DOBBS FERRY, N.Y. -- Dobbs Ferry Schools Superintendent Lisa Brady announced Wednesday that the district instituted new "drop-off" procedures and other security measures in the wake of December's Newtown, Conn. school tragedy.
"It has been a tumultuous few weeks for all schools in the wake of the Newtown tragedy, and I wanted to share with you some of the important safety measures that we have in place in the Dobbs Ferry School District," Brady said in a statement to parents and the community.
The new student “drop-off” procedure at the high school and middle school is part of the district's efforts to more tightly control access and security on campus.
Effective immediately, students will not be able to enter the middle school and high school buildings until 7 a.m. All exterior doors will be locked prior to that time.
Beginning at 7 a.m., students will be permitted to enter by the middle and high school cafeteria entrance, which is the designated “drop off” point for the high school. In addition, the middle school entrance will be open to students starting at 7:30 a.m.
The following are some of the safety and security initiatives that the district has already put into action according to Brady's statement.
• Hired an independent safety and security expert last spring to analyze the schools’ security measures and make recommendations to the Board of Education.
• Posted a full-time security guard for the Middle School/High School campus during school hours.
• Issued all Middle School and High School faculty and staff personal ID swipe cards to access school buildings.
• Implemented a “locked door policy” for all exterior doors at each of the schools.
• Installed a monitored "buzz-in" system at the front entrances of the High School, Middle School and Springhurst for visitors/guests who want to gain access to the buildings.
• Placed security cameras in the Middle School/High School complex and at Springhurst.
• Simulated safety drills for students and staff are conducted regularly. (A lock-down drill was recently held in December at the Middle School and High School).
• Practiced emergency response situations with the Crisis Intervention Teams.
• Updated safety protocols and policies increasing security precautions.
"The safety of our students and staff is our number one priority at all times and we continually review and tighten security procedures on an ongoing basis to address any potential incidents," Brady said. "Be assured that we are doing everything we can to keep your children safe and create a comfortable and nurturing environment for learning."