District school safety letter

Following is an important letter from Superintendent Dr. Marie Wiles addressing issues and procedures related to Guilderland school safety.

District School Safety Letter

Dear Guilderland School Community,

The Guilderland Central School District has always placed our highest level of priority on the safety and security of our buildings. In light of heightened concerns about safety following the recent tragedy in Parkland, Florida, I want to take this opportunity to share with our community the variety of measures the school district has taken in recent years to enhance the security of our schools. While the list of specific physical security measures is extensive, the majority of our efforts focus on building a stronger school community through communication, respect, and responsibility. We work hard to foster an environment where all are comfortable to say something if they see or hear something.

Security Systems

Every day, we use a variety of systems to keep our students safe. There is just a single entrance open in each building throughout the day; all other doors are locked. When visitors arrive, they enter through a controlled double point of entry system, which is staffed during normal school hours. These entryways have security film to prevent shattering and a panic button to lock doors even if they are programmed to be open. Visitors receive photo ID badges they are required to wear throughout their stay, and their names are checked against a national sex offender database. Inside of our buildings, the district recently installed “intruder cores” on doors so that every occupied space can be secured from the inside.

Relationships with First Responders

This physical security is enhanced by the relationships we maintain with our local first responders. First and foremost is a School Resource Officer (SRO) with the Guilderland Police Department who is stationed at the high school. The SRO is not only a visible presence at the school but serves as an important liaison between the school district and first responders as well as a valued resource for improving and enhancing the district’s security protocols and response. In addition, throughout the district there is a network of 256 cameras, which can be linked with the Guilderland Police Department (GPD) or Albany County Sheriffs Office. In the event of an emergency, they have the access to view what is happening in our buildings in real time. Also, we have shared extensive and detailed information with first responders about our facilities. They know our buildings well and can access them easily since each GPD police car carries a key and swipe card to enter. To further assist our first responders, we have labeled every entrance to each of our buildings so they know precisely which entrance to use to respond to an

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