Preparation is the best way to maintain safety. In accordance with New York State law, East Greenbush Central School District has developed a district-wide safety plan as well as building level safety plans. Each of our schools must conduct state-mandated safety drills including eight fire drills, four lockdown drills and an early dismissal drill during the school year. Additionally, the school district requires each school to practice two lockout drills, two shelter-in-place drills and three school bus safety drills.
School administrators, our safety coordinator and district-wide safety committee work with local law enforcement, fire departments, and other emergency response agencies to assure proper preparation in the event of an emergency. Every district building has security cameras and a secure single point of entry, in addition to other safety measures.
If there is an emergency at your child’s school, please help us with the following:
- Check the East Greenbush CSD website at egcsd.org, the East Greenbush CSD Facebook page or our Twitter feed. We will provide accurate and useful information to the public as soon as possible. Expect to see our posts updated as necessary. We will also provide updates to local media, but be aware that emergency situations can change rapidly. Information received from sources other than school administration or our communications office may be inaccurate. In addition, we will use our SchoolMessenger notification system to contact parents and guardians with updates via phone calls, text messages and emails in as timely a manner as possible. Please make sure your emergency contact information is always up to date at your child’s school.
- Do not call or go to the school. In an emergency, onsite staff are focused solely on getting everyone to a safe location. Showing up to the site can create unnecessary traffic, preventing emergency vehicles from responding quickly, and may also put you in danger. If you get a call or text from your student, help him or her remain calm. Remind your student that school staff know what to do in an emergency situation, and will work to keep everyone safe.
- Familiarize yourself with the terms used during emergency situations:
- Lockdown: Used to secure school buildings and grounds during incidents that pose an immediate threat of violence in or around the school. Doors are locked, windows are closed and locked, blinds are closed. People are directed to move away from windows and doors and remain quiet. Hallways are cleared of students and school staff.
- Lockout: Used to secure school buildings and grounds during incidents that pose an imminent concern outside of the school. Any classes are immediately brought inside, all exterior windows are locked. No visitors are permitted inside the building. The school day continues as normal.
- Evacuation: When students and staff are moved out of the building to a pre-designated safe location.
- Shelter in Place: Used to shelter students and staff inside the building. Students remain in their classrooms and instruction can continue.
- Hold in Place: Used to limit movement of students and staff while dealing with short term emergencies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How does the district handle threats of violence?
A: School staff follow practiced procedures to ensure that students and the public are safe and secure. The principal and his/her team first contact emergency services and then district administrators who initiate an Emergency Response Plan to gather information on the type and degree of threat.
School staff have been trained to react to all threats of violence in a prescribed manner, based on consultation with law enforcement. All calls are treated as real, and we report them to local, regional and national law enforcement as appropriate for investigation and prosecution.
If a threat is deemed credible, the Building-Level Emergency Response Team will follow protocol, emergency services will respond and families will be notified via SchoolMessenger. As the situation unfolds, families will be updated accordingly. If a school is evacuated to another location, families will receive a message on SchoolMessenger as to where they should go to pick up their student.
Q: When are parents notified about a school emergency?
A: When a critical incident impacts a school community, we notify parents as soon as possible via our SchoolMessenger notification system. Please make sure your emergency contact information is always up to date at your child’s school. Also check the district website at egcsd.org, our Facebook page or our Twitter feed for updates.
Typically, emergency situations are fluid and multiple agencies are involved, so communication is coordinated through the “lead agency,” which may cause a delay in notification. We will provide as much credible, accurate and timely information as possible. Information received from sources other than the school administration or our communications office may be inaccurate.
Q: Are there times when families aren’t notified about an emergency?
A: Buildings are sometimes placed in lockout for a brief amount of time, when a school is, for example, notified by law enforcement that a search or arrest warrant is being served nearby. During a lockout, students are brought in from outdoors, but other activities within the school continue as normal. Most lockouts are for very short periods and often students are unaware that one is occurring. If a lockout lasts longer than approximately 10 minutes or causes major disruption in the normal school day, East Greenbush CSD will generally notify families via SchoolMessenger.
Q: What do I do if I see or hear of a threat after school hours?
A: All students, school staff and members of the community are encouraged to report anything they see, hear or are made aware of if it may impact a school or school program. Even if you don’t feel like you have enough information or you’re unsure of what it means, please call 911 or Report an Anonymous Tip, which sends your message to school administrators. School officials and, if required, local law enforcement will determine the course of action and next steps in order to maintain a safe and secure school environment.