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District administrators with safety award

East Greenbush Central School District administrators with the 2019 Utica National Safety Award (L to R): Superintendent Jeff Simons, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction James McHugh, Assistant Superintendent for School Business Finance Lawrence Edson Jr., Director of Facilities Paul Bickel and Transportation Supervisor MaryAnn Belmont.

For the 16th consecutive year, East Greenbush Central School District has received the School Safety Excellence Award from Utica National Insurance Group. The District was one of 156 school districts and Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) from across the state to receive the award on Tuesday.

East Greenbush CSD received the highest level of award – titanium.

“The district has received this important award for many years due to the consistent teamwork, dedication and diligence of our staff and the conscientious approach we take to ensuring student, staff and visitor safety,” said Superintendent Jeff Simons.

The award, presented annually to Utica National’s clients, recognizes school districts’ safety efforts as they work to help keep students, staff and visitors safe. Schools are measured in a number of areas such as transportation, playground safety and bullying prevention programs.

The district’s comprehensive safety program, which is guided by the annual district safety plan, includes the following:

  • All schools have a locked single point of entry through which students, employees and visitors enter
  • All staff must wear photo ID badges while in school buildings
  • All visitors must sign-in, provide photo ID that is scanned through Raptor Visitor Management System and put wear a sticker badge with their name and photo
  • Security cameras monitor school entrances and surrounding areas
  • All employees must be fingerprinted and pass a thorough background check before starting work in the district
  • Students must adhere to the Code of Conduct, which contains information on the range of consequences that may be imposed if students misbehave
  • Firefighter teaches students about fire safetyEvery school practices a comprehensive set of safety drills (fire, lockdown, lockout, school bus safety) to ensure that students, faculty and staff are prepared should an emergency occur
  • Special programs for students on the topics of health, wellness, fire safety and bullying prevention
  • Each November, every school in the district dismisses students 15 minutes early to test its Emergency Management Plan
  • Safety, health and wellness training is provided to staff during professional development
  • A district-wide Safety Committee meets regularly throughout the school year to discuss safety-related topics

“Safety and health concerns continue to be a priority in our school districts,” said Brian Saville, resident senior vice president in Utica National’s Educational Institutions Unit. “Districts that go above and beyond to provide a safe, healthy and focused culture for learning are to be applauded, and we’re pleased to count East Greenbush Central School District among them.”