The following letter from West Essex Regional Schools Superintendent Barbara Longo addresses concerns over safety and security at the North Caldwell schools.
The letter is written in light of the recent school shooting in Newtown, Conn. which killed 26 people, 20 of them children.
Dear Parents, Guardians and Staff:
Many parents have been calling to ask about our safety and security procedures at West Essex. The safety of our students is of paramount importance to the staff of West Essex. We continually update our safety plans and give our teachers and staff the resources they need to protect your children.
Some of the procedures we have put in place are as follows:
- All exterior doors are locked at 7:45 a.m.
- All visitors must be buzzed into the school in order to enter the buildings.
- We have security cameras placed in strategic areas of the buildings and parking lots.
- All visitors in the building must check in with the designated office and wear a badge in the building.
- All staff members can enter the building with a swipe card allowing us to keep the doors locked all day.
- All deliveries must come through our maintenance departments.
- Fire and Security drills are held twice monthly to help our students and staff to cope with different types of situations.
I would urge all parents and guardian to help us by:
- Updating any contact information so we are able to communicate with you at any time. Our district uses School Messenger phone broadcast system. We are equipped to send mass emails, reverse calls, and utilize Face book to send out information.
- Always check the school website for information and updates in the event of an emergency.
- Talk to your children and let us know if your child is in need of counseling or support here at school.
Several organizations including the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychology and the National Association of School Psychologists have developed resources to help you to have an age-appropriate conversation with your children. The following are a list of links to some relevant websites that can assist you on this topic:
We will continue to work together at a time such as this when compassion and courage are necessary. Our hearts go out to the families and people touched by this tragedy.
If you would like your child to receive some counseling here at school, please give us a call. Our counselors are available to help your children through this difficult time.
Superintendent of Schools
- The West Essex Ministerial Association will hold a prayer service at Notre Dame in North Caldwell on Thursday.
- Notre Dame Church lights luminaries for Sandy Hook Elementary School victims.
- Police presence increases at Caldwell-West Caldwell Schools.