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Tue., Oct. 6
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New security procedures in effect at St. Lawrence Central School


BRASHER FALLS - Visitors to either the St. Lawrence Central elementary or middle/high school buildings were greeted by new security procedures this week.

“It’s not a huge departure from where we were. It does tighten things down. It requires entry for the entire school,” Superintendent Stephan J. Vigliotti Sr. said.

Visitors to both schools now enter through the outside doors and must stop at a new window area. The inner sets of doors are locked during the school day, and visitors must be buzzed in to access the building.

Letters on the district’s website from high school Principal Tracy A. Davison, middle school Principal Christopher W. Rose and elementary school Principal Johnathan R. Hirschey explain the new procedures in detail for parents and visitors to the school. Mr. Vigliotti said letters also went home to parents.

“We’ve tried to overcommunicate with parents and the community and let them know. This is the community school, and we want people to be here and we don’t want them to be frustrated by this,” he said. “Unfortunately, in 2014 this is our reality. We have to do everything we possibly can (to keep the school safe).”

At the elementary school, Mr. Hirschey said the front doors will be unlocked before 9:05 a.m. so the school’s morning program students and morning bus students can freely enter the building. Students arriving after 9:05 a.m. will be considered tardy, he said.

The front doors will be locked from 9:05 a.m. to 3:10 p.m. Parents who need to pick up their child for a prior appointment or if the child isn’t feeling well can sign the student out at the office window, and the child will be called down to the office to meet the parent.

“Office staff is expected to ask for identification for anyone picking up a student,” Mr. Hirschey said. “Any individual that wishes to see a teacher or nurse will sign in at the window and the school secretary will call down to that person to see if it is an acceptable time. Upon confirmation, the individual will be given a visitor’s pass and buzzed in.”

When assemblies are held at the school, the doors will be unlocked for visitors 40 minutes before the ceremony. They will also be unlocked at 3:10 p.m. in advance of the 3:25 p.m. dismissal time. Parents who pick their children up at the end of the day will still sign them out at the new window.

“As a reminder, anyone picking up a student at the end of the school day must wait in the cafeteria by the front windows and may exit at the far corner of the cafeteria. This helps by keeping the main lobby and front doors clear of any congestion for students to get to the bus on time and safely. No bus will be allowed to leave until the secretary double-checks the cafeteria for anyone who may be waiting for their child or for a child waiting for a parent,” Mr. Hirschey said.

In the middle/high school building, the high school will serve as the main point of entry for the middle and high school building between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. whenever school is in session.

Like at the elementary school, the outside doors of the school will always be open. But, once inside the foyer, visitors will find a new “buzzer system” that will be used to gain access through the inner doors from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Anyone entering the school after 8 a.m. will need to enter through the high school main entrance and sign in through a new window area.

The inner doors at the high school and middle school main entrances, as well as the middle school student drop-off doors, will be open from 7:30 to 7:45 a.m. for students who have pre-arranged with a teacher to be dropped off early. The teacher will meet the student at that location. Other students will be allowed to enter either building at 7:45 a.m.

Student drivers and students who are dropped off at the high school gym entrance can enter the school at 7:45 a.m. Any student who needs to enter the building before that will use the high school main entrance.

Students in grades five through 12 arriving after 8 a.m. will be considered tardy and must enter through the high school main entrance. Students in grades nine through 12 will need to sign in at the high school office to receive a pass to class.

Students in grades five through eight who are accompanied by a parent must have the parent sign the student in through the high school entrance window. Parents will not be allowed to enter the building except under special circumstances, and the student will sign in at the middle school office.

Students in grades five through who aren’t accompanied by a parent will go to the middle school to sign in at the office.

Parents of students in grades five through eight who are dropping off items must sign in at the high school office.

Parents who sign out their student must be prepared to present a photo identification. Parents or guardians of students in grades five through 12 who are picking them up early must sign the student out and present a photo identification. Students will report to the high school office and meet their parents or guardian in the double doors entryway.

“It requires people to potentially, if they’re not identifiable by the people at the window, show identification and explain why they are there,” Mr. Vigliotti said.

Students who have a signed note from a parent or guardian to leave early must give the note to staff in the middle or high school office by 8 a.m.

Once school is in session, classes will not be interrupted for parents needing to speak to their students except in emergency situations. Parents will not be allowed to visit the classrooms, cafeteria or other unauthorized locations in the school. They can leave a note at the school office for the student, who will receive it at the end of the period, or they can wait in the office until the student can be called to the office at the end of the period.

Mr. Vigliotti said the changes were made for the safety of students and staff at the school.

“We need to be vigilant and be obviously very astute as kids enter the building and as parents or people in general enter the building. You still want to maintain the community school feel,” he said. “If they have any questions, certainly contact the building principals. I encourage them to give them a call.”

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