cancer 5K Run/Walk for the entire family - in honor of former Edgemont Student Taylor Matthews and in support of pediatric cancer research. Sunday, May 20th, 9:00 AM, EHS
E-Day - An Edgemont Tradition since 1956! A field day extraordinaire, including races, soccer, tennis, t-ball, softball, football, lacrosse, Kan Jam, gaga, paw print tattoos, raffle prizes, a Panther apparel sale, bake sale, food trucks and more. Saturday, June 2nd, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM, EHS