By Robert Kimmel
In the wake of the Florida school shooting, and recent similar tragedies, school district leaders in Irvington and Tarrytown are reviewing existing security measures within their schools.
“Over the last five-and-a-half years, we’ve instituted a number of new security enhancements that include revised emergency plans and practicing drills on a regular basis,” Irvington Superintendent Dr. Kristopher Harrison said. “We have hired security guards at each of our schools; however, we are actually in the process of reviewing all of our practices and we anticipate major enhancements throughout this year.”
Harrison explained, “During the past couple of months at the Board of Education meetings we’ve talked about our initial planning for a capital bond project that would be focused primarily on enhancement of safety features at all of our facilities, with a particular focus on our middle school and high school campuses.”
“We have a standing district safety team, which meets three to four times a year, and is made up of district employees, administrators, teachers, representatives of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow Police departments,” Tarrytown School District Superintendent Chris Borsari explained. “Security is something which we proactively plan for and consider daily.” He also noted that the district engages professional security consultants.
“We also conduct numerous and varied drills throughout the year to teach our students, staff, and parents about our emergency procedures and use each to observe and acquire critical feedback. We have single points of entry now in every school,” Borsari continued. “He enumerated other measures which include: “a security guard at every building which usually means that at each entry point there is a student management system where we scan their ID’s and match them with a data base registry; we have a Safety Resource Officer there…and multiple security cameras.”
The Tarrytown Superintendent also noted,“We have numbered our doors and made 911 accessible from every district phone. I think that we are going to be looking more at other safety things such as our internal doors. We have been focusing on external doors.”
Borsari said John Paulding, and Washington Irving schools are installing security vestibules at entry points and that the Morse school is expected to follow with a similar installation.
While Hackley administrators were reluctant to comment on specific aspects of its safety procedures, it did state, “Security guards are among the many measures in place on campus.”