East Greenbush Central School District has improved its safety program by implementing a new lockdown system this fall. The upgrades include a new phone, clock and public address system.
When initiated, the new system immediately puts the school into lockdown:
- Locks all exterior doors to the school
- Verbal announcements are made over the public address system
- Classroom clocks have a scrolling message and flashing red and blue lights
- Amber strobes flash on the exterior of the school building
- School staff and administrators receive text and email alerts
- Local law enforcement is notified
The new lockdown system, Informacast, is part of the Capital Project upgrades that residents approved in May 2017.
The first lockdown safety drill using Informacast occurred on September 27 at Donald P. Sutherland Elementary School. Administrators, school resource officers and contractors who installed the new system were there to monitor the drill and take notes on what adjustments needed to be made. The same support is being provided to all other district schools for their first lockdown drills of the school year to ensure the new system runs properly and staff feel comfortable with it.
“As School Resource Officers, we are always looking for an advantage or edge that we can gain by using technology to assist with our safety planning,” said Deputy Jeff Russo, who serves as Goff Middle School’s SRO and has been participating in the district’s lockdown drills. “East Greenbush Central School District has invested significantly in many new building features which will help provide that edge when it comes to keeping our students safe.”
All schools are expected to have practiced their first lockdown drills with the new system by November 6. From then on, Informacast will be utilized in all lockdown drills so that students, staff and visitors become familiar with it.
Prior to each school’s first lockdown drill with the new system, parents will be notified and principals and school staff will prepare students by discussing the features of the new system and what they should expect.
“There is a strong culture focused on student, staff and visitor safety within our schools,” said Superintendent Jeff Simons. “This new technology will enhance this culture and provide a more rapid system of mobilization and communication in the event of an incident requiring the implementation of our lockdown drills.”