ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — As schools are now several weeks into session, superintendents in our region met virtually Friday to discuss school safety. Many of them highlighted policies or procedures they said are working for their districts.
This was the first roundtable of the school year hosted by Act for Education.
Almost a month in, leaders from four districts in the area said they’re off to a strong start. The focus remains, however, on continuing to build strong school communities and communication.
“We’ve come to realize that we’re never done. So, it’s not like we checked the five boxes and we’re done,” said Kathleen Graupman, superintendent for Greece Central Schools.
In a virtual setting Friday, superintendents from Greece, Hilton, Fairport, and West Irondequoit school districts met for a public forum. The topic — ensuring safety in schools for students and staff.
As some threats have been seen in various districts in our region and across the country already this year, school leaders emphasized the importance of physical safety but say it goes beyond that.
“It’s really looking at how are we communicating and training and talking to our students about their safety? How are we talking with staff and training with them?” said Graupman.
Superintendents highlighted various measures that have helped to keep school communities protected, including double-entry vestibules, visitor management systems, added cameras on campus, and school resource officers among others.
While protocols differ for every district, one common goal remains.
“It’s about people. This is what makes a difference. We can talk about physical structures, we mentioned many resources that can help create physical spaces safe, but it’s about people. People caring about other people. Reinforcing that restorative mindset, making sure we have systems and practices that emphasize that restorative mindset so our students feel welcome,” said Brett Provenzano, superintendent for Fairport Central Schools.
The webcast, as well as future sessions, can be viewed on Act For Education’s website.