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Port Washington Schools Move Quickly to Reassure Families on Security Plans

District 'extremely diligent' in protecting students and staff, superintendent says.

Port Washington school officials moved swiftly Friday to reassure families that every effort is being made to keep local schools safe.

Responding to the tragedy in Connecticut, Port Washington administrators issued a detailed outline of some of their emergency procedures. They include:

 Planning and Preparedness

  • The district and each school works closely with Port Washington Police District (and in the case of Guggenheim School Sands Point Police Department).
  • The PWPD and SPPD are members of the Emergency Preparedness Committee
  • Each school has emergency response plans that direct responses for this every occupance. Lockdown drills in the case of armed intruders are practiced.
  • Table-top exercises have been conducted at the high school for response to this scenario.
  • The police have conducted active shooter training at the high school.

Visitor Access Procedures

  • Every school has visitor logs.
  • ID is held at the door in each school until visitor leaves. If visitor refuses to leave ID at the door all demographic information is recorded in a "denial log."
  • All schools have emergency "panic" buttons at the front door. With the press of a button the police respond immediately.
  • Three schools in the district have SituCon cameras at the front doors. These can record and stream the video to the police department when activated. The police can view the stream from smart cell phones as well.

Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Mooney said school officials and the Board of Education “assess and re-evaluate our security procedures. Changes are made when appropriate. The district is extremely diligent in its efforts to protect the safety our children and staff at all times."

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Victoria December 14, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Is it possible that the entrances of all of the Port Schools could have a buzzer entrance and only open from the inside? Yesterday I was at Manorhaven School for a concert, and ID's were not collected, nor did I have to sign in....the front entrance and auditorium entrance were both open.....I think safety should be first priority & I believe that something has to change..... In the meantime, all I can do is pray for these families in CT. :( -Victoria Scotto
Port parent December 15, 2012 at 12:52 AM
What about the back door at Sousa near the playground. It is never locked. Anyone can walk in without any security!
Rosanna Carta December 15, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Anyone can walk into any of our schools in Port. The ladies at the front desks are just not enough! We need all the doors to be locked at all times and we should also use our tax money to hire a security guard for the front entrances of each school. Collecting ID's, signing in, just doesn't do it for me! It's too easy to get into our schools! Honestly, I just do not feel our children are really safe. It doesn't matter where you live anymore, you just cannot trust everyone. It is very scary for us parents. Port Washington School District needs to act now....I am sure many parents agree with me! I have children in the district and my mother that works in the district and relatives in our district. Let's put our tax money toward hiring real security and stop the expensive renovations! Who cares? The safety of our children come first. This needs to be addressed at the next Board of Ed. meeting. What are we waiting for?? If this doesn't open our eyes, then what will???
Rosanna Carta December 15, 2012 at 02:20 PM
There you go! Proof from a parent! Very scary to me! The district needs to open their eyes really wide and do something about this! Stop being so laid back and do something about all these open doors to our schools! Only one entrance should be used and security guard needs to be there and a buzzer needs to be installed at the front doors! This is not "Little House on the Prairie" times anymore....
Rosanna Carta December 15, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Totally agree with you, Vicki! Of course it is possible, we pay enough in taxes here, so let's use it toward what we need most right now.....SECURITY!!!
sanford lewis December 15, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Not enough. To rest on that policy is a folly. More proactive measures and prevention are essential.
Sandy December 16, 2012 at 01:27 AM
I agree with a lot of what's being said. My 3 children are no longer in the Port Schools, but it has always been very easy to get in, and, quite honestly, having to show ID once INSIDE the school leaves a lot of room for problems. But, we also have to be sure that in an emergency, our kids and teachers can get OUT of the school from all available entrances. so nothing should be locked from the inside. And, the other issue is, just like with locked apartment buildings, if one person gets in, it's virtually impossible to avoid all instances of that person allowing another person to enter behind them. Just like when you go to an ATM at night--if I open the door, and someone else is standing there, the likelyhood is that person is going to enter behind me, unless I stand and wait for that person to enter first--and, that person is likely to allow me to enter--or I could force my way in. I agree that there have to be tighter controls, and everyone has to be a careful as possible, but if someone is intent on getting in and has a concealed weapon, that person is ultimately going to succeed in almost all instances. The idea of searching people, of having procedures in place in case of an emergency is a really important one. However, unless we are prepared to turn our schools into police states, as tragic as this all is, we cannot cover all eventualities.
jamie harrison December 16, 2012 at 10:22 AM
I strongly disagree our security is clearly NOT appropriate. Given what goes on today it is entirely appropriate to have metal detectors to get into all schools and all windows and doors should be locked.
jamie harrison December 16, 2012 at 10:25 AM
We need to eductate the staff and students on what to do "IF." How many students would know what to do to seek safety if faced with a situation.
jamie harrison December 16, 2012 at 10:30 AM
Unfortunately we all have or will have to discuss with our own children what happened on December 14th and despite how we 'play' on some level it will create fear in our kids. Adding stricter / tighter security will certainly show our kids that the schools are safer.
jamie harrison December 16, 2012 at 10:31 AM
sorry despite how we "play IT" i meant (how do you edit on comments?)
jamie harrison December 16, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Really uninformed hysterical FAR FROM IT!! Interesting that someone without kids in the system has such an accurate opinion about the level of security and whats appropriate. would love to hear what the rest of the community thinks
Victoria December 16, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Hey nassau tax payer...I'm extremely insulted that u would call anyone hysterical or u informed in this comment thread....r u an expert in security measures/ procedures currently in place in our schools??
Rosanna Carta December 16, 2012 at 06:45 PM
Totally agree with you! Our children need to know and see that they are safe in their schools. Just because the faculty knows how to act, what about our kids?!? This is reality and I have talked to my children already but they wouldn't know what to do if this happened in their schools. An assembly needs to be done to discuss, with the whole school, if a situation should occur. You are so right!

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