For the 20th consecutive year, the East Greenbush Central School District has received the School Safety Excellence Award from Utica National Insurance Group. The district received the Titanium with Honors level designation this year, the highest level available, which includes a $500 check to be used for safety expenses.

Superintendent Jeff Simons presented the award at the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday evening.

“The recognition of our district’s safety record by Utica National Insurance reflects exceptionally well on all of our employees who are conscientious of the need to promote safety in our school buildings, on our grounds and on our school buses,” Mr. Simons said.

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 Transportation Department’s safety rating for 2021-22 was 98 percent.

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 and put on a visitor sticker before entering school
  • Security cameras monitor school entrances and surrounding areas
  • All schools have an integrated security system with the ability to lockdown buildings
  • Columbia High School and Howard L. Goff Middle School each have a police officer who serve as a School Resource Officer every day at those schools. They may also report to other schools as needed.
  • District-employed security personnel monitor Columbia High School during school days and in the evening and on weekends
  • All employees must be fingerprinted and pass a thorough background check before starting work in the District
  • Students must adhere to the District’s Code of Conduct, which contains information on the range of consequences that may be imposed if students misbehave. This information is reviewed with students each year during the opening weeks of school.
  • Every school in the District engages in a comprehensive set of drills (fire, lockdown, lockout) to ensure that students, faculty and staff are prepared should an emergency occur. Each November, every school in the District dismisses students 15 minutes early to test its Emergency Management Plan. The “Go Home Early Drill” tests the effectiveness of the transportation and communications systems in the event of an emergency.
  • Safety training is provided to staff annually during Superintendent’s Conference Days
  • The district implemented strict health and safety guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • All school buses have stop arm cameras installed to monitor for vehicles illegally passing buses