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Ossining Schools Chief Writes Letter About Emergencies

Superintendent of Schools Raymond Sanchez
Superintendent of Schools Raymond Sanchez Photo Credit: File

OSSINING, N.Y. -- Superintendent of Schools Raymond Sanchez is addressing school safety in a letter.

Dear Parent/Guardian: As I have noted in previous correspondence, the safety and security of our students and staff is a priority in our school district. Throughout the school year, our students and staff practice various safety procedures in our schools. Each practice is intended to ensure that everyone is prepared to respond appropriately should there be a crisis. As you know, a crisis can take a number of forms. The type of crisis dictates the procedure our staff uses to address the situation. For this reason, I would also like to review some specific terms that are used to describe various procedures: Lockdown: During a lockdown, students and staff move to predetermined locations within the classroom and other areas inside the school. This is with the intent of securing all from harm's way. .

Lockout: A lockout is used when the possibility of an exterior threat has been identified and it has been determined that students should remain in a school building that effectively "locks out" visitors. In that event, all exterior doors are locked to prevent anyone from entering the building, and classrooms and corridors are checked.

Shelter-in-place: This procedure is similar to a lockout. When students and staff are advised to shelter-in-place, they remain secured inside a classroom or other predetermined secure area in the school.

Evacuations: Decisions to evacuate a school building will be made by school officials and law enforcement if it is determined that the school environment has become unsafe. If an evacuation is called, students will be moved to exterior school grounds or to a predetermined off-site location or dismissed from school early. During any of the above, staff and students are required to stand by for communications from the school administration before ending a lockdown, lockout, shelter-in-place or evacuation. During a lockdown, police and other emergency responders are likely to be inside the school building to investigate a potential threat.

As appropriate and as needed, social-emotional supports will be arranged at our schools following an event. Additionally, we have created an emergency response website.  For helpful information about safety and security in schools, visit the following websites: http://safeschools.ny.gov http://www.dhs.gov/school-safety http://www.ready.gov/kids http://www.nixle.com

I do hope you find the information noted helpful to you and your family. As always, we are committed to making sure your child is safe.  Sincerely, Raymond Sanchez

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