Dear Rockland BOCES Parents and Guardians,
In the wake of last month’s school tragedy in Parkland, Florida, we write to update you on Rockland BOCES’ initiatives to ensure the safety of our students and educators every day.
While no amount of planning can guarantee that such a tragedy will never happen again, please know that we are doing everything possible to keep our students safe.
Each Rockland BOCES building has a detailed school safety plan which is reviewed annually to tighten protocols and to provide continuity throughout the agency. Additionally, we have long standing, strong, collaborative relationships with all local police departments, the Rockland County Sherriff’s Office and the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office to address our school communities’ needs regarding the safety of our children and adult learners and staff.
For the past several years, we have taken steps to enhance the safety of our buildings. We have:
- Enabled electronic keyless door entry technology to limit access to all buildings
- Enhanced entry door security procedures in all buildings
- Installed live-streaming interior and exterior video surveillance cameras in all buildings
- Equipped key staff with handheld, two-way radios allowing instant communication between BOCES buildings and campuses
- Installed security film on exterior windows for added protection against projectiles and break-ins
- Outfitted the entire Rockland BOCES school bus fleet with powerful two-way radios to enable emergency communication
- Installed multiple cameras with audio capability aboard most Rockland BOCES buses
While our school safety plan is required by the New York State Education Department, details are not shared with the public, as doing so would compromise its intended effectiveness. However, all plans are shared and drilled with law enforcement.
Most importantly, we promote a culture in which everyone has a responsibility to be hypervigilant and focused on safety. We remind students that they have an obligation to themselves and to their classmates to bring information about dangerous situations to adults at the school so that we may respond quickly and appropriately to protect their safety. We remind parents that they can help make our schools safer by reporting rumors and social media chatter to an administrator who will investigate and turn it over to the police, if necessary.
As parents and educators, we fully recognize that these are not easy times for any of us. Please join us as we work together to continue to create a safe and positive learning environment for our children.
Mary Jean Marsico, Ed. D.
Chief Operating Officer
Charlene Jordan, Ed. D.