William Brackett, director of facilities, safety and security for the Salisbury Township School District and Superintendent Dr. Randy Ziegenfuss provided an update on security measures within the school district at the March 5 operations meeting.
Two parents also attended the meeting to hear about the security measures in the district.
Details, outlined in a communication on the district website, include a “close working relationship with the local police department.” Officer Richard Nothstein “visits all of our buildings on a regular basis and serves as a direct liaison with Salisbury Township Police Department.”
Nothstein has an office at Salisbury High School.
Monthly fire evacuation drills are held to ensure students and staff are prepared for a quick exit in the event of an emergency.
In a letter to families in the district, Ziegenfuss said staff in each school building has participated in active shooter training. “These drills simulate an intruder event and provide staff with opportunities to practice effective response.”
Severe weather emergency, tornado/earthquake and lockdown/intruder alert drills also provide students and staff with opportunities to practice effective response.
Most noticeably to the families of students and visitors, in recent years, school main entrance vestibules have been redesigned for greater security. Interior and exterior door locking systems have been upgraded in all buildings and classroom doors are locked at all times.
Interior and exterior security cameras have been upgraded throughout the buildings.
All visitors must register with the front office before gaining access to the school. Appropriate identification is required.
Ziegenfuss said a “robust electronic system is in place whereby key administrators and staff are informed of an emergency situation.”
There is another district-wide communication from Brackett detailing the emergency response plan, also on the district website.
The emergency plan provides an approach to reuniting students with their families following an emergency.
The first site to reunite students and families is on the school grounds.
The second site will be activated only when the school premises must be evacuated and the location will be announced at the time of the emergency. The information will be communicated via the school district notification system as well as all available social networking sites and local media outlets. It this case, parents and guardians are to stay away from all school locations for their safety until updated information is available.
Guidelines are also detailed on picking up the student at the secure location. A student will be released to those listed on the emergency information card filled out at the beginning of the school year. Brackett said it is imperative information on the card be kept current.
The person picking up the student will be required to present valid identification and sign for the release of the student.
If the normal transportation system is unable to operate, the student will be kept at the secure location until arrangements can be made for pickup.
A district safety committee meets regularly, led by Brackett, to discuss the most up-to-date school security measures and practices.
In addition, Nothstein annually conducts a security audit of each building as does the Pennsylvania State Police.