Welcome from Christine A. Kneeland, Principal of Pine Grove School and Chair, Pine Grove School’s School Safety Committee. The safety and security of all students and staff at Pine Grove School is one our most important priorities. Families trust schools to keep children safe during each and every school day as well as during all school sponsored events. Communities expect schools to be safe havens for children to learn and school employees to work. School buildings are key centers in each community: on any given school day in our country, over twenty percent of the United States population is attending a public or private school as a student or an employee. Children of all ages rely on and look to adults for protection from harm. Teachers and school staff must know what to do during an emergency to protect children so they can be safety returned to their families.
Every school in our country is receiving information, guidance and resources on being prepared in advance – for the possibility of a variety of potential school emergencies.
You should be reassured to know our School Safety Committee has been working diligently for the past six years to make our school as safe and secure as possible. Keeping your child and your school safe and secure is a total team effort with active, ongoing participation from each and every member of our School Safety Committee. Our goal is to ensure each and every child at PGS can learn in a school environment that is safe and secure. We hope the following information will you understand our serious commitment to the Pine Grove School and Triton Regional School District safety and security programs.
What are some examples of school emergencies? Emergencies are unexpected, unpredictable and can take many forms. Emergencies can vary in severity and whether they directly or indirectly impact students and their schools. Emergencies can happen before, during or after school and either on or off campus. There are many examples of emergencies which are a serious concern for a school. Here are some examples of community emergencies which can have a major impact on our school:
Natural disasters, such as earthquakes, fires, floods and severe thunderstorms can strike a community with little or no advanced warning. Other emergencies, such as a chemical or hazardous material release in an adjoining community, may pose a threat to our school and may continue to escalate over the course of several hours or days. Medical emergencies involving students or school staff can have a tremendous impact on the entire school community. Catastrophic events including acts of terror or war, bomb threats and school shootings are extremely traumatic events for all children. The impact of media reporting of these catastrophic events on children’s understanding is profound. As communities across our country work to increase safety and security, we need to remember the needs of children to feel safe, secure and protected by their families, school staff and other adults in their lives.
Emergency response plans need to address a range of events and hazards created by nature and/or people. Each of us who works at the Pine Grove School and in the Town of Rowley community needs to prepare for the possibility of an emergency well in advance of an actual emergency.
What has Pine Grove School done to increase safety and security for students, employees and school visitors? Five years ago, our school began meeting regularly with members of the Town of Rowley Police, Fire and Emergency Management staff. We developed “emergency response plans” to help us determine in advance how to manage emergencies. Under the leadership of Police Chief Kevin Barry and Fire Chief/Emergency Management Director Jim Broderick, a Pine Grove School School Safety Committee was formed. The goal of this committee was to strengthen school safety and security at Pine Grove School. This committee has met regularly to determine how a core team of Pine Grove School staff will work with police, fire and emergency management personnel to manage and respond to a variety of school emergencies.
Based on the work of this committee, we have developed a coordinated emergency response plan that is built on the Incident Command System (ICS), a nationally recognized organizational structure utilized by law enforcement, fire and emergency response personnel. The ICS has been adopted by our School Safety Committee as a team approach for how we will work with our police department, fire department, emergency management director, town utility providers and additional emergency response personnel to effectively respond to and manage a school emergency. A core group of Pine Grove School staff have received extensive training on how to respond to a variety of emergencies.
Members of the Pine Grove School School Safety Committee have continued to meet monthly. We have continued to implement extensive new safety and security procedures at our school: – Members of our School Safety Committee have participated in comprehensive school emergency management training programs led by national school safety experts from the U.S. Secret Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and nationally recognized consultants, – We have developed and trained all of our school staff on a Safety Procedures for School Employees (a printed reference packet of materials for what school staff should do during an emergency), – Our School Safety Committee have practiced tabletop exercises and implemented mock drills involving staff and students based on realistic scenarios, – Our school district has expanded our communication network capabilities throughout our school campus and within our regional school district to increase inter-operability to rapidly respond to a school emergency.
Access Control – a buzzer system and locking mechanism has been installed at the main entrance to monitor all individuals who enter the school building. All after school and evening use of our school building is coordinated through a building use process. Unless there is a specific prescheduled program, our school building is locked during evening and weekend hours to prevent any unauthorized access. Building Access – All outside perimeter doors are kept locked to prevent unauthorized entry into our school building and these doors are regularly checked throughout the school day and after hours to make sure they are not left open. Identification Badges – All Pine Grove School staff have employee identification badges. In addition, school volunteers, substitute teachers and contract service providers wear school issued identification badges. All visitors are directed to the main entrance where they sign in and receive a Visitor Identification Badge. Staff Training – All staff have participated in School Safety Procedures training. All newly hired school employees are required to participate in this training. Additional training on safety procedures has been provided to members of the School Safety Committee, all teaching staff, custodial staff and cafeteria staff.
Who Can I Contact for Further Information About School Safety and Security at Pine Grove School? If you have any questions, concerns or would like to make a recommendation on school safety and security, we welcome your input. Please feel free to contact the following members of our Pine Grove School School Safety Committee members:
Christine A. Kneeland, Principal & Chair, School Safety Committee – [email protected]
Scott Dumas, Chief, Rowley Police Department – [email protected]
James Broderick, Chief, Rowley Fire Department and Emergency Management Director – [email protected]
Nicole LaPerriere, Assistant Principal – [email protected]
Debbie Blanchette, School Nurse – [email protected]
Kyle Campbell, Guidance Counselor – [email protected]
Frank Janvrin, Head Custodian – [email protected]
Maryellen Moreland, ETC/SPED Teacher – [email protected]
Sue True, Administrative Assistant – [email protected]
Chris Walsh, Manager of Facilities and Grounds – [email protected]