Dear Utica Community Schools Parents,
All of us continue to be impacted by Friday's events and our thoughts and prayers remain with the families in Newtown, Connecticut. As we prepare for school tomorrow, please know that we are committed to maintaining a safe learning environment. I feel it is important to share with you our existing security measures:
- Nationally recommended security measures were put in place at all of our schools several years ago. Working with local law enforcement officials and our in-house security team, we have developed and implemented a unified security and emergency management plan district-wide that is continually reviewed and revised.
- All outside visitors are required to check in at the office.
- All classrooms are equipped with telephones.
- With the exception of front entrances, all exterior doors and windows at the schools are kept locked during the day. As part of this routine, entrances and windows are checked throughout the day and evening.
- The UCS security team works with the staff at every school to conduct two security drills each school year. All buildings have completed one drill this fall. Reviews of these drills are used to revised and refine our security practices.
- UCS maintains a strong working relationship with all local law enforcement. We communicate with police officials regularly and coordinate our efforts with them to keep our students and community safe.
Additionally, we have met with our in-house security specialists – career police officers – and consulted with local law enforcement this past weekend to enhance these measures. Therefore, the following procedures will also be in place this week:
- Main entrances (front doors) at our elementary and junior high schools will be locked throughout the day. At the high schools security cameras and staff members will monitor the front entrances.
- Anyone requesting to go beyond the office must show photo identification and have a confirmed purpose.
Our local police will increase their presence in school parking lots and adjacent areas.
UCS staff will maintain a sense of routine for the children. A sense of routine and stability is extremely important to help children feel safe. For the most part, the regular school day and school activities will continue as planned.
If you feel your child may need additional support, please contact his or her teacher or principal.
Utica Community Schools has a long history of coming together in support of all of our children. We appreciate your patience and commitment. Working together, I know we will continue to promote a safe learning environment for the 29,000 students in our schools.